In order to build anything, one must have the correct parts for assembly, this is no different when it comes to the construction of an athlete. Sure it is crucial to develop all the skills, strengths, and conditioning required to be a great athlete but it is even more important to supply your body with the appropriate materials to build itself from within.
Your body is an intricate machine made up of some of the worlds’ most complex processes, on any given day your body takes part in billions upon billions of chemical reactions, some ranging from getting yourself out of bed, to brushing your teeth. Some are even harder to see such as, the healing of wounds or repairing and building upon your body’s existing structure.
The perfect athlete would likely have a large skillset, including a strong aerobic base in things such as running, rowing, and biking. This person would also be very strong, capable of moving their body eloquently in space as is the demand of gymnastics and the movement of an external load, specific to weightlifting. Time would be spent every day developing proficiency in each discipline, even greater time and attention should be paid in how that athlete fuels their body.
There are a lot of demands on the body for someone that participates in any form of these highly demanding exercises and therefore should have the appropriate amounts of strength and muscle mass in order to move large loads, a long distance, very quickly. A balanced diet consisting of a good distribution of the three macronutrients; carbohydrates, fat, and protein will allow an athlete to remain at optimum performance levels.
Getting all three macronutrients in your body may sound easy but there is a little more detail involved when it comes to eating well. It is important that you have the required building blocks for your body, when it comes to building and maintaining muscle, those blocks are in the form of amino acids. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids that exist in the human body, they makeup the base of the muscle tissues and are vital to daily function. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 of them are considered essential amino acids, meaning, your body cannot manufacture them on its own so they must be consumed through an outside protein source.
Obtaining a balanced amount of all 9 essential amino acids will be key to building muscle mass and maintaining that muscle. Protein intake should be viewed as a daily accumulation that does not have to occur all at once, but rather acrossed a whole day. Following your eating plan while maintaining proper caloric intake in combination with sufficient protein consumption will lead to sustained benefits.
After a strenuous and intense workout it is important to use that as an opportunity for greater muscle growth, this can be accomplished through your diet in the form of a clean protein shake or regular meal. There are various kinds of protein blends and the one that works best for you is the one that allows you to feel good while getting all the correct benefits. Ideally your protein shake will be comprised of a very clean form of whey are plant based protein.
At CrossFit Torrent we stand behind Ascent Protein as our base protein, it is a clean and effective whey protein powder and is delicious. It has everything you want from a protein powder, no crazy ingredients list, very little sugar, and a great value. There are two main kinds of protein made by Ascent Protein, the first is a whey based protein which is ideally taken soon after a workout as it is a faster digesting protein source that will help with earlier muscle growth. The other is a casein based protein and casein is a slow digesting protein source, this is intended for consuming prior to going to sleep as it will help with muscle growth and maintenance all night long while your body is not consuming any new protein sources. When picking a protein source it is important to find one that you believe has value, is clean and good for you while holding itself to a high standard for what is truly in their product.
Protein should not be something you fear, or want to run away from. There are numerous sources for proper protein that can accommodate various dietary restrictions and diet constraints. It is up to you to do your own research and discover what works best for you, ultimately understand that you should consume enough protein that allows you to maintain healthy muscle mass while not exceeding your caloric needs.