For optimal results from strength training, your body needs adequate protein. Protein is one of the three macronutrients you want to consume on a daily basis: carbohydrate, fat, protein. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 0.8grams per kilogram body weight per day to maintain healthy muscle functionality. You may need much more than this to acheieve your fitness goals.
Many studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to about 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight (i.e. a women of 140 lbs needs 96 grams and a man of 180 lbs needs 123 grams of protein/day) will help to improve various functions of the body – even beyond our fight against muscle loss which progressively increases with age (beginning at around age 30). This progressive muscle loss/atrophy is known as sarcopenia (aka “Sarco”) and will eventually be what steals our ability to live independently.
The good news is all of this is two fold…
Although it is generally best to consume high-quality whole foods containing complete proteins which include all 9 essential amino acids (animal-based proteins are complete proteins: meats, eggs, dairy, whey, etc.), you can also use complementary proteins (plant-based products eaten in conjunction with each other in order to consume all essential amino acids).
At times you may find it difficult to consume the recommended amounts of protein on a daily basis.
Supplemental Proteins like collagen and whey can be great sources and simple to add to solid or liquid foods.
But there are dozens of options to choose from, are they all the same?
Although there are many options, don’t be deceived into believing what you read on the front of the packaging. Not all proteins are created equal. Make sure you look at the ingredients. Do some of your own research and make sure the ingredients will aid your body and not harm your body over time.
Two Great Protein Supplement Options…
Collagen Protein – contains 8/9 essential amino acids plus more (good for building muscle and very beneficial for bones, ligaments, muscle, joints, hair, nails, etc.).
Whey Protein – contains all 9 essential amino acids for building muscle and recovery. Whey protein has an extremely high rating for protein bioavailability (i.e. the absorption and utilization rate is very high).
Not all proteins are equal! Consuming a powder labeled collagen or whey might be very different then another powder labeled the same. Take some time, do some research, and find the best option for you.
Consuming enough high quality protein in your diet will ensure that your high intensity resistance training workouts are as effective as possible. The goal of strength training in general, and high intensity training specifically, is to stimulate a growth response in the body. Make sure you do yourself a favor and give your body the protein it needs to make the biological changes you want to see.