So What Are HSPs?
Let’s start with what Heat Shock Proteins are not: dietary proteins.
Most bodybuilders hear the word “protein” and visions of whey packets, tuna cans, and hard boiled eggs (whites only, please) instantly pop up. HSPs are not food.
In building new muscle, your body employs three types of proteins: dietary, structural and functional. HSPs are functional. It is the interaction between the three that get you bigger and stronger. The higher degree of interplay, the faster you get the results you want.
And it’s important that you see how they work together, and know what you can do to maximize their muscle-building effect.
1. Dietary Proteins – Building blocks of muscle: Your body breaks down dietary proteins into amino acids. After a complex chain of events (I lay them out below) they get reassembled into actual muscle protein.
2. Structural Proteins – Actual muscle: You’re very familiar with the structural proteins actin and myosin. They create your actual muscle fiber. You can easily “see” this type of structural proteins on your biceps! More actin and myosin mean more muscle fiber for you. The more muscle fiber you have, the bigger you look. The stronger you are. It’s that simple.
But there are other types of structural proteins that give shape, form and sturdiness to the entire architecture of your muscle cell.
HSPs play a major role in the quantity of all types of structural proteins your body makes.
NOTE: Up to 18% of your body is made up of proteins. (If only that was all structural protein!)
3. Functional Proteins – Muscle-building workforce: The name gives it away. These proteins serve a function not only in building new muscle, but in sustaining life itself. Some examples of these proteins are enzymes, cell-signaling proteins, and HSPs! Unlike their “sexy” structural counterparts, you cannot see them. But they keep that highly complex machine – called you – functioning at peak levels. Every micro second, functional proteins blast out millions of signals to your brain, heart, muscles.