Every newbie in the gym has the same question when they look at me that do I take protein for building muscles? What brand do I prefer? Do I take whey protein or soy protein or all those different proteins available in the market which claims that you will look like Dwayne Johnson in a few weeks? Is it necessary that everyone should take protein for building muscles like a hunk? My answer is always the same. No, you do not need to empty bottles of protein drinks to get those bulging muscles.
Shocked? Well, most of the people who consume these protein supplements take them because everyone is taking them and almost every fitness coach suggests it. But is this reason worth spending thousands of bucks on the protein which is present there in our normal diet? Let’s talk about this.
The Right Amount of Protein For Building Muscles
What is the right amount? If you sit among a few gym-enthusiasts, you will find them saying that you need 1 or 2 grams of protein per pound of weight for building those bulging muscles. But I want to ask them a question- Are age, gender, type of exercise, training, etc of no significance before declaring this “recommended” protein intake? Is the protein requirement in every person the same?
Well, they won’t answer as they don’t know the truth themselves. Let me clear it for you. If you are an athlete and you are looking for a lean body mass, you need 0.8-1.4 grams of protein per pound of weight per day, spread evenly. If you are an enthusiast who is looking for building muscle mass without putting on any fat, this study here specifies the ideal nutrition recommendation. For advanced bodybuilders, the average amount of protein intake may even exceed twice the required intake, which is quite necessary for their field of work.
So, if you are a novice and the fellow gym members suggest you a protein brand, ask them questions.
Is Your Normal Diet Incapable of Fulfilling the Protein Requirements for muscle building?
Let me ask you something. Do you know when protein supplements were first discovered? In the 1900s. And do you know when did the modern protein powder made its way into our lives? In the 1950s. Now I want to ask you, what you think that the people before the 1900s or 1950s had been doing for their protein requirements. Isn’t it a valid question because people before the 1950s must also be conscious about their fitness, right? Isn’t your normal diet capable of providing you proteins for building muscles?
The answer is yes, it is perfectly capable if you modify it a bit. So let’s talk about protein-rich foods.
Most celebrities claim that they eat a pure egg-white omelet for breakfast. The reason is simple. Egg-whites are pure protein. If you are not allergic to eggs, make it a part of your routine diet.
There is a reason why oats are so popular in advertisements and why companies are promoting them like crazy. They are high in proteins, fiber, magnesium, and many other nutrients.
Strained yogurt is part of every diet that requires high-protein. It is thick, creamy, tasty, full of protein, and makes my mouth water. Make sure to buy sugar-free Greek yogurt. You can also opt for regular yogurt.
It is a myth that chicken breasts hold great amounts of protein than the rest of the chicken which is not true entirely. Yes, it has a little more, but the difference in the amount of protein won’t help you much. But, they should definitely form part of your diet, because if you ask me about taste, they are very tasty.
This dairy product is tasty, low-fat, low-calorie, and rich in calcium, vitamins, and several other nutrients. Having it in your shopping basket is a win-win.
There is a reason why milk is called complete food. I am not talking here about the skimmed milk which is tasteless and contains almost no fat. It is a great source of protein, vitamins, calcium, etc. If you cannot tolerate milk, soy milk is a great option. Don’t worry. Having soy will not develop feminine features in your body. It is a myth.
If you are on a low-carb diet, beef is a very good option.
Until and unless you are allergic to certain kinds of fish, you can eat any sort of fish and it will fulfill your protein requirements.
There are so many options for non-vegetarians like eggs, chicken, beef, fish, etc. But when it comes to vegetarians, there is no lacking of veg protein-rich food. Lentils are a great source of protein and they are also rich in fiber. You can also go for tastier options like kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
Apart from these foods, there are various other foods like peanuts, almonds, bread, sprouts, quinoa, etc. And after including all these protein-rich foods in your diet, I don’t think your stomach will allow you to flaunt that protein shake bottle in the gym.
Is It Impossible To Build Muscle Without Protein Supplement?
If you are not taking a protein-rich diet, yes, you will need supplements because you need to fulfill your required quota of protein and building muscles demand a higher amount of protein intake. But, for those who are careful with their diet, a plate full of the above food items is all they need.
Protein shakes are easily available in the market and are very easy to consume, which makes them much more popular among the people who attend the gym after an 8-hour shift. But they cannot be taken as a meal replacement because they are not all-inclusive drinks.
My advice is that you modify your diet and see if it is fulfilling your daily protein needs. If not, you can definitely fill in the gaps with protein supplements. Before choosing any protein supplement, consult your fitness coach once and read the label carefully to ensure that it has no side-effects.
I understand that taking a protein powder seems an easy and viable option but when your diet is sufficient, why do you want to spend your hard-earned bucks on a supplement. It must be understood that the protein powder making companies need to sell their products, by hook or by crook. So, they have circulated some popular myths in the market, such as a scoop of protein powder is a must after our workout. Trust me, these are white lies.
Where Did The Myth Come From?
It is a popular myth among the gym-goers that “No protein, no muscle”.
But where did this come from? Let me tell you. Being a fitness conscious person, I understand the glory of a well-built body and I also understand the urge to get the bulging muscles as soon as possible. This is the weakness that is known to supplement producing companies. You want muscles; they want your money, so they tell you that it is impossible to gain the muscles without taking supplements. Unfortunately, many people believe it. So, this is how the myth has originated but now that you know the truth, change your dietary plan and include several eggs, chicken, peanuts, almonds, lentils, and everything we talked about in the above lines.
The sooner you gain something, the sooner you lose it.
It takes hard work, dedication, lots of sweat, and commitment to building the body. No protein powder can be considered as a magical pix to transform your body in a few days. There are several illegal body supplements available in the market which promises impossible results. Watch what you eat, sweat a lot in the gym, and understand that, it is not mandatory to take protein for building muscles.