Catabolism is a condition none of us want to find ourselves in. After busting our tails in the gym, it seems ironic that our bodies rebel against building new muscle tissue. All it takes is letting ourselves slip into a negative nitrogen balance, and there go our gains.
As diligent as you may be about taking in enough protein throughout the day to stem this horrifying muscle-eating mechanism, you’re probably forgetting something. From the time you go to sleep until breakfast the next morning, you don’t get a single gram of protein. So, while sleep itself provides an opportunity to repair and grow, for bodybuilders, whose physiques demand a great deal more protein than the average person, it can be a walk down the dark alley of catabolism. In essence, you could very well be taking three steps forward while awake, then two steps back while you sleep. The solution is a breeze. Keep a container of ready-mixed protein powder, preferably one containing slower-digesting casein like Muscle-Link’s Pro-Fusion, in your refrigerator. When you get up to use the toilet, try to chug down at least enough to give you 30 grams of protein. If you never get up at night (lucky sod with an iron bladder), set an alarm clock or drink some water right before going to bed. Soon, despite making no other changes in your training or nutrition, you should notice a couple pounds of new muscle that were previously being devoured while you slept.