Take a protein supplement at least once a day on rest days and twice a day on workout days. This practice can give you an extra 40-80 g of protein per day, and it will help bring you into compliance with our standard protein recommendation (at least 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily). It’s often enough to cause acceleration in muscle growth, usually noticeable within four months. It’s especially important to follow this formula when dieting. Higher protein needs and restricted caloric intake make a protein supplement essential.
Take about 20 g of protein powder, such as whey, within 30 minutes before workouts and about 40 g immediately after workouts. On rest days, consume at least one 40 g protein shake between meals.
Eat Carbs For Energy
Your body can use protein, carbs or fats for energy, but when you’re training hard, it preferentially uses carbs. Taking in ample carbs makes it easy for your body to fuel itself, sparing protein and fats for their more specific nutritional uses.
Emphasize Slow-Digesting Carbs
Complex carbs are constructed of long chains of sugars. Most, but not all complex carbs are slow digesting. Stress whole-grain products (whole-wheat bread and pastas, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.) and sweet potatoes, which are all slow digesting, as opposed to white breads and white potatoes, as well as sugars, which are all fast digesting. Slow-digesting carbs provide longer-lasting energy and there’s less chance they’ll be stored as bodyfat. During a mass-building phase, strive to take in a minimum of 2 g and up to about 3 g of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day. During cutting phases, reduce total carbohydrate consumption to 1 g per pound of bodyweight.
De-Emphasize Simple Carbs
Except after workouts, a bodybuilder should minimize calorie consumption from simple carbohydrates (sugar). Simple carbs can be rapidly absorbed, especially in liquids with little or no fats or solid foods to slow down their passage through the gastrointestinal tract. Significant quantities of simple carbs provide the release of insulin, desirable after a workout, but not at other times, because it can encourage the body to store these sugars as bodyfat. Foods that are high in sugar are among the worst for bodybuilders seeking to keep bodyfat low.
Post-Workout Protein & Carbs
Sometimes you can get away with not taking protein before your workout, but post-workout is a must. It is important to take a protein shake after your workout to promote growth & recovery within your body.
Typically in a post workout shake you can go with a fast-digesting protein shake or a slow-digesting one. Shakes contain whey protein for fast digestion & a complex protein blend for slow digestion. It’s debated whether complex or simple carbohydrates are the most effective post workout.
For a fast digesting protein shake you’ll need simple carbohydrates, try dextrose or glycogen restoring waxy maize mixed with isolate protein. Try 75g simple carbohydrates with 40g protein. The general rule of thumb is 40g of protein is the maximum amount that the human body can digest per hour, but that varies based on your metabolism & the type of protein ingested.
If you’re trying a slow digesting protein shake, try a complex protein blend from isolate, casein, and egg protein sources. Add oats, bread (doesn’t matter the type because post workout your body is looking for anything & everything to recover with), pasta, or other types of carbohydrates to test how a complex post workout protein recover blend works for you.
Nuts & seeds provide good fats and are also a great addition to any post workout recovery shake.