If you asked most people what it takes to build muscle, they'd probably say you just need to train hard and eat protein, more and more. But this question may be on your mind: “Is it possible to do bodybuilding without protein?“
Well, let's say it right away, the answer is NO. Along with lipids (fat), proteins are the only macronutrients essential for life. They participate in particular in the construction of cells, internal organs, tendons, skin, nails, and of course muscle tissue.
On average, protein makes up about 20 % of your total weight.
Like the muscles in your body are made up of protein and that your body does not know how to manufacture them, unlike carbohydrates, you must provide enough of them in your diet. This is especially important for gaining muscle volume.
Can you really do bodybuilding without protein?
The importance of protein for athletes is one of the most debated among specialists, coaches and athletes. And did you know that this question was already being asked in ancient Greece?
So you are not the first to look for the answer 😉
And the answer to this question is NO, as I said above. Read on to understand…
Exercise affects protein requirements
This nutrient has long been associated with physical power and strength. And this is completely normal since they fulfill essential functions for sport because they act in the following areas:
- Play a role in the energy process, even if it is not the best source of energy;
- Necessary for the production of enzymes, hormones (adrenaline and insulin) and neurotransmitters;
- Maintain the water balance in the tissues and participate in many vital functions such as the transport of nutrients and oxygen at the cellular level;
- Indispensable for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue that is damaged during strength training.
In short, you can't do without it, even if you wanted to.
In addition, many studies have shown that endurance, power and strength sports require increased protein consumption.
The real question to ask is therefore rather this:
Should we eat protein powder?
It is true that the protein-based food supplements are legion and trivialized in the world of bodybuilding or fitness. And as you read above, this nutrient is vital for physical activity.
But is it worth taking supplement powders or protein bars?
Truth be told, it all depends on your goals and eating habits. But if your goal is to gain muscle mass, I wish you good luck in getting there without consuming protein supplements. Or, you risk spending half your day at the table to reach the goal of 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. See for yourself 🙂
And as always, each option has advantages and disadvantages. This is what you will see now...
Ease of use and time saving
I admit to you right away that I consume protein powder every day because it's easier than cooking a chicken every time I want an extra boost. This is all the more important for me because I was born in 1967 and you invariably lose muscle volume after 50 years.
The best way to slow down this process is to eat more protein. And I find the powders easy to use. I actually use freeze-dried egg whites and pea protein like the brand's nu3 (read “nutrition”). My favorite is the chocolate one to mix with almond milk or the vanilla one to add to my coffee.
Beware of intolerances with Whey
On the other hand, I no longer take Whey since I realized in 2019 that milk and yogurts were creating joint problems for me. Not to mention fairly violent hives…
Another problem with the protein powder from milk is at the level of digestion. I recently read in a forum the example of a young athlete who stopped this type of dietary supplement because of his unbearable flatulence. You surprise me !
This is unfortunately a common side effect since 20 % from the French and more than 80 % from the Asians are lactose intolerant. Common symptoms are:
- Gastric problems like heartburn;
- Difficult digestion;
- Abdominal pain and cramps;
- Bloating or flatulence;
- Nausea and/or vomiting;
- Headache ;
- Fatigue ;
- Muscle and joint pain, etc.
If you are in this case, it is really better to stick to the vegetable proteins.
Bodybuilding Without Protein – Conclusion
As you will no doubt have understood, it is quite possible to be satisfied with your diet to find the proteins you need. And this is true for many sports.
But in a muscle gain goal, you will seriously complicate your life. Indeed, the amino acids from the proteins you consume are the essential building blocks for repairing and building your muscle tissue.
However, you must choose the right dietary supplements so as not to generate problems that would reduce your chances of achieving your goals.
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Last update on 2022-11-04 / Affiliate links / Some images are from the Amazon Product Advertising API