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Bodybuilding – Protein Shakes And Building Muscle


Probably one of the most common questions that is asked by those into bodybuilding is how many protein shakes per day they should take if their current goal is to gain weight.

These bodybuilders already have their exact protein requirements worked out to a ‘T’, but may be having some trouble meeting this amount every day – after all, not only is protein generally more expensive than other foods, but it also fills you up faster.

In this state of frustration, they hope to turn to protein powder to do the job for them. After all, whipping up a protein shake takes mere seconds, and is easily downed without too much effect on your appetite. But, does this generally produce the best results when it comes to building muscle?

Or should you cap your protein powder intake to just before and after a heavy weight lifting session?


The pros of using protein powder when bodybuilding are:

-convenience – cooking time is kept to a minimum

-cost -generally it’s cheaper per serving than chicken, beef, or fish

-taste – who doesn’t like a chocolate peanut butter shake? (assuming of course you are choosing good tasting protein powders)

-high variety – you can easily buy protein powders that come with additional carbs to help get your calories up there, or opt for a complete meal replacement shake

-transportable – rather than carrying Tupperware containers around with you, all you need is a small container filled with powder, since water is available almost anywhere.

Seems like a pretty good choice. But, make sure to consider the cons.


-quicker digestion – if you’re looking for a protein source that’s going to supply the body with amino acids over an extended period of time, powder is not going to be your best option.

-lack of other nutrients – many sources of meat also contain minerals that are essential for proper growth and development

-improper long-term eating technique – eating whole food more often teaches you how to eat a proper diet for the long haul. Relying on protein shakes may be okay temporarily in some cases, but does this really teach you how to EAT in order to build muscle? Didn’t think so.

-gas – finally, and not overly related to building muscle but many people report excessive use of protein powder tends to give them gas. The people around you will probably much prefer you eat whole foods.

So, think about these factors when deciding how often to consume protein powder in your diet.

Obviously meeting your needs is your number one goal. If you miss out on that, you’re really not going to be building muscle at all. Bodybuilding does require slightly more amino acids, but it’s not quite the extent that some people are led to believe. 1-1.5 grams per pound should be plenty.

Keeping your shake intake to about 40% of your daily intake would be okay, although less would be better – and this includes pre/post workout meals.

Source by Shannon Clark

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