POV: You’ve got your workout routine all dialed in, but now you’re ready to take it to the next level. We’re talking about amping up muscle mass and strength and staying consistent with recovery.
There are steps you can take beyond the gym to improve your workout. And the first place to start is with protein. Are you intentional about your protein intake? Do you know what the key factor in quality protein is?
If these questions are drawing a blank, don’t stress. The experts at Ascent share everything you need to know about incorporating protein into your active lifestyle.
Protein makes you stronger
Whatever your sport, muscular strength will amplify your performance. You’ll get the job done faster, with less fatigue, while avoiding any adverse impacts on the body.(1)
Protein can help get you there. Studies show that pairing resistance training with protein supplements may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.(2)
The catch is consistency. The research shows that you won’t see much difference in muscle strength within the first few weeks of training and supplementing with protein. But once you consistently put in the time, week after week, that’s when the work will pay off, and you’ll start to see results.(2)
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in protein
Protein plays a critical role in building and repairing our body’s cells and tissues. But not all protein is created equal. To encourage muscle protein synthesis, you’ll need to consume protein rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine, in particular, is the amino acid powerhouse you should look for.(3)
Examples of leucine-rich foods are chicken, beef, navy beans, pumpkin seeds, and eggs. In addition to a whole-food diet, it’s wise to have a high-quality protein supplement on hand, especially after a workout. We recommend whey protein powder because it is considered a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids.
Protein enhances athletic performance
It's clear muscular strength optimizes athleticism, and that protein high in leucine plays a big part. But the benefits of combining protein with exercise don’t stop there. A 2020 study of fit cyclists supplementing with leucine before and during exercise had improved performance in cycling time and reported reduced muscle fatigue.(4)
After you crush it in your workout, recovery is necessary so that your damaged muscle fibers rebuild and your body recuperates. Once again, the BCAAs in protein become a key player in muscle recovery post-workout. Even research shows that those who supplement with leucine-enriched essential amino acids have less muscle soreness the following days.(5)
Elevate your workout with Ascent
Ascent’s protein-packed formulas were created with one mission in mind: to improve your athletic performance. Mix our whey or plant protein powders into smoothies or one of our delicious recipes. There are no extra calories or artificial ingredients, just simple formulas that deliver optimum athletic performance.
- Protein Powders - The most popular choice for post-workout recovery is our Whey Protein offering 25g of protein and 5.5g of BCAAs, perfect for a quick shake or smoothie. Or, Ascent’s plant-based protein powder contains a complete amino acid profile, including 4g of BCAAs and the same 25g of protein packed into one scoop.
- Micellar Casein - Professional athletes always take advantage of overnight recovery. If you’re training for a marathon or just had a tough week at the gym, you can enhance your body’s natural restoration process during sleep with Ascent’s slow-digesting Micellar Casein powder.
Inspired and ready to take your workout to the next level? Follow this daily muscle-building routine to get started.
- (“The Importance of Muscular Strength in Athletic Performance | Sports Medicine”, 2016)
- (The Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Power in Health Adults: A Systematic Review |
- (“Health Benefits of Whey Protein: A Review | Journal of Food Science and Engineering”, 2012)
- (“Branched-chain amino acid supplementation improves cycling performance in untrained cyclists | Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport”, 2020)