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Build Muscle and Blast Fat with Protein Powder

protein powder

Protein powder is pretty much a must-use if you’re at all concerned with building muscle or maintaining the muscle you already have. Honestly, I even recommend drinking protein shakes if building muscle isn’t your concern. Assuming you choose a protein powder that’s low in artificial additives, fat, carbs, and sugar (I love Optimum Nutrition’s Chocolate Whey Protein), a protein shake makes a phenomenal low-cal snack. Not only are shakes low-cal, but the high protein content reduces hunger levels and creates a powerful thermogenic effect — protein burns about 30% of its calories simply through digestion.

Drinking a protein shake right before bed is also a great way to elevate your metabolism and prevent muscle catabolism (muscle breakdown) while you’re sleeping. Aka more calories burned. And oh, by the way — shakes with milk taste pretty freaking delicious and you can customize them in realistically any way you want. Try adding a banana, fresh fruit, or some natural peanut butter.

For everyone else whose primary concern is building new slabs of muscle, protein powder offers a ton of awesome benefits.

 

The Benefits of Protein Powder

 

Convenience.

Throw one scoop in a shaker bottle, mix it with water and you’ve got all the protein you need to refuel post-workout.

Affordable.

Most standard protein powders offer about 72 scoops @ 24g of protein per scoop, for about $40. Canned tuna and eggs are the next cheapest forms of protein, while chicken and beef are the most expensive. That’s about 2 cents per gram…

Complete.

Protein powder offers the full spectrum of amino acids, which is critical for muscle growth, muscle recovery, and a variety of other important bodily functions. Other sources of protein, in particularly veggies and nuts, are incomplete protein sources and contain only a few of the amino acids.

High-quality.

I think the coolest thing about whey protein powder is that it’s higher in quality than any other protein source. Compared to every other protein source, whey protein is the best absorbed and digested by your body…perfect for building new tissue, bone, and muscle. If you’re curious about numbers and ratings (the biological value) of specific types of proteins check out http://www.bodybuildingpro.com/proteinrating.html.

 

Different types of protein for different purposes

The two major types of protein powders you’ll see marketed are whey and casein, or some blend of the two. Put simply: whey is fast digesting/absorbing, casein is slow digesting/absorbing. Whey is the way to go right after a crazy intense workout as a way of shuttling protein to your hungry muscles as fast as possible. Casein is ideal as a snack or before bed–casein clumps up in your stomach and provides a slow release of amino acids over a couple of hours. That slow release of amino acids is ridiculously powerful at suppressing appetite and keeping your muscles nourished for hours at a time.

With all of that said there’s one important thing to remember about protein:

  1. Protein powder is still a supplement — it’s not a substitute for real food. Try to make at least half of the protein you eat every day come from whole food sources.

 

I use and love Optimum Nutrition’s Whey Protein. It’s high-quality, low on carbs/fat/sugar, inexpensive, has no artificial flavors, and has very few additives…it’s pretty much as natural as you’re gonna get when it comes to protein powder. Happy protein-ing and packing on muscle soooooooooo much more easily than you ever knew you could.

 


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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • TAMMY PARKER

    Well I have a constipation. Do this organic whey protein will work in my problem?

    • I would look at the amount of fiber and water in your diet, not protein, both are more closely linked to constipation and digestive issues. A probiotic (either in the form of a probiotic supplement or yogurt/kefir) can also help.

  • Do you suggest casein at all (during the day or before bed) when trying to burn fat and maintain muscle? Or is whey better all around?

    • Yes and no. From a protein powder perspective it’s a better source to take before bed & as a snack (digests slow-released over time, which promotes prolonged calorie burn & reduced hunger. Whey does this too, but casein to a greater extent); whey is optimal post-workout.

      The reason why I say no, though, is because relying TOO much on protein powder is never a good thing; try replacing would-be casein with cottage cheese, greek yogurt, chicken, tuna, egg whites, etc.

      Eating whole, REAL food is always better than taking supplements when you’re able to swing it. I’d assess your daily routine and then make a decision about what’s best for your diet.

  • jfack

    are you kidding me over protein converted to fat you

  • Es Estain

    Good article This is probably the best article about build muscle with protein powder.

  • Maricela Turko

    I was overweight and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 25 pounds in one month without any exercise and it has been a life changer. I’m a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in any way. Just shoot me an email at oceanflowers82@gmail.com and I’ll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I’ve tried. I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day