“You are what you eat” – is the famous adage among bodybuilders and it’s 100% true.
It’s estimated that almost all cells in our body undergo degeneration and are replaced with new cells over time. Your body tissues are broken down and replaced on a consistent and ongoing basis, and over a period of one year almost all cells in the body undergo replacement.
It’s vital that you provide your body with all the raw materials it needs to construct the type of body you desire and avoid dumping any undesired raw materials. About 15-20% of the body weight is composed of protein, and if you want a muscular body your protein intake needs to be high.
Protein is the most basic unit of a muscle. You need to supply your body with plenty of protein so that your body readily absorbs it at the peak of its anabolic demand, especially during and after your work out.
Protein is the only item of food that brings nitrogen into the body. Scientists can estimate the amount of protein utilized by your body by measuring the amount of nitrogen absorbed by your body.
It is possible to know how much protein is being retained by the body by calculating the nitrogen balance. This is done by comparing the amount of nitrogen consumed with the amount excreted through feces, urine and sweat.
When protein is being absorbed by the body to produce new muscle tissue the amount of nitrogen consumed is far greater than the amount of nitrogen excreted. This is known as a positive nitrogen balance and indicates that new muscle tissue is being synthesized.
On the other hand, when the body breaks down muscle tissue, the body excretes more nitrogen than it consumes. this state where the body excretes more nitrogen than consumed is known as negative nitrogen balance.
If you want to build muscle you need to maintain a positive nitrogen balance at all times.
One of the ways to ensure muscle is being produced is by supplying the body with protein at regular intervals so that all the proteins are circulating in the body on a consistent basis.
You also want to make sure that the proteins you are supplying the body contain most of the essential amino acids since the body does not retain any amino acids in circulation from its previous last meal.