The Argument

♦ For High Protein Intake

As discussed earlier, muscle consists mainly of protein, and the turnover rate of the amino acids is high, and increases upon stimulation, i.e. exercise. So, when muscle is worked to maximum effort, as in the case in hard training bodybuilders, turnover is extremely high, creating a large demand from the body's pool of all amino acids. High carb fans say this demand can be met by only a moderately higher than normal protein intake. High protein fans argue that very high levels of protein are needed to meet this huge demand. Bodybuilders, who have plateaued in their gains for long periods, have dramatically increased their protein intake and started making gains. Also, anabolic steroids increase the rate of protein synthesis within muscle cells, further increasing demand for protein.

♦ For High Carbohydrate Intake

The argument for a high carb intake comes from the fact that we need energy to fuel workouts and to recuperate and grow. This is certainly the case for athletes who may need as much as 60% of their energy intake from carbs. High carb advocates also say that only a slightly higher than 'normal' intake of high protein foods should be eaten, as starchy carbohydrate foods also contain some protein which will increase protein intake sufficiently. The type of carbs which should be consumed are high fibre starchy ones like wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholewheat breakfast cereals, etc.

♦ For Both High Carbohydrate and High Protein

Dietitians and nutritionists too often look at the percentage of total energy intake for proteins, carbohydrates and other macronutrients. It would be better to look at actual intake levels. Both protein and carbs are needed in high amounts in order to gain muscle for all the reasons "Both protein and carbs are discussed in b°th ar§uments. Remember that I am both a needed in high amounts in dietitian and bodybuilder.

order to gain muscle."

The problem in giving general advice is that we are individuals and therefore our requirements for different nutrients vary. If you are trying to gain muscle at the same time as trying to lose body fat, your carbohydrate intake will need to be reduced. If you are a beginner bodybuilder who is very skinny, your protein intake will need to be high but you will need to consume high carb foods regularly to gain weight.

Remember that you will not make good gains unless your protein intake is sufficient; period. Any successful bodybuilder will tell you this, no matter what so-called 'experts' say and clinical trials show. Also, remember that protein and carbohydrate foods complement each other, and their absorption will be optimal if they are consumed together.

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