While the most common subject we hear about in terms of health and fitness is weight LOSS, there are more than a few people who are looking to actually GAIN weight. For the most part, these are men, and the weight they want to gain is muscle. In this case, using a high-protein diet to gain weight is essential.
What guy doesn’t want a ripped six-pack and set of “massive guns” when he takes off his shirt at the beach? Yep, putting on muscle is a goal for many guys (and some girls) and using protein to gain weight is one of the best ways to make it happen.
In case you missed the lesson from your schooling, protein is the key ingredient for the production of muscle. Your muscles not only use protein to grow, but they use it to repair tissue after strenuous workouts that actually break tissue down. In fact, it is the constant activity of breaking down tissue during weight training workouts and repairing it that causes it to grow. If you don’t have enough protein present in your regular diet it will be difficult if not impossible to gain muscle now matter how much you workout.[adrotate group=”1″]Most weight training professionals use a simple formula for getting enough protein in order to gain muscle weight: 1.5 – 2 grams of protein for every 1 pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 175 pounds, you should eat 262.5 grams – 350 grams of protein every day. Now, this is certainly more than the average person needs to maintain healthy muscle mass, but if you are looking at packing on some muscle, then you need to pack on the protein consumption as well.
Getting a decent amount of protein in your diet is fairly easy for most of us. Lean beef is one of the best sources and we as a country consume it in high quantity. Meat is particularly great for gaining muscle weight as it is also a concentrated source of creatine which has been shown to help build muscle as well. Other sources of course include fish, chicken, beans, and of course eggs. While choosing foods that contain protein is easy, getting ENOUGH of it to build serious muscle can be difficult.
Trying to get as much as 350 grams of protein per day (or even more if you weight more than 175) can be quite the challenge but there are plenty of high quality protein supplements on the market to help add to your daily intake.
The most common protein supplement is protein powder. These powders, available at your local health food store or at online health food and supplement retailers, can give you all the protein you need in a day just from drinking a few servings. It is important to pay attention to the ingredients, however, because choosing a high calorie sugar laden version may certainly help you gain weight, but not the kind you want! Opting for an easily digestible protein powder such as whey and choosing one that is low in calories and sugar can be a great way to supplement your protein intake and make it easier to meet your daily protein requirements.
So, there you have it. Protein can certainly help you gain weight and is absolutely necessary if you want that weight to be muscle. Use the formula of 1.5 – 2 grams of protein for every 1 pound of body weight, consume high quality protein, and perform weight training regularly and you will be well on your way to building serious quality muscle weight.