One of the most important questions you can ask when beginning a new weight loss regimen is: how much protein should I take when weight training?
Generally, weight training is performed to encourage weight loss and build lean muscle. Taking adequate amounts of protein is important to stimulate muscle growth and muscle repair.
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Unlike bodybuilding, weight training is not used to ‘bulk up,’ but to slim and streamline your figure and/or accomplish certain fitness goals.
This means that you will need to eat enough protein to promote the growth of healthy muscle tissue and to help repair tears in your muscles.
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How Do I Begin a Weight Training Plan That Incorporates Protein?
A good diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and low-fat meats is recommended in conjunction with a medium to a high-intensity strength training routine.
Consuming too high of a concentration of protein in your diet can lead to no loss of weight, or it can even cause you to gain a few pounds.
While protein should be a considerable portion of your diet, your weight training results will largely depend on how healthy and balanced your diet is. In addition, you will need to be consistent with your diet plan in order to benefit from strenuous strength training exercises.
It is a good idea to plan out all your meals and keep a fitness journal that records your caloric intake and daily workout. There are also several different types of inexpensive exercise equipment to start off your weight training routine:
- A jump rope – will help you build your endurance level, and it also provides a great way to break a sweat while warming up
- Hand weights – they don’t necessarily have to be heavy in order to get a high impact weight training session going
- A stability ball – will tighten your midsection and give you support for more strenuous exercises
For many people, the easiest way to get a concentrated dose of protein into their diets is by drinking protein shakes.
Usually coming in powder form, protein shakes can be made with liquids like purified water, whey protein, soy milk or low-fat milk. While they are both convenient and a good way to get your protein while on the run, protein drinks should not be relied on to the exclusion of natural protein-containing foods like chicken, nuts, etc.
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How Can I Design a Personalized Approach to Protein and Weight Training?
Ideally, daily protein consumption will be based on your total body weight and gender. There is a specific formula that is used by strength trainers and others following a strict exercise plan to figure out how much protein needs to be consumed daily.
Watch the short video below for more information on how protein intake benefits your muscles during weight training.
Around one-half of a gram of protein for each pound you weigh should be eaten each day. As you become an advanced weightlifter, you can increase your protein consumption to about .8 grams daily.
What Are Some Protein-Rich Foods That Complement Weight Training?
Different types of protein will be weighed differently. Know and learn the difference between complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Basically, complete proteins will have all of the fatty and amino acids your body needs to maximize your muscle-building capabilities.
You can still opt to eat incomplete proteins, but try to eat at least two to three different ones in order to get the highest results. Eating a healthy balanced diet with these protein-rich foods will help you maximize your weight training results:
- Meat and dairy of any kind will give you the very best source of protein available
- Vegetables of the green and leafy variety are generally high in protein and are considered the next best source next to meat, eggs, and dairy
- Grains such as pasta, oatmeal, rice, whole grain bread, and barley are good sources of protein, and they contain high levels of fiber as well
- Nuts and legumes like peanuts, lentils, beans, and soy are incomplete proteins, but perfectly suitable if you eat at least two varieties in one meal
When weight training, you need to eat a diet that will encourage the production of healthy muscle tissue. A balanced diet consisting of fat, carbohydrates, and protein is encouraged, but it is important to focus on getting just the right amount of high-performance foods into your system.
The right amount of protein intake will help you to streamline your body faster, but only in balance with the rest of your diet.
In a nutshell, eating protein is essential for weight training, but it is not the only portion of your diet that you should think about.
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