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Training and protein needs

Zach Bashore explains why protein is an essential ingredient of your fitness training programme.

You have decided to start bodybuilding, but all of these new terms seem to be in a different language. Most of us experienced bodybuilders have felt the same way at one time, so do not give up just yet. You train hard, but you do not know anything about proper nutrition. Getting enough protein is most important when trying to develop a good body shape.

Why eat protein?

When consumed, protein turns into amino acids which become the cornerstone of muscle gain. Protein also helps you achieve muscle gain while keeping fat to a minimum. You need to space out your meals five to seven times a day to keep your metabolism at its best. Eating more meals also keeps your body in an anabolic state (meaning your body is building muscle). To keep from getting bored with your diet, your meals should never be from the same protein source at back-to-back meals.

Types of protein

Lean proteins that are low in fat should be eaten throughout the day. Good protein sources to eat throughout the day include egg whites, chicken breasts, tuna, and lean steak. There are many other good sources of lean protein, but those examples will give you an idea of what to eat. Post-workout is the best time to consume whey protein because your body absorbs it at a much faster rate than any other type of protein. Post-workout is the only time of the day you should consume whey because your body absorbs it too fast to keep you energized throughout the day.

Effects of a lack of protein

The obesity epidemic would be lower if people started eating more protein. It does not matter if you weight train or not, not getting enough will cause many health problems. A loss of muscle tissue is the main problem but do not expect to lose any fat either. Instead, fat gain will occur because of increased cortisol levels that are associated with a lack of protein. Your immune system will start deteriorating, all of your body's cells will become weak, and you will be more susceptible to illness.


Protein is essential and should be at the top of everyone's grocery list. If you are serious about achieving your bodybuilding or fitness goals, then you will do whatever it takes to achieve them. Eating five to seven meals daily is tough at first, but once you get into the habit of it, everything will become second nature.

Word of warning

Protein intake significantly above the recommended values can prove harmful because excessive protein breakdown strains the liver and kidney functions through the production and elimination of urea and other solutes.

Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • BASHORE, Z. (2006) Training and protein needs. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 30 /March), p. 3

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • BASHORE, Z. (2006) Training and protein needs [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Zach Bashore is a bodybuilder and writer for various bodybuilding publications in the USA.