Elite athletes are always looking to get a leg up on their competition and one way they do so is with the use of supplements, either performance enhancing or muscle development. Not all supplements are bad or banned by the athletic commissions. Whey protein powder is a pretty common supplement that helps build muscle, makes a great recovery drink, and is legal to use for competition. While it is a great product to use when you are training it is quite easy to get carried away and consume more protein than your body needs or can handle. If you choose to add whey protein powder to your routine then make sure you know both the benefits and pitfalls as well as know just how much your body needs.
Benefits of Whey Protein Powder
If you are a conscientious Mixed Martial Artist who is aware of his or her training and pay attention to what goes in your body then the use of whey protein powder has some wonderful benefits. The key to reaping the benefits it to PAY ATTENTION and understand this product before use. One serving of protein powder contains roughly 20+ grams of whey protein. There is little to no fat in your protein drinks (compare to other sources of protein: peanut butter, milk, meat).
Protein powder: is easy to take with you and consume after your Mixed Martial Arts workout. You can mix protein powder with other foods to create smoothies, snacks, post workout recovery drinks, and meal replacement shakes.
The Downside of Protein Powder
This wonderful supplement does have a downside and you usually run into that when you start misusing this product. Your body will start to have problems when you consume too much protein. You may be thinking, “Too much protein isn’t bad. I’ll just get bigger muscles.” Too much protein isn’t good, because your body is only able to break down a certain amount and anything in excess will be eliminated or stay within your body causing you problems.
Increasing protein and reducing carbohydrates causes the human body to break down fat into ketones and fatty acids. The human body uses insulin to control the ketones (if you are diabetic this could be a problem). High ketone levels may result in vomiting, nausea, and even death. Protein is broken down into uric acid. When uric acid is combined with calcium kidney stones start to form. Excessive levels of protein may lead to dehydration.
How Much Protein do I Need?
The government gives amounts for all of the nutrients that are recommended daily amounts. Obviously a Mixed Martial Artist will require more protein than an average person; however it is good to begin with the daily requirements and work from there. RDA for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of body-weight. A 150 pound man weighs 68.18 kg (150 lb / 2.2 kg). Take 68.18 kg and multiply by .8 g to find the RDA for protein (54.54 grams of protein). This is how much an average person would require. A Mixed Martial Artist would require more, most likely 10 or so grams.
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