Can protein help gain weight?

Are you a hard-gainer who wants to gain weight and build muscle? Do you feel like no matter how much you eat or workout, your body just refuses to cooperate? Well, fear not my friend! There is hope for us skinny folk, protein.

Yes mister-mistress reader, you read that right. Protein can help you pack on some pounds and turn your frail-looking frame into a Hulk-like figure. And hey, did we mention that protein is delicious too? So without further ado, let’s dig in!

What Is Protein?

In scientific language: “Proteins are large biomolecules consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues.”

In layman’s terms: Protein is a nutrient found mainly in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy but also present in plant-based sources such as soybeans and lentils.

Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of Proteins

Protein intake helps increase your levels of essential amino acids needed by the body which it cannot produce itself(1). These ‘building blocks’ play an important role in building new tissues including muscles thereby making them stronger(2).

How Does Protein Help You Gain Weight?

It Supplies Energy

Consuming more calories through overeating than we burn[through activity/ exercise] leads to weight gain.The part that most hard gainers miss out- focusing solely on consuming those extra calories rather than adding nutrition.Chugging sugar-laden beverages might satisfy our calorie goals,but they don’t bring along any additional benefits leaving gaps when it comes to micronutrients.Protein-rich foods ensure meeting caloric needs while delivering necessary nutrients.

Increases Muscle Mass

The key ingredient increasing muscle mass is resistance training, period.But another sustaining factor revving up progress here could be-protein consumption.Research shows that high protein intake post-workout was able to enhance muscle protein synthesis- the process essential for building new muscles fibers(3).

Curbs Appetite

Here’s a logic puzzle. You want to eat more but have trouble doing so? Fear not, mister-missus! Protein consumption can help curb appetite by increasing satiety levels which make you feel fuller thereby reducing your overall calorie intake(4). Now you won’t need willpower to stop yourself from hogging on junk food all day.

Contributes To Basal Metabolic Rate

The term BMR might seem like another game of scrabble, but it stands for basal metabolic rate- The energy required by our body while resting.This in turn plays a crucial role in weight management since higher rates lead to increased calorie burn during rest and therefore require consuming more calories throughout the day.Protein has been shown to increase BMR thus facilitating healthier weight gain(5).

Best Sources Of Protein For Weight Gain

Not all proteins are created equal. Some provide better value than others based on their amino acid profile and bioavailability factor- this means that how easily and readily consumed/processed they become within our bodies.
Here’s a list of foods with high-quality protein adding nutritional density alongside calories:

Food Protein per serving (in grams)
Eggs 6
Milk 8
Yogurt 10
Poultry(chicken/turkey) 30
Fish(Tuna/Salmon) 20+
>Nutrition data is calculated per standard serving size.

How Much Protein Do You Need For Weight Gain?

This really varies depending on various factors such as age,height, activity level etc…a solid method used across general dieting recommendations is consuming about .75-1 gram/kg bodyweight daily(6).

Can Overconsumption Of Protein be Problematic?

Pacing on the breaks, excessive protein consumption can lead to issues such as impaired kidney function and dehydration. Including variety in sources of protein helps avoid over-reliance on too much red meat leading to other health problems(7).

The Bottom Line

Including high-quality protein-rich foods while paying attention to overall micronutrient needs is an ideal way for lean individuals with difficulty gaining weight build muscle mass.While making what you eat work alongside your fitness schedule,it’s important that one perceives food as energy givers rather than make them sound like a dreaded burden-who wouldn’t love some nutrients coming along with enjoyable eats?)

So let’s all pump up the fun now; nothing sounds more motivating than knowing we’re building solid foundations for our own Hulk-like physique!

Bonus note: Did anyone mention that Popeye’s secret ingredient was none less than a bowl full of spinach?- Another great source of plant-based protein.

2. Wacker MJ et al., 2018.
3. Phillips and Van Loon,2011
4. Halton TL et al., 2004
5. Westerterp KR Drymski M.,2015
6. Cermak NM, Res PT Smeets ETM , 2012
7.Archer E Irwin ML TeVelde AFM,2020

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