Question: I need to gain 15 to 20 pounds for football training. What is the best protein drink, and diet to do so.
Heather: There are a lot of protein drinks and supplements on the market. However, these drinks are also very high in sugar and calories and so they can actually lead to the wrong type of weight gain. You want to add bulk by increasing your lean body mass, not by increasing your body fat.
A can of tuna fish provides the same amount of protein as many of the protein drinks you see at the gym. But the tuna provides lots of other nutrients and none of the sugar – and a lot less calories. I would encourage you to choose natural protein sources like tuna rather than protein drinks. Egg whites are another great source of natural protein.
A diet to increase your lean body mass is not that much different from a normal, well-balanced diet. Since you will be lifting weights to increase your muscle mass you need to make sure that you are eating enough calories to help sustain you and rebuild the muscle mass that you break down while working out. Try to eat regularly throughout the day to help get enough calories, aim to eat a small, well-balanced meal every three hours.
You also want to make your calories count – choose nutritious foods over things like fast food, which provides a lot of calories but will most likely lead to fat gain not muscle gain. In addition to your healthy protein sources, eat whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potatoes and oatmeal instead of processed flours like white bread, pasta and rice. And don’t forget to get your fruits and vegetables.
Published On: June 01, 2008