Our expert says:
It true!! Bottom line is how much calories does your body need for what you expect it to do – that includes, basal metabolic rate + digestion calories (about 10%) + daily activity rate + daily exercise activity rate! And only then if you are in a slight energy positive balance will the body use its nutrients to build muscle – if you eat fewer calories, even if they are all protein, the body will use it as fuel!
However, all that said there is still some science involved! The body works best in balance. That means enough carbs as the major energy source and also to stimulate an insulin response – especially during training – which will carry the protein into the muscle cells. Thus you need both – a balance. Also you need to understand that this is the very reason we use energy drinks with added protein and protein shakes as there is a window period for optimum refueling and growth – thus we cannot rely on a plate of food to hit that period – we have to use liquid food!
So in summary:
1 – Calculate your energy need
2 – make sure the calories are a bit more if you want muscle gain – not more than 15%.
3 – Split your food into 6 or more meals to balance that amount.
4 – make sure that those calories are split into 50-60% carbs, 15-25% protein and 20% fat. Focus on low GI carbs – except during and immediately after training. Also make sure that most of you fat is good fat – at least 2/3rds. Science has proven that the body needs about 0.8g protein per kilogram of body mass to maintain and about 1.4 – 1.6 grams for athletes. Thus most guys opt for the 2g level.
5. There are 3 stages during training:
1 – Take an energy drink with about 6-8 % protein and drink it at regular intervals while training.
2 – If you perform excessive energy outputs consume another such drink for refueling.
3 – within 45 min MAX thereafter take a shake: 2/3 protein with 1/3 carbs. This step supports recovery and then building.
The six balanced meals also help with digestion – too much food and especially such as burgers and chips are too much for the digestive system to bear at once – the high fat therein also slows the digestion.
I suppose life is about balance!
Hope this clarifies thing a bit more. Shout if you need more help!
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