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  • Writer's pictureMuscle Nation

Do I Have To Use Supplements?

No. Depending on your goals and corresponding nutritional needs, you don't need to use supplements. To be more more specific, in yesterday's article "Are Supplements Dangerous" we identified a number of supplement categories. Yet the category of supplements that most people mean when they're talking about taking supplements is protein powder.

So let's talk about protein. There are different recommendations for protein needs based on sex, body mass index, goals and simply differences in opinions. If your goal is to maintain your current

muscle mass and weight--meaning that you are not looking to lose weight and you're not looking to build muscle, but instead you simply want to stay the same, then you don't need to change your diet so long as everything else in your life remains constant.

Not likely. Realistically, something will change. Your diet will vary. Your workouts will vary. Your stress levels will vary. Yup, stress. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone that the body uses to help maintain blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation and assist in memory formation. Unfortunately, cortisol can inhibit muscle growth and prolonged stress (and elevated cortisol levels) can lead to catabolism (breaking down muscles).

In my opinion, optimal protein levels are between 1 gram per pound of muscle and 2 grams per pound of body weight. That was not a typo. If you're a lithe female 1 gram of protein per pound of muscle is sufficient. If you're a muscular male who engages in strenuous weight training, your protein needs will be significantly higher.

Remember: not all protein is equal in value. Vary your protein sources. And make certain to spread out your protein intake throughout the day, with a slightly higher concentration immediately after your workout along with a moderate level of carbs.

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