Nutrition

5 Protein Facts You Must Know

Five key protein facts you must know to grow.

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5 Protein Facts You Must Know

Here’s a tidbit you’re sure to know if you’re a serious bodybuilder: protein is an essential component of a successful musclebuilding diet. But there’s a little more to it than that, and so, we provide the five key protein facts you must know to grow.

 THE 5 PROTEIN FACTS YOU MUST KNOW 

1 | PROTEIN DRIVES MUSCLE GROWTH 

Specifically, amino acids — the building blocks or subunits of protein — increase the production of hormones in the body that affect muscle repair. Eating a higher protein diet leads to elevated levels of amino acids in the bloodstream. That is correlated with higher growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor-I levels. Growth hormone supports size expansion by pushing amino acids into muscles and by sparing the breakdown of muscle tissue, while IGF-I is sort of an offshoot of GH and signals muscle cells to grow. In addition to raising hormone levels, the amino acids themselves trigger muscle size increases by signaling muscle cells to turn on the muscle-building process known as protein synthesis.

2 | PROTEIN BLUNTS CORTISOL

Training increases levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol. Cortisol blunts muscle growth by increasing muscle protein breakdown and hindering testosterone’s anabolic actions. However, amino acids can suppress the ability of cortisol to lock up with muscle tissue, preventing muscle breakdown and allowing testosterone to do its  anabolic thing. This may be one of several reasons why using a whey-based protein powder after training leads to great results. Besides providing the protein needed for muscle growth, the amino acids also interfere with the tendency that cortisol has to put a damper on recovery.

 

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