Perhaps the most common misconception about protein is that it causes us to ‘bulk’ in muscle.
This suspicion most likely arose due to a lot of the protein powders on the market today which are targeted toward muscle gain and bodybuilders. We all have an image in our minds of a bodybuilder endorsing a huge tub of ‘mass gain’ protein. This can be quite intimidating for the average active person looking for nutritional support to help with their exercise recovery.
Although protein is essential for optimal exercise and sports performance, the short answer is no, it does not cause us to bulk.
It is the type of exercise that determines the mass of the muscles. For example, lifting heavy weights will cause muscular hypertrophy, whereas high intensity interval training will cause your muscles to strengthen and tone your body.
Protein is an essential nutrient needed in the body for the growth, maintenance and repair of muscle and body tissues. It is essential to support an active body, not only for weight training, but in all sports and exercise. When exercising, our muscle fibres are torn, and they then rebuild themselves to be stronger during the recovery in the hours after, which allows them to better cope with the strain that we put on them.
After strenuous exercise, we experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), most strongly 24 - 72 hours after exercising. It’s thought that the eccentric exercise, or the lengthening of muscles, causes tearing and therefore trauma to the muscle fibres.
Studies have shown that protein intake is vital after exercise, as it assists the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibres. It also facilitates the replenishment of depleted energy stores.
After exercise, our muscles act similarly to sponges - they absorb whatever nutrition we feed ourselves with. That’s why consuming a high-quality protein is integral - it will help your muscle fibres repair and rebuild themselves, and will help to restore your energy levels.
Bare Blends' WPI blends are particularly good at facilitating muscle growth and repair, due to the complete amino acid profile. Amino acids are the building blocks of your muscles and body. Without them, it would be impossible to build, repair or even maintain muscle tissue.
The 9 essential amino acids which are responsible for building protein are not produced within the body, so they have to be obtained from the foods we eat. Whey protein is one of the few food sources with a complete amino acid profile, therefore making it one of the best and most convenient source of protein to keep your muscles at optimal working performance.
Protein is a much nutrient for all people, as it is an important component of every cell in the body. Other protein benefits include:
- healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood
- healthy brain function
- combats hunger cravings
- assists with weight management
- better bone density
- faster recovery from injury
- lower blood pressure
- better sleep
- boosts immune system function
It’s important to notice that not all protein powders are created equally. Be wary of protein powders with a lot of added ingredients, such as sugars and additives, as these added ingredients can have an adverse effect on your health. Protein powders with a long ingredient list can contain lots of these hidden ingredients, or high levels of synthesized amino acids.
We at Bare Blends only create the most natural and unique blends available - using high-quality whey protein flavoured only with organic superfoods. For example, our best-selling Organic Vanilla Bean WPI contains only grass-fed whey protein isolate, organic vanilla bean, and organic stevia.
So whether your fitness goal is to tone up, slim down, or gain muscle mass, protein intake after exercise is vital to get the most out of your training. Make sure you’re providing the best possible fuel for your muscles to repair and rebuild faster, so you can get back to it!