For the best muscle building results from using whey protein powder, follow the 10 tips below:
- Calculate your daily protein intake, i.e. 1.5g per day for every pound of bodyweight. Divide this number by the number of meals you eat per day (6 or more is recommended) and this is how much protein you need to consume per meal, no more, no less. If you need more than 40g of protein per meal, consider eating more meals per day, to spread the protein out better. Whenever your meals contain less protein than required, boost the protein content with a whey protein powder.
- Remember that calories dictate whether you gain weight or lose weight. Consume 10 calories per pound of bodyweight per day to lose weight and 15-20 calories per pound of bodyweight per day to gain weight (15 = slow metabolism, 20 = fast metabolism). But remember, like protein, calories need to be spread evenly throughout the day over 6 or more meals, to regulate insulin levels, which are associated with energy levels and fat loss. Also, eating small meals regularly throughout the day boosts your metabolism.
- Keep well hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses fo water per day, every day. Proper hydration is very important for many processes in the body and ultimately results in increased or decreased performance at the gym.
- High intensity training is a must for anyone wanting to improve their physical performance and appearance, whether you want to lose weight or gain weight (remember weight is controlled mainly by calories). High intensity training has a knock on effect upon hormone levels within the body, which help fat loss and boost metabolism. The higher the intensity, the better. Fifty minutes appears to be the optimum time in the gym, lifting weights and should be repeated 2-4 times per week, depending upon your requirements.
- Low to medium intensity cardiovascular training, such as a brisk walk or a steady jog are good for increasing fat loss, without affecting muscle mass, when performed for the right duration at the right times. Forty minutes, first thing on a morning, before breakfast, performed 3-4 times per week will boost results significantly. An extra tip is to have a black coffee, or a cup of green tea before exercising. Have your protein shakes immediately after you return from your jog, to ensure no lean muscle is lost as a result of the jogging.
- Follow all high intensity training sessions with a post workout shake. For weight loss, have whey protein powder in water, with a few raisins. For weight gain, mix your protein powder in skimmed milk for extra protein and 27g of sugar, which is one of the few times when sugar is a good thing in your diet.
- Avoid lack of sleep, stressful situations and overtraining as they can result in the release of a stress related hormone called Cortisol, which is associated with muscle loss and the accumulation of body fat.
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg in your diet, as the vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients found (or not found yet) in these foods allow for optimum performance of your bodily functions, such as improving protein synthesis and increasing energy. You don’t see what these foods do, but they have a massive positive effect upon your overall routine.
- Make sure your normal meals are low GI and low GL, to avoid insulin spikes. Your body can only store up to 150g or so of glycogen and if you eat a large sugary meal, the extra will either be excreted or will result in additional fat gain. Note: on a morning and after lifting weights, your glycogen levels are depleted, so your instant energy source is gone, meaning you need to use your fat stores as energy for any form of exercise, hence the early morning slow jog. If you do anything higher intensity, the Cortisol is going to kick in, so don’t overdo it on a morning. Similarly for after lifting weights.
- With reagrds whey protein supplements, if you are lactose intolerant, use whey isolate as it does not contain lactose. Otherwise, I would recommend using AST Whey Protein for everyone else.