A person on a running track holds a black gym bag and is placing a green and white bottle of Orgain Organic Nutrition into the bag's pocket. The track, marked with white lines, extends into the distance with green grass on either side.

Gain Strength

What is 'protein pacing' and how can it help build lean muscle?

Understanding that food and nutrition are the foundation of health is step one on any wellness journey. We all know how important it is to get all your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your food throughout the day, but there is always less information on when exactly those macros should be eaten. The most important macromolecule to include in your diet for all people, but especially people who regularly workout, is protein. When you workout, you tear muscle fibers. Protein works to repair these torn fibers by rebuilding the fibers, and thus the entire muscle larger and stronger than it was before. This explains why post-workout protein or “recovery protein” is so important. Protein pacing is the title given to the act of spacing out your protein quota throughout the day, instead of only at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Experts recommend eating around 0.12 to 0.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight every four hours or so. If you don’t have a calculator on hand, aiming for around 20-30 grams of protein at each of these four to six meals is a popular place to start. The theory behind protein pacing, and likely the reason for its popularity, is it can help you lose fat and build muscle simultaneously, without having to restrict your diet. Maintaining a steady intake of protein (aside from the nightly fast (sleeping)) keeps your metabolism moving along at a strong pace, and will help keep cravings satisfied. By waiting long amounts of time in between meals, you are depleting your body -- and muscles -- of the nutrients they need to stay strong and lean. Protein pacing can also help reduce the tendency to ‘binge’ or overeat at mealtime, which occurs because your body and brain subconsciously knows how long it will have to wait before the next meal. The appropriate quantity of clean protein and a healthy routine of interval workouts, resistance training, stretching, and endurance, is a healthy recipe for peak fitness. The quickest and easiest way to add a high amount of organic protein to your diet is to integrate Orgain Organic Protein powder into your daily routine. Try a Double Chocolate Banana Protein Soft Serve, or whip up Cashew Chia pudding to take with you for a midday snack. Orgain protein bars are perfect for a pick-me-up on the go that will keep you right on track with your protein pacing goals without missing a beat.

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