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Nutrition to Support Muscle Building — an article on the Smart Living Network
October 3, 2010 at 4:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Nutrition to Support Muscle Building


With an overwhelming amount of supplements entering the market each year, it can seem difficult to know which ones to trust. People who are pushing their bodies to maximum potential during their workouts are looking for a safer way to enhance the results of training. What nutrition is both natural and effective?

The Need for Nutrition

As muscles encounter more resistance, they must recover and rebuild in order to adapt. This usually happens after a workout or physical activity. When the muscles rebuild, they also strengthen; leading to increased size and firmness. In order to assist the process, supplementation works to improve overall muscle recovery. However, it is important to select the right kinds of supplements to avoid health risks. Food is converted into energy on a daily basis. Logically, if you are expending more energy, you will need to replace it by consuming more food. The same rule applies to muscle building. Additional energy and workload from training should be accompanied by the appropriate diet: extra protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc. Although it is possible to achieve healthy goals through regular exercise and a proper diet, some people decide to use supplements as well. The theory is that they will accomplish their goals faster. This may or may not be true. Either way, there are a number of natural supplements that have the potential to complement your diet and fitness routine.


Protein is the natural muscle builder found in many foods, including chicken and fish. On average, people get the amount of protein they need from the foods they eat within a balanced diet. As explained above, your extra workout activities make the need for protein more significant because muscles need it to rebuild. Studies have determined that having some form of protein within thirty minutes of your workout can deliver the necessary nutrients directly to the muscles as they begin to recover. Also, protein has the ability to reduce muscle soreness and pains. The key is to know which protein to have and when to have it. Again, the best and most natural way to supplement your workouts is through food. Since it might be inconvenient to eat a protein-based meal after you exercise, you can drink a protein shake instead. The three main types of protein shakes are whey, casein, and soy.

  • Whey Protein Whey protein shakes are very popular, and are excellent for post-workouts. They absorb quickly and usually stay in your body for a short period of time. Once you have completed an intense workout, a whey protein shake is a great way to quickly get the nutrients to your muscles.
  • Casein Protein Similar to whey, casein is a protein derived from milk. The difference between the two is that casein takes longer to absorb and will remain in your system for up to hours at a time. For this reason, it makes a good choice as a meal replacement or to drink before going to sleep. Overnight is the longest period of time your body goes without protein, and the gradual digestion of a casein protein shake lessens the deficiency.
  • Soy Protein If you are a vegetarian, it may not be an option for you to eat meats that have protein. Soy protein is plant-based and also makes an effective meal replacement. In addition, a soy protein shake will feature antioxidants and is just as digestible as other forms of protein. No matter which type of protein you select, make sure to check with your physician and read the labels carefully. Among the available products, you will find protein shakes that have 100 percent protein and others that have mainly carbohydrates with small amounts of protein added. It is essential that you know exactly what is in any shake, and that the ingredients are natural and nutritious.


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