Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've heard it explained before but I still don't understand why there is such an emphasis on consuming lots of protein. My trainers say I should consume 1 gram of protein per body weight (and then some) but they really never told me why.

Then what are the differences between the various proteins out there, like whey and beef isolates? Also, why aren't protein shakes enough to consume the required protein?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Bottomline, to form muscle your body needs amino acids, both branched chain and simple. The foods that are highest in those nutrients are protein. 1 gram per lb is a minimum to maintain. Building will require even more. Muscle growth is triggered by two things. Hypertrophy and then having the appropriate macro-nutrients available for the body to repair and grow from the hypertrophy workout. Simply put, you work out to tear down the muscle, so that it'll rebuild itself stronger and thicker to be better prepared the next time. As soon as you're done tearing down (working out) you need to repair. Real food is the best source of protein, shakes are supplements. Whey is extremely fast absorbing, making it the perfect post workout shake type.

share|improve this answer
Thank you very much, my man! I understand now! – JustinKaz Jan 19 '12 at 13:56

Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. You want to gain muscle eat protein, much like consuming calcium for your bones. This is all bodybuilding 101.

share|improve this answer
+1'd, but, Just for completeness... it's calcium + vitamin D for the bones :) – user2567 Jan 18 '12 at 0:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.