When you think of high protein diets, you might think of a fat loss diet. Or, you may think of a basic muscle building diet. The truth is, a diet high in protein is a must for any goal. Let’s find out why.
High Protein Diets – The Basics
If you’re trying to lose fat, you’ll need to cut calories. The best place to start is with sugar and total carbs. From there, look at your fat calories. What does that leave? Protein. Unless you never get off the couch, you should be taking in 1g protein per lb of bodyweight. You’re on I’ll Pump You Up, so I assume you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, Cross-fitter, or other athlete. That means you’re building muscle and/or losing fat. Of course, that means you need protein.
High protein diets and muscle growth go hand in hand. No matter what your goal, however, protein is the most important macronutrient. One reason for this is the fact that, after water, your body is mostly made of protein. The body requires protein in the form of amino acids every single day. Why? To perform countless required functions. In other words, your body needs protein to function normally.
High Protein Diets – Amino Acids
To be clear, amino acids are a component of protein. There are around 20 common aminos. Some are non-essential, the body makes them. Others are essential, they must come from your diet. They can also come from supplements, such as a protein powder.
Why is this important? One reason is that the EAAs, or Essential Amino Acids, are heavily involved in the process of protein synthesis. If you don’t know, protein synthesis is a direct trigger of muscle growth. I wish I knew that back when I started bodybuilding!
For that reason alone, high protein diets make sense. Why eat some laughable amount and miss out? How much are you going to eat?
What are you going to eat in its place? Carbs? Over-eat carbs and the excess is stored as fat. Well, I guess eating lots of carbs is a bad idea. That is, unless I’m an endurance athlete. OK, well, what’s left? Fat? How much fat are you going to eat?
Do you see what I mean? High protein diets simply means protein is the center of whatever meal plan you’re following. It’s not dangerous, as some might have you believe. An extra few grams of protein is not going to blow up your kidneys. Protein is a critical macronutrient that you need for daily life functions. If your goal is to build or maintain muscle, you need more than the guy wasting away on the couch.
The bottom line – don’t be afraid of protein, and don’t listen to the naysayers. Protein is critical for muscle growth, period.