BUILD MUSCLE2019-06-17T23:20:23+00:00

Look No Further for the Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle

Building & toning lean muscle takes dedication and commitment to your training & nutrition. While there are many ways to achieve this goal, there are a few simple principles that must be followed.

Building muscle isn’t just good for aesthetic reasons, it also benefits your general health in many ways! Increased metabolism & strength, as well as a reduced risk of falls and injuries – building lean muscle is a great way to improve your health while also helping you to look and feel great.

Many people struggle to meet their increased protein requirements for muscle growth – protein powders are a convenient source of protein that won’t have you spending all day in the kitchen.

best whey protein for building muscle

If you’re looking for NZ-made protein shakes to aid in muscle gain or muscle tone, check out our whey protein or vegan protein (coming soon…)

Shop Our Range Of Lean Whey Protein
Coming Soon – Our Range Of Plant-Based Protein

The Basics:

Exercise:

The first thing to consider when you are aiming to build or tone muscle is the type of exercise and training you are doing. In order for our muscles to grow, they need the physical stimulus of resistance/strength training to load and damage the microscopic muscle fibres. Once this muscular damage has occurred, the repair process begins and initiates muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Without the physical stimulus of exercise to initiate MPS, your muscles have no mechanism to build new muscle fibres, making it impossible for you to build and tone lean muscle tissue.

Nutrition:

The second thing to consider (and the thing we can help you with!) is your nutrition. The correct combination of training + nutrition is the key when it comes to building lean muscle tissue, and ensuring your muscles are able to recover and repair themselves effectively. There are two main areas of your diet you need to pay particular attention to when aiming to build muscle; your daily energy intake, and your daily protein intake. To build new lean muscle tissue, you should be eating slightly above your daily requirements for both calories (energy) and protein. These slight excesses of energy and protein are needed for building new muscle tissue and to recover from your workouts. New muscle isn’t built out of thin air!

Keep reading below for more detailed information on how to build and tone strong, lean muscle…

Optimise Your Diet For Building & Toning Muscle

Energy Intake

To build muscle, you need to be consuming more energy than you are burning in a day, i.e. energy in > energy out. Consuming more calories (a unit of energy) than your daily requirement is called being in a ‘caloric surplus’. You need these extra calories to build the new tissue. While in a caloric surplus, it is likely that you will gain a small amount of fat tissue alongside the gains in muscle mass. But if you plan your diet and exercise regime well, you will be able to minimise the amount of fat that you gain, while also maximising the amount of muscle you gain.

You can find the approximate daily energy requirements for your body based on sex, age, height, weight and activity level by using the educational tool; ‘Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand’ document, available online here. 

Once you have determined your approximate daily energy requirements (maintenance calories) using the Nutrient Reference Values, you can work out your optimal calorie intake to put you in a sensible and sustainable calorie surplus for building muscle. You want to have a caloric surplus that is large enough for you to gain muscle at a significant rate (there is a physiological limit on how quickly the body can gain muscle), but you don’t want too much of a surplus since this can result in excess fat gain.

For males, a caloric surplus of 250 calories per day on top of your normal maintenance daily calories is generally considered to be an effective starting point, and 125 calories per day for women. Of course, these amounts will vary slightly between each individual, but they are a good place to start. Add either 250 or 125 calories to your maintenance number (e.g. 2000 + 125 = 2125). This resulting number should be what you aim for each day to achieve optimal muscle gain while also minimising fat gain. If after a few weeks/months you find you aren’t gaining noticeable muscle mass (or possibly you feel you are gaining more than you like), you can adjust your energy intake up or down accordingly and try again.

If you aren’t keen on counting calories, don’t stress! Many people find that counting calories doesn’t work for them and their lifestyle, which is totally normal and understandable. Obviously without counting it can be a little harder to get it exactly right, but the basic principles remain the same. To build lean muscle you need to consume slightly more energy than you would if you were maintaining your current weight. If you find you aren’t gaining enough weight/muscle as you would like, increase your intake a little more. If you’re gaining too much, reduce your intake a little. It doesn’t need to be an exact science, you don’t need to eat the ‘perfect’ amount every day to see results. But over a period of time (weeks/months) you should consistently be consuming slightly more calories than you are burning in order to build and tone lean muscle tissue.

Inline protein powders are perfect if you are looking to build lean muscle. If you’re looking for an easy way to add an extra ~100 calories to your diet, a serving of Inline protein is a delicious and convenient option! You can have our protein powders in a protein shake if you’re looking for a quick and easy snack before or after the gym, or you can add a serving to your meals (e.g. smoothies, oats, pancakes etc) to boost your energy and protein intake! When looking to build and tone muscle, 1-2 servings of protein powder per day are the perfect way to ensure you are hitting your energy and protein requirements.

Protein Intake

Our muscles are made up of proteins, so it makes sense that to build new muscle tissue, we need to be eating enough protein! When you consume and digest protein, your body breaks it down into either individual amino acids or short chains of amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed by the body and used to build and repair muscle tissue. There are many other functions of and requirements for protein in the body too. Proteins (i.e. amino acids) are required to make and replace important molecules such as hormones, enzymes and antibodies, as well as for tissues such as skin, hair and nails.

If you are consuming more protein than your body needs for these basic body processes, while also exercising in a way that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, your body can use this excess protein to build new muscle tissue. It is possible to eat too much protein (even when trying to gain muscle), but most people tend to have the opposite struggle. Not getting enough protein from your diet can render your efforts to build muscle completely useless! Without the protein building blocks (aka amino acids), your body is unable to create new muscle tissue. Each person has their own individual protein requirements, similar to the individual energy requirements we all have. Your specific requirements will depend on your sex, age, height, weight, exercise volume, and individual fitness goals. Making sure you are meeting your daily protein target is absolutely key if you want to see progress and results in your muscle building mission!

The ‘optimal protein intake’ for muscle gain has been widely studied for decades. The evidence is highly variable and there doesn’t seem to be a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this dilemma. The optimal protein intake for one person will not necessarily result in the same effects for another person. You can look at the scientific literature and determine the most widely recommended range of intakes, but the exact amount will take some experimenting to get perfect.

Most of the scientific evidence suggests that for those people looking to build muscle mass, daily protein intake should be somewhere between 1.4 – 1.8g of protein per kg of body weight each day (e.g. if you weigh 70kg, 70 x 1.4 – 1.8 = 98 – 126g).

A person who weighs ~70kg should be aiming to eat between 98 and 126g of protein per day, for optimal muscle growth (finding the perfect amount for your own body will take some experimenting). For some people this is easy enough for them to get from their food intake alone, however for many people, protein supplements are a great addition to their diet to help increase protein intake without needing to add a lot of extra food (i.e. calories) to their diet. Our Lean Whey Protein and our Plant Power Protein contain between 18 – 24g of protein per serving, providing you with a convenient and nutritious source of protein that you can easily add into your daily diet.

The importance of protein post-workout is well known and discussed. During and after exercise, blood flow to your muscle tissue is increased in order to repair the micro tears that occur during your workouts. Consuming something high in protein either before or after your workout is a great way to ensure you have sufficient amounts of amino acids in your blood, that can be utilized by the muscles. A protein shake is a highly convenient and effective way to refuel after a workout, since you can simply mix the powder with water in your shaker and have it before you even leave the gym!

The most current scientific evidence suggests that having your protein intake spread as evenly as possible throughout the day is the best method for muscle building and recovery. Splitting up your protein requirements so that you have smaller amounts 3-4+ times a day means that your body has a constant supply of amino acids and allows you to more effectively digest and utilize the protein. It is recommended to have a good source of protein in each meal & snack, starting from breakfast all the way to dinner/dessert. Protein powders are an easy way to increase the protein content of meals that may otherwise be lacking.

Protein powders are designed to make it easier and more convenient for you to reach your optimal protein intake. So if you’re struggling to get enough protein from your diet alone, adding a serving of protein powder into one of your meals is a great way to significantly increase your intake. Having a protein shake between meals or after your workouts is another super simple way to boost up your daily protein intake. Protein supplements take the stress out of trying to plan meals and snacks that have the perfect amount of protein, you can use protein powders to ‘top up’ your intake if and when you need to.

If you’d like to have a chat with us, please get in touch or come into the shop if you’re in The Centre for Innovation in Dunedin. We’d love to see you!

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