The title of this post should actually be More Protein + Workouts + More Muscle, but since Ashleigh takes care in the workout part of the equation, I’ll focus on the nutrition piece.
Higher protein diets are back in favor these days especially with the emergence of the Primal and Paleo diet movements, and I’ve seen them work wonders with my clients. Protein (from the word protos meaning primary) increases satiation, provides a slow-burning replacement for excess carbs, encourages a speedier metabolism and even helps stabilize moods and cravings. A high protein breakfast increases metabolism by 30% for 12 hours according to Byron J. Richards author of Mastering Leptin.
When designing your meal plans, remember that the more amino acids (the main constituent of protein) that are made available to the muscles, the more they are able to build up. There is a point of diminishing returns, but most active people need at least 0.8-1g protein per pound of bodyweight. Another way to measure your protein intake is to aim for around 120 grams of protein a day, increasing slowly over the course of a week. To give you a perspective, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is: Men: 56 grams a day and women: 46 grams a day, but experts argue that these guidelines are out of date and are meant to insure adequate functioning. I am more interested in a diet that leads to optimal functioning.
You will need to experiment with your own intake to discover what works best for your unique body/brain. If you notice any digestive discomfort then read last weeks post on Maximizing Digestion for Muscle Growth and keep an ear out for when Ashleigh and I launch our Group Cleanse.
If you have kidney or liver disease, consult with a doctor before increasing your protein intake.
To your great health!
Cassandra Mick, CNE