PROTEIN OVERLOADING TACTICS

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Overloading protein should be the cornerstone of any serious bodybuilder's diet.

July 2, 2008

Written by FLEX Staff

The common FLEX recommendation of ingesting at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis can be more closely adhered to if you follow these tactics for getting the most out of your protein intake. Train correctly, "read" your body, do what works for you and overload without overtraining.

EAT SIX MEALS PER DAY
This important principle of bodybuilding nutrition will allow you to get in your desired amounts of nutrients. It's not crucial to have equal or specific amounts of protein and carbohydrates at each meal, as long as you distribute the intake of your nutrients in a pattern that makes it as simple as possible for you. Smaller and more frequent meals will have a more beneficial effect on insulin levels.

EAT (OR DRINK) A "MEAL" EVERY TWO TO THREE HOURS
Timing nutrient intake also can lead to greater and faster gains. The best time to schedule a high-protein meal is before, during and/or after a workout. Eating close to your workout will help reduce protein breakdown, enhance synthesis and storage of protein and glycogen in muscles, and promote an anabolic hormonal environment. Before bedtime is another key time for protein intake. If you are really serious, you may want to experiment to see if planned intake during the night works for you.

DRINK AT LEAST ONE OUNCE OF WATER PER TWO POUNDS OF BODYWEIGHT DAILY
Combined with clean eating, multiple meals and appropriate supplementation, sufficient water intake will have significant effects. Since protein metabolism requires water, you should always increase your water intake when substantially increasing your protein. Water flushes the body's cells and is the primary vehicle for eliminating toxins that can obstruct recovery and growth. Adequate hydration is mandatory for optimal immune function. Drink as frequently as possible, even if only a few ounces at a time. Remember to drink with meals. Before and during training is also a key time for water consumption. It is permissible to add some juice for flavoring to your water, but by all means, keep drinking.

RELY ON WHOLE FOODS AS A FOUNDATION
Get plenty of uncooked and unprocessed fruits and vegetables into your diet. Solid foods are digested relatively slowly and they allow you to control the rates of nutrients released into the bloodstream. Solid foods also enable the gastrointestinal tract to more efficiently and effectively process increased calories, particularly of protein.

BUMP UP PROTEIN INTAKE WITH PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS
Protein supplements will help you to get in the protein you need for the greatest possible anabolic response. Of course, you will eat whole foods as often as you can, but protein supplements allow you to overload protein intake easily.
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