Feed Your Muscles
By Linda Melone. Photography Peter Chou
Ask any financial advisor how to grow your money for the future and you’ll likely hear, “Diversify your investments and savings for maximum financial gain.” Translation: don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Such plum advice also holds true when it comes to lean muscle growth – you need to divvy up your protein portions for maximum muscle gains. And research proves it. Here’s how to get started (don’t worry, it’s not nearly as intimidating as managing your finances).
The Upper Limit
It has long been said that muscles have a threshold for how much protein they can turn into muscle. Now, a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has found that the magic number is 30 grams at a time. That’s the equivalent of 120 grams of chicken, fish, dairy, soy or lean beef, explains study author Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD.
Researchers found that when healthy people ate a 110g serving of lean meat, the rate of muscle-protein synthesis increased by 50 per cent. When this amount was increased to 340 grams, there was no further boost. In fact, the larger protein portion caused exactly the same increase as the modest amount. Result: eating more than 30 grams of protein at any one sitting won’t promote additional muscle growth; a more efficient strategy is to distribute your protein into 30-gram portions throughout the day.
Your Breakfast Fix
Getting enough protein in the afternoon and evening is a cinch, but the problem for many active women is skimping out in the morning.
“Most people eat very little protein at breakfast, a small amount at lunch and a large amount at dinner,” says Paddon-Jones.
Most of the excess is then oxidised and stored as glucose or, worse yet, fat.
So instead of limiting yourself to wholegrain breakfast cereals with a cup of low-fat milk (eight grams of protein), try adding a small container of low-fat yoghurt (14 grams), an egg (six grams), a handful of nuts (six grams) or half a cup of quinoa (4.5 grams) to get your 30 grams in. Or save yourself the math and simply add a scoop or two (depending on the brand) of protein powder to a morning shake. You’ll find that protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer stretches of time.
The next step is to combine your protein-rich meals with exercise so you can build muscle. “Exercise plus protein has a synergistic effect,” says Paddon- Jones. But always remember to pair your (moderately sized) protein with carbs before and after you exercise if you really want to see gains in the gym.
Carbs enhance protein absorption. Try this perfectly portioned, protein-packed meal any time of the day.
Egg White Pizza
Source Url: http://www.oxygenmag.com.au/Nutrition/tabid/620/entryid/1435/Feed-Your-Muscles.aspx
Ready in 20 minutes
Makes 1 serving
Non-stick olive oil spray
5 large egg whites
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp water
1⁄2 cup no-salt tomato sauce
1⁄2 tsp dried basil
1⁄4 tsp dried oregano
1⁄4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1⁄4 cup chopped green capsicum
1⁄4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1⁄2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1. Spray a small frying pan lightly with oil. Whisk together egg whites, pepper and water and pour into the pan over medium heat. Cook gently until eggs turn opaque and are cooked through evenly.
2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, basil and oregano.
3. When egg whites are set, gently flip them over. (For easy flipping, slide egg whites onto a serving plate and flip back over into pan.)
4. Cover with tomato sauce mixture, ricotta cheese, capsicum and mushrooms. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook until cheese melts slightly. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 258, Total Fats: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 493mg, Total Carbohydrates: 18g, Dietary Fibre: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 30g, Iron: 2mg