Protein supplements have long been associated with gym training and the desire to bulk up…..but does taking in protein always mean that you’ll get bigger?

It really depends on the type of training that you do.

Training ultimately has the biggest stimulus on the body and determines how it responds.Unless you do heavy strength training of 4-6 rep max sets, you will not build big bulky muscles.

Muscle endurance sets of 15-20 reps equally will not bulk you up, they will improve muscle tone but not bulk. Equally women are less likely to build bulky muscles, even with increased protein intake and strength training due to their different hormonal make up.

Whatever type of training you do, you’ll have an increased need for protein. We all have a natural turnover of protein everyday, and this turnover increases when you train regularly.

The table below gives you a guide as to your required protein intake according to your sport and/or activity level

table of protein intake

(a) Exercising approximately four to five times per week for  45-60 min

(b) Exercising four to five times per week for 30 min at    <55% VO2peak

Source: Burke and Deakin, Clinical Sports Nutrition, 3rd     Edition, McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd, 2006

One way to include more protein in your diet is to look at your breakfast. The typcal English weekday breakfast of cereal, toast or latte and muffin is woefully short on protein.  if you would like some more information and some ideas as to how to add protein into the first meal of the day, check out my Protein Packed Breakfast Plan