February 7, 2018 – People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets, according to a comprehensive scientific review of research at McMaster University.
The review finds that eating more protein, well past the amounts currently recommended, can significantly augment the effects of lifting weights, especially for people past the age of 40. But there is an upper limit to the benefits of protein, the review cautions.
On the other hand, any form of protein is likely to be effective, it concludes, not merely high-protein shakes and supplements. Beef, chicken, yogurt and even protein from peas or quinoa could help us to build larger and stronger muscles.
It makes intuitive sense that protein in our diets should aid in bulking up muscles in our bodies, since muscles consist mostly of protein. When we lift weights, we stress the muscles and cause minute damage to muscle tissue, which then makes new proteins to heal. But muscles also will readily turn to and slurp up any bonus proteins floating around in the bloodstream.
Knowing this, bodybuilders have long swallowed large amounts of gloppy, protein-rich shakes after workouts in the expectation of adding greater bulk to their muscles than the lifting alone.