Protein and Muscle Gains

Meat Proteins:

As far as meat protein sources are concerned, red meat is good because it raises testosterone levels. Fish is also good because it contains good fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 and has higher nitrogen utilization than other meats.

Whey Protein:

Whey is a milk derived soluble protein that is digested quickly. Whey has been clinically shown to increase protein synthesis by as much as 68% when consumed after a workout. This is because whey floods your body with amino acids, causing an increase in protein synthesis.

Unfortunately these same clinical studies showed that whey did nothing to prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown) so what is it good for? Whey is good when consumed post workout because your muscle\’s need protein fast and whey gives it to them fast, since it is digested in about 30 minutes. For this same reason, you should not take whey on an empty stomach or by itself at any other time of the day.

Another reason why whey water drink should only really be used post workout is because at any other time when it is taken by itself your body only uses about a third of the amino acids. This is because whey rapidly increases the amount of amino acids in the blood flow and the body thinks it has more protein than is actually true and sends the \”excess\” to the liver, where it is oxidized and used as energy.

whey water


Derived from soy plants, soy is unique because it is the only complete, non-animal protein. Complete means that it contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids. It is also rich in Glutamine, which is touted as the most important amino acid for body building. So what\’s it good for? Overall, soy is good for your health. However there are better proteins for bodybuilder\’s goals.

It has been stated that soy raises estrogen levels in the body. It is true but only if you soy consumption is very large, so don\’t be scared to have soy every now and again.


Casein is the essentially the opposite of whey. It is an insoluble, slow-digesting, milk derived protein. Casein has been proven to prevent catabolism in several studies but has no effect on increasing the synthesis of protein. So what is it good for? Casein gels in the stomach and is very slow to digest, providing a slow constant flow of protein all day.

In fact it takes casein at least 2.5 hours to digest and sometimes up to 4. This means it is good at any meal other than post workout. Casein is an excellent choice especially right before bed since it gives you a slow stream of aminos over about 3-4 hours and prevents muscle breakdown. You need this slow stream of aminos since your body will be going 8 hours without any protein.

Egg Protein:

Eggs have the best amino acid profile available on a single protein. They also have the highest net nitrogen utilization rating, which means that you use more nitrogen which is what actually builds the muscle. Egg is a medium rate digesting protein, about 1.5-3 hours. So what is it good for: Egg protein would be good at breakfast, lunch, whenever, save post workout and before bed.

Life itself could not exist without protein. Likewise, without protein, muscle wouldn\’t exist. Without enough protein, you can expect to make almost no gains.

Scientists have studied how much protein is needed by the body per day. The GDA is roughly 1/3 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is the minimum amount of protein needed to sustain a healthy body and maintain normal cellular functions. For athletes, however, that amount is certainly higher.

For bodybuilders participating in intense training programs the amount is higher still. When you lift heavy weights, your muscle fibres tear. To repair this damage so your muscles you need a large amount of protein.

Just how much protein? I would recommend about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. People with faster metabolisms may need even more, up to 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight.

These numbers are not set in stone as some people will probably need more or less due to differences in how their bodies work. For example some people will have a higher rate of nitrogen retention than others, and some peoples muscles are broken down more than others during training, but this a good starting point.

As well as worrying about the amount of protein, there is the is also the problem of which kind of protein is the best? Is there one kind that is more beneficial than the rest? The quick answer is, as long as the protein is from an animal source, no. However certain types of protein are better to take at certain times of the day or in certain situations than others. Here are the different kinds of proteins and how they can be used to have maximum gains!

From all of this information I would recommend that a blended protein source would be optimal for muscle growth. A protein containing fast digesting Whey to increase protein synthesis, medium digesting egg for a great amino acid profile, and slow digesting casein for anti-catabolic support.