on Wednesday, June 24, 2009in Diets & Nutrition
When it comes to muscle building, nutrition should be considered just as important as your muscle building workouts. Carbohydrates and fats play an important role in the muscle building diet but ensuring you consume adequate, high quality, complete protein needs extra attention.
In order to consistently build muscle, your body needs to be in a state of positive nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is a chemical element found only in protein. Maintaining a positive nitrogen balance means that you are retaining more protein than you are using.
A diet designed for muscle gain requires high quality, complete protein which contains all essential amino acids. Amino acids are a group of 20 different kinds of small molecules which link together in chains, forming proteins. There are nine amino acids which cannot be produced by the body and therefore need to be obtained through our diet. These nine amino acids are considered ‘essential’.
There are numerous formulas and suggestions for calculating an individuals protein requirements, the easiest of which is by body weight. The RDA for protein for most adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For athletes, especially bodybuilders or those on a muscle building program, the daily recommendation rises to a range of anywhere from 1.5 grams to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Any amount over and above these guidelines should be considered overkill and unnecessary. Keep in mind that too much protein equals too many calories and excess calories equals stored body fat.
Let’s use my imaginary friend Joe as an example for calculating protein requirements. Joe is a 30 year old man standing 6 feet tall, weighing 80kg (176 pounds). He wants to start a muscle building nutrition program. Besides completing the obvious regular leg workouts, pectoral exercises and lat exercises (among others), Joe knows he needs to start focusing on his diet.
Joe’s consumption of protein will need to fall within the range of 120 grams and 176 grams per day. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll go with 2 grams per pound of body weight per day. 80kg x 2gr = 160 gr per day. That’s approximately 18 ounces of skinless chicken breast OR 24 ounces of sirloin steak OR 21 ounces of Sockeye Salmon. As you can see it’s not at all difficult to consume enough protein. 18 ounces of chicken breast may sound like a lot but if that’s the only protein you eat in a day, it really isn’t that much at all.
Always plan for your meals to include high quality, complete proteins and don’t forget that carbs and fats are important to your muscle building goals as well. Balance and knowledge along with good nutrition and intense workouts will get you the guns you’re looking for!Found this post useful and want more? Subscribe to our Blog feed
About TravisTravis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!
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