There is a myriad of supplements on the market today. With all the choices available and all the promises being make by the manufacturers, its hard to tell which products work, why to purchase then, and when to do so. Its particularly hard for a novice to single out the most important supplement, which is of great importance to those on a budget.
Well, the answer is simple: Protein. Why protein? Well, to keep things as simple as possible, when we workout we cause micro-trauma to the muscle tissue. The tears in the muscle result from the workload that we put it though as we lift the weight. The body then says to itself that it needs to get larger to responder to the ever growing workloads that we are subjecting it to. The body then uses protein to rebuild the muscle and recuperate from the micro-tears.
So, we need to give our bodies the tools it needs to get bigger. Regular North American diets simply don’t have enough protein in them to meet the demands of even the most novice gym enthusiast, thus the need for a protein supplement. There are various types of protein available, some which is isolate protein for faster absorption into the bloodstream, other like whey protein is mid-range and the most commonly available, and there are other types like casein protein which is slow digesting and is best suited for right before bed as to feed your body during your eight hours of sleep.
I’ll give you a big tip right now: If you’re not consuming enough protein in your diet, don’t bother going to the gym because you’re just wasting your time. Simple as that.
Protein intake requirements will vary greatly between people. However, you should consume a bare minimum of half of your body weight in pounds in grams of protein per day. So if you weigh 150 lbs. you should consume at least 75 grams of protein a day. Ideally you should consume 1 gram per pound. Advanced athletes can consume as much as 1.5 to 2 grams per pound a day. You will want to keep you water intake high as high protein consumption puts extra stress on the kidneys.
Your protein purchase should be based on your budget and taste-buds. Go for something you can afford and something that taste good to you. There’s nothing worse than buying a protein that you don’t want to drink because it taste really bad. Been there, done that, and it’s not fun.
Of course, don’t forget that protein is readily available in meats, such as chicken breast, ground beef, and tuna. All of which add to your daily protein intake measurements.