How Does Protein Become Muscle?
Post at 18:06 - 11/04/2018

When it comes to post-workout supplements, it appears that size isn't absolutely everything

 

Are you guzzling down extra-large protein shakes without an action plan? It may be time to hit pause: new science from the University of Stirling claims it's the exercise you're doing, not the size of your muscles, that dictate your protein requirements. Split session? Just 20-25g of protein is needed. Whole-body workout? Take it up to 40g. So why is this important, and how does protein turn into muscle, anyway? We've got a gainsy quintet of facts for you to digest.

1. Let's break it down
Once your plate's clean, enzymes in the stomach and small intestine break protein apart to form peptides. These chains of amino acids are used as bricks and mortar by your body to rebuild muscle fibres. The harder you train, the more you need.

2. Express delivery
Next those amino acids are shipped straight to your liver, which propels them back to your hungry muscles. Your body's a far more efficient workforce than those cowboys you hired to do your extension last year.

 

3. Send for help
Think of your muscles as bundles of long fibres – training causes microtears that signal your immune system to send out the repair team (stem cells and growth hormone). The building materials (aminos) are then used to patch up the damaged areas.

4. Your body, remodelled
Your DNA acts as a site foreman: it calls up specific amino acids and directs their deployment. Your muscle repair team uses the fresh supply of aminos to weave myofibrils (bundles of protein filaments), which are critical to muscle contraction.

5. Construction crew
The newly made myofibrils fuse with the damaged areas of your muscle fibres. But microtear repair is no bodge job: the myofibrils also help make the muscle bigger and stronger than it was before. Because if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well.

50 Ways to Get Stronger Now

Getting strong doesn’t mean loading on the plates as much as possible with every single workout. There are far smarter ways to build muscle faster and work up a ...

How Running Makes You Happy

74% of runners say pavement-pounding has improved their mental health. Here’s how it works

How to Build a Bigger Chest in 28 Days

Aimless repping no longer cuts it. If you want a bigger chest you need to get scientific with your gym time. Alternate between our two lab-tested ...

How to Get the V-shape, Fast

To sculpt your body into the coveted V-shape, the first step is to create the illusion that your waist is smaller. How? By making your upper body ...

Do This Exercise to Get Thick, Powerful Arms

Most guys who want bigger arms—which is to say, most guys—take an annoyingly binary approach to building bigger arms. In this view, there’s triceps training, and then ...

The Most Beautiful Gyms in the World

All you really need in a gym are a few key pieces of equipment—free weights, a medicine ball, a cable machine (and a hex bar if ...

How To Get A Six-Pack In Four Weeks

This workout can get you the body you want in under a month

The 20 Best Glutes Exercises of All Time

We’re in the midst of a glutes renaissance. Thanks to Instagram, the increased focus on functional fitness, and/or Jennifer Lopez, men and women are trying ...
View more View more
Scroll