Got Supplements #4: About Protein
Protein is one of those supplements that’s often misunderstood.
But in truth, the benefits?: Fat Loss, Lean Mass, Increased Muscle, Better Recovery, Regulates your Hormones, increases your Metabolism, lowers Insulin levels.
Our ancestors (way back, the cavemen), used to have predominantly high protein diets as grains and starches were hard to come by (basis of the paleo diet), so it would only make sense for us to still have a high protein intake. But it just so happens we don’t and a lot of people are actually not consuming enough of it.
First to clear the air, I’m talking about protein the component and not the ingredient, meaning the amount of protein (in grams) you should consume every day and not the amount of chicken breast (which has protein in it) you should eat.
Second, here is a breakdown of ingredients where protein is found and the amount it supplies you:
Salmon (6 oz.) – 33 grams
Pork (6 oz.) 49 grams
Turkey, breast (6 oz.) – 51 grams
Chicken, breast (6 oz.) – 37 grams
Chicken, dark meat (6 oz.) – 47 grams
Beef (6 oz.) – 54 grams
Tuna (6 oz.) – 40 grams
Beans and Legumes, Nuts
Lentils (1/2 cup) – 9 grams
Tofu (6 oz.) – 13 grams
Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 8 grams
Green Peas (1/2 cup) – 4 grams
Almond Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 7 grams
Black Beans (1/2 cup) – 7 grams
Garbanzo Beans (1/2 cup) – 7 grams
Cottage cheese (1 cup) – 28 grams
Egg (1 large) – 6 grams
Yogurt, low fat (1 cup) – 10 grams
Skim milk (1 cup) – 8 grams
How much should you take?
Let’s say you are a sedentary person that doesn’t do much sports, in this case if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be consuming at least 60 grams of protein a day. They say you just need to multiply your bodyweight by 0.4 .
Now, depending on your sport, fitness goals and active lifestyle, this is when it gets interesting. As we’ve discussed in our previous supplement post, protein helps with muscle-building, recovery, fuelling, synthesis and endurance.
Test Subject’s name is Matt. Matt is crazy, he weighs 150 pounds and every year he changes sport; but he wants to have muscle and a six-pack; well Matt’s protein intake had to be changed every year:
- Endurance Sports: Matt needs between 105 and 135 grams per day (that’s 4 salmon steaks – see what i mean when i said people don’t eat enough protein? – when’s the last time you ate 4 pieces of salmon in a day?) – about 0.8 grams of protein/ pound of body weight)
- Body Building: Matt now wants big lean muscle; he needs to eat anywhere between 150 – 240 grams a day (yes that’s from 1gram of protein for 1 pound of bodyweight – 1.8g/lb)\
- Power and Speed: Matt is getting into Crossfit, Plyometrics and wants to be cut. He needs from 135-165 grams. (average of 1g/lb)
So as much as possible get your protein from lean sources (almonds, chicken breast and beans are my favourites) but if you can’t then supplementation can help.
One of the biggest concerns people have with protein supplements is that they are scared they are going to gain weight and get big, but it really depends on your intake, and as with all foods, on how you are going to utilize the supplement. You need to time it properly, for recovery, it has to be taken within 30 minutes after the effort, for growth it can be taken before, after or even before going to bed. Also, if protein will make your muscles stronger and maybe bigger or more defined, what do you think they will be replacing? yes, fat.
To sum up, I’m a firm believer in protein supplement cycling as it has helped reach my goals. I take whey protein mostly for recovery, body function and lean mass, after my hard workouts, and I aim for 0.9 grams/ pound.
I’ve tried alot, but the best tasting so far are the Gold Standard ones or the GNC powders. I blend mine with a banana (for my carbs) and a cup of milk. Best shake ever.
If you want to know more or have questions or are wondering what type is best. check out this article first, before asking me haha! : http://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/protein-supplements