How Much Protein Does A Body Builder Need?

By: Ron Lagerquist

“It is true that high doses of protein will promote larger muscles, but the side effects are not worth it.”

I receive many e-mails from bodybuilders wanting to be healthy and worried about their intake of protein. Does the desire to have huge muscles conflict with the goal to be healthy? Take a close look at those body-building gods on the magazine covers. Their faces show clear signs of premature aging. We said that when laboratory rats are fed increased protein, they grow faster and mature earlier, but studies have shown another unwanted side effect: their life expectancy is shortened. Between the years 1875 and 2000, we have witnessed the maturation age of females drop from 17 to 12 years of age. Increased protein intake is clearly having an impact on the speed of cell reproduction, the determining factor of maturity and aging. Never equate grossly oversized bodies with health; they are not healthy.

Make no mistake, if it is your goal to look like a muscle head, it is a goal driven by vanity, not health. It is true that high doses of protein will promote larger muscles, but the side effects are not worth it. Do not be led by an industry that has no problem injecting themselves with steroids, even willing to sacrifice their testicles for ego.

I am a passionate promoter of body building—strong lean muscle looks and feels great and is good for health. If you eat about 15 to 20 percent protein from your diet, about 60-90 grams, and body build three to four times a week for about 30 to 50 minutes, you are going to develop an athletic, strong body. You will look and feel great. The only way you could grow the huge muscles seen on the magazine covers is by injecting steroids, working out at least two hours a day, five days a week, and megadosing on protein. Not a good recipe for health.

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