This story was originally published on D’Marge.

You scoop some protein powder into your morning smoothie, slurp it, then look in the mirror with disgust.

“Am I not working out hard enough?” you might ask yourself. Or perhaps, “Maybe I’m not working out often enough.”

Before you go crazy wondering, we have a tip for you. That’s right: this is your guide to telling if you’re eating enough protein to be in an anabolic state (then you can go back to blaming your workouts).

First of all: what is an anabolic state? Essentially: a state in which you build muscle.

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𝙏𝘼𝙂 𝘼 𝙁𝙍𝙄𝙀𝙉𝘿 𝙏𝙃𝘼𝙏 𝙉𝙀𝙀𝘿𝙎 𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙎 𝙄𝙉𝙁𝙊! 𝙍𝙀𝘼𝘿 𝘽𝙀𝙇𝙊𝙒 𝙁𝙊𝙍 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙎𝘾𝙄𝙀𝙉𝘾𝙀! – Follow @TheTrainingManual for Daily fitness/nutrition tips & education📚 – If you’ve ever felt sore after a workout, you have experienced the localized muscle damage from working out. This local muscle damage causes a release of inflammatory molecules and immune system cells that activate satellite cells to jump into action. This doesn’t mean that you have to feel sore in order for this to happen, but instead that the damage from the workout has to be present in your muscle cells. Typically soreness is attenuated over time by other mechanisms. – After you workout, your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where it fuses muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands or myofibrils. These repaired myofibrils increase in thickness and number to create muscle hypertrophy (growth). Muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. This adaption, however, does not happen while you actually lift the weights. Instead, it occurs while you rest. – I’ve spoken about delayed onset muscular soreness before and mentioned that your muscles undergo a certain level of micro trauma if they are stressed sufficiently (This can be seen in the middle picture)- The body then rebuilds the muscle to be bigger and stronger (As seen in the bottom picture) – This process is often the cause of the soreness you experience post workout – This won’t make your muscles huge overnight though. It takes years of constant stimulation to truly see major size and strength differences if you’ve been already working out. If you’re new to the gym, you’ll probably see gains faster! – If you stimulate a muscle enough that it needs to adapt to make itself stronger, you’re going to add muscle mass and, of course, get stronger. The main thing is to be consistent and push yourself to be better every day!

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It’s actually quite simple: your body is either anabolic or catabolic at any given point, and for it to be anabolic, it must consume a source of energy – something which protein high foods or supplements can help with.

According to The Evening Standard’s Health & Fitness vertical, “Anabolism produces growth and differentiation of cells and an increase in body size, a process that involves synthesis of complex molecules.”

Meanwhile: “In strenuous, long-duration workouts, such as running a marathon, if you don’t provide the right nutrients to replenish the cells, the body will begin to break down muscle as a form of producing enough energy to survive.” In other words: you enter a catabolic state.

At heart, the theory behind anabolic training is to eat well before lifting weights, in order to provide enough energy to build mass.

A fancy term for eating to build muscle.

But how do you know if you’re eating enough – without risking eating too much protein?

If you’re us, you listen to your local personal trainer. In my case, that means taking cues from Head Coach Joey Hall of Plus Fitness Manly.

Qualified in Weight Loss & Toning, Hypertrophy and Strength & Conditioning and Performance Nutrition, Joey recently provided the gym goers of Plus Fitness Manly (of which I’m one) with some sound advice.

“Are you eating enough protein to aid recovery and promote an anabolic environment?” Joey asked, answering his question with the following insight: “the scale of grams of protein per kg of bodyweight range between 1.4 (general population) and as high as 3.0g (athletic population) per kg of bodyweight.”

“Factors that impact where you sit on this scale depend on your level of lean body mass and volume/intensity of weight train.”

In other words: the harder (and longer) you train, the more you need to eat. You also need to know your body mass in order to calculate this – and, of course, have access to quality protein (something the following graphic can help you with).

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𝗪𝗛𝗜𝗖𝗛 𝗜𝗦 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗧𝗘𝗜𝗡 𝗦𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗖𝗘? – 𝗧𝗮𝗴 𝗮 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝘄🤙 – Follow @P.T.Pete for daily fitness/nutrition tips & education📚 – Here's a little cheatsheet I made so you guys know where to get your good sources of protein from and how much is in each one per 100g, I hope this helps you out! I'm going to be posting more posts like this in the future!🤙 – Tag a friend that would like this guide! . . . . . #protein #proteins #Nutrition #nutritiontips #diet #dieting #healthysnack #healthyeating #digestion #yoga #fitness #mobilitywod #flexibility #physicaltherapy #yogi #bodybuilding #deadlift #squat #hypertrophy #legday #workout #yogaformen #physio #irishfitfam #idoportal #myodetox #mobility #yogafit #iifym #foody

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FITDAY, a bodybuilding website, has further advice, saying you should aim for a nutrient ratio of 50 per cent carbs, 30 per cent protein and 20 per cent fats, to maintain an anabolic state, as well as ensuring you never miss a meal.

FITDAY also emphasis the importance of getting enough sleep and looking after your hormonal balance by avoiding cigarettes and alcohol.

Happy chomping.

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