What are the most important nutrients for bodybuilders? While carbs and fats are also important it’s critical to get enough protein to build lean muscle mass. What is an amino acid for bodybuilding? There are several sources for aminos including protein food, powders, and pills. It’s important to know the different types and sources of aminos in order to get the best results. For example, amino acids can provide benefits like increased muscle mass, decreased muscle soreness, and faster recovery times. These can all add value to your workout regimens so you’ll achieve your fitness goals. The key is to pick the best aminos.
Which amino acids are ideal for your needs? There are many options like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are three of the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) that humans have to get from food and supplements. However, these are just one-third of EAAs so it’s important to figure out whether or not they’re the best choice. It’s a lot easier to get your complete proteins from meat, dairy, eggs, and soybeans. However, when boosting your aminos you might want to focus on particular benefits certain amino acids can provide for bodybuilding. They can involve muscles, endurance, and recovery.
How Much Protein Do Bodybuilders Need?
The answer might be surprising. There’s no question you’ll have to up your protein/aminos intake in order to build lean muscle mass. This is logical since muscles are made of the macronutrient. However, the amount of protein you need to achieve that goal is probably less than it might seem.
In fact, too much protein is a thing. If you consume too much protein it can actually do more harm for your muscle/strength gains than help. The recommended amount of protein varies based on different factors like your age and gender.
For example, let’s say you’re a man or woman 18+ years old. In that case, protein should make up 10% to 35% of your total calories every day. This figure is still relatively low. For example, on Keto, the macro split usually puts protein at a maximum of 25% of your total calories. So, bumping up protein another 10% isn’t really sky-high.
In fact, while bodybuilders need more total calories their necessary protein intake should still fall within the recommended range for adults. So, the actual amount of protein needed will be higher. However, the percentage will be about the same.
You should calculate your protein needs based on your training level. If you’re doing heavy workouts to prepare for a show, for example, then 35% protein is reasonable. However, if it’s the offseason then you might want to drop calories and protein to 30%or even lower.
So, let’s say you’re consuming 4,000 calories/day. In this case, you’ll need 1,200 calories from protein, which is 30% of your total carbs. Another factor is your weight. In this case, a 200-pound bodybuilder would require 300g of protein daily.
What does the 300g of protein look like? It would include:
- Steak (1)
- Chicken breasts (2)
- Tuna (6 cans)
- Eggs (6)
- Tofu (7 oz.)
- Milk (3 cups)
That’s a lot of food!
What Is Amino Acid for Bodybuilding?
Today protein powders have become big businesses. There are different options like whey and casein protein from milk. There are also protein powders made from other sources like beef, egg, and soybean. These are all good sources of protein and aminos.
In fact, options like whey protein are “complete proteins.” This means you’ll get all 9 EAAs. Not only that but you’ll also get the full amount of the EAAs you require every day. Does this make it the best option? Well, it’s a good source of aminos but it’s not the best.
One issue to keep in mind is protein powders are extracted from food sources. While they can provide good nutrition they’re still made in a factory. In fact, it’s sometimes argued that the makers of protein powders exaggerate about the benefits their products offer in terms of lean muscle mass.
Another issue to consider is the number of additives the product has. Many product powders have additives like sugar and artificial flavors. These ingredients can offset the health benefits provided by the protein supplements.
For example, when you combine whey protein and casein protein, you’re basically getting a piece of cheese or glass of milk. While it’s not practical (or healthy) or carries smelly cheese with you everywhere when possible it’s better to consume the real deal when you can instead of protein powders.
Then there are protein pills like BCAAs. In this case, you’re getting three aminos that can provide many benefits for bodybuilders. They include muscle gains, less sore muscles, and quicker recovery. Leucine is the best one in terms of lean muscle mass but the other two also provide bodybuilder-friendly plusses.
The best choice for aminos, protein, and all other nutrients is always real food. That includes options like full-fat milk, Greek yogurt, tofu burgers, and hard-boiled eggs. Even 3-bean salad can provide complete proteins.
Top Foods for Building Lean Muscle
Not only do you get lots of protein/aminos from shellfish but also omega-3s, which are healthy fats. Oysters, shrimp, and crab are some of the many options you have. Another plus of shellfish over red meat is it’s easier to digest and lower in calories/carbs if you’re counting those.
This superfood has been trending in recent years and there’s a reason. It’s a complete protein and a good option for creating lean muscle. One cup offers around 40g of carbs, and 8g of protein. You also get lots of fiber, phosphorous, and magnesium.
3. Greek Yogurt
If you’re trying to build muscles then yogurt SHOULD be Greek to you. This variety is a full-fat version that’s thicker than regular yogurt. This dairy product is high-protein and also has lots of other nutrients like calcium. Yet another plus of yogurt is it’s full of friendly bacteria, which can provide various health benefits including better gut health.
If you’re looking for plant-based protein sources this is one of the top ones. In fact, soybeans/tofu are complete proteins so they’re a good option for vegans/vegetarians in particular. Other beans like kidney beans and pintos can be paired or combined with brown rice to make complete proteins.
If you’re worried about “lectin” proteins simply soak or sprout certain types like kidney beans. You can remove even more lectins by simply cooking the beans. A caveat is eating raw kidney beans are tough to chew from the get-go.
This is one of the top foods not only for building muscle but also for overall health. It includes quality protein, good cholesterol, and healthy fat. You also get other nutrients like Vitamin Bs. If you’re on a low-carb diet, the good news is a large egg has about 1g of carbs. The incredible egg is a good option for what is an amino acid for bodybuilding.