Carbs go First and Fats Second

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Primarily Carbohydrates

The first fuel that your body breaks down for energy is carbohydrates. After a meal, your body is in the “fed” state and preferentially breaks down carbohydrates since they are easily accessible and turned into energy. After your body has used up the carbohydrates from a meal or snack, your cells begin to break down glucose stored in your muscles and liver known as glycogen. Glycogen stores vary in each person, but are typically depleted within 24 hours, meaning your body has to begin breaking down other compounds for energy.

Fat Preferentially Metabolized

When glucose and glycogen are not available, your body preferentially breaks down fatty compounds known as triacylglycerols which are present in adipose or fat tissue. Because fat is a high-energy source with nine calories per gram, fat provides an efficient fuel source. Additionally, your body metabolically prefers to preserve lean body mass and, when possible, breaks down fat stores for fuel as much as possible. Only when your fat stores are extremely low or depleted does your body have to then break down protein.

Muscle Breakdown

When glucose and fat stores are depleted, your body will then turn to muscle to break down into individual amino acids for energy. Unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body does not store amino acids, which is why muscle breakdown is the only way to release amino acids for fuel. In typical conditions where you are eating on a regular basis, your body will not use muscle for energy. Typically, protein is used for fuel only in a starvation state. Because you need muscle tissue to survive and move, the natural tendency of metabolism is to spare muscle tissue and break down carbohydrates and fat first.

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Protein Shakes or Real Food?

ProteinShakeorRealfood

Regardless of what many ads tell you, protein shakes do not offer any muscle building benefit, nor “secret muscle building ingredient”, above and beyond what real food offers you. Yes, I have read the ads too with all sorts of speedy muscle building promises but I can assure you through experience that most of the ingredients advertised as miraculous have not been proven to work neither by science (even though most ads of this nature usually talk about research studies that usually do not exist) nor by actual results at the gym. These products however have been proven beyond the shadow of any scientific doubt to shrink the size of your wallet and bank account.

In addition, real food has what is called a “thermic effect”. A “thermic effect” is the impact that real food has in your metabolism. Because real food requires digestion, your body burns more calories in processing it; as opposed to shakes which are already pre-digested.

There are so many nutrients that real food contains, many of which have not even been discovered yet, that you would be doing yourself a disservice by limiting the amount of real food that you are eating.

What protein shakes do offer the bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast is a convenient way to ingest your protein, thus allowing you to have your five to six meals every day without having to ingest real food in all of them. In addition, the best protein shakes in the market offer a protein blend of different sources of protein, something that introduces amino acid variety into your bodybuilding diet, thus making your diet more complete. However, do not ever think that protein shakes are superior to food.

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Grams Of Protein You Should Be Eating In A Day

Protein-sources

Have you ever found yourself wondering, how many grams of protein should I eat in a day?

The answer to that can be relatively simple or complex. There are some questions you should ask yourself before you ask how many grams of protein should I eat in a day? Ask yourself, what are my goals? Do you lead a sedentary or active lifestyle? Once you have decided what kind of goal you have in mind and have answered what kind of lifestyle you lead then you can have a better understanding of “how many grams of protein should I eat in a day?”

Active vs. Sedentary Lifestyle General Guidelines:

Although daily estimates for how many grams of protein should I eat in a day varies, a general guideline for people that lead a sedentary lifestyle is that you need to consume about 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of ideal bodyweight (the weight you would like to be). A general guideline for the more active person who is looking for gains in strength should be to consume 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal bodyweight.

If you are a sedentary male weighting 140lbs you should be consuming 50.4 grams of protein per day.
Calculation= (140lbs/2.2) * 0.8 = 50.4 grams

If you are an active male weighing 140lbs you should be consuming 76.36 to 89.1 grams of protein per day.
Calculation= (140lbs/2.2) * 1.2 = 76.36 grams
Calculation= (140lbs/2.2) * 1.4 = 89.10 grams

What is your Goal?

The question of “How many grams of protein should I eat in a day” really depends on your goals. Do you want to lose weight, gain strength, increase performance or just increase your quality of life?

Dieting and your ideal bodyweight:

Using the above formulas can also help you answer the question of “how many grams of protein should I eat in a day?” if you want to lose weight.

If you lead an active lifestyle and currently weigh 140lbs you should be eating about 76 to 89 grams of protein per day (based on the above calculations). If you want to decrease your body weight to 130lbs you should be eating 71 to 83 grams of protein per day.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and currently weigh 140lbs you should be eating about 50 grams of protein per day (based on the above calculations). If you want to decrease your body weight to 130lbs you should be eating 47 grams of protein per day.

Strength and Performance:

If you want to gain strength or increase your performance more than likely you will want to eat more protein than the average person. Consuming about 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal bodyweight (what you want to weigh) is the advice usually given by seasoned bodybuilders. Just remember to balance your protein intake with the right amount of carbohydrates.

If you lead an active lifestyle and currently weigh 140lbs you should be eating about 76 to 89 grams of protein per day (based on the above calculations). If you want to increase your body weight to 160lbs you should be eating 87 to 102 grams of protein per day.

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