Pro Bodybuilders eat about one gram (sometimes even 1.5 grams) of protein per pound of body weight or per pound of non-fat tissue. I’m sure you’ve seen that the recommended daily allowance is well below that. Some experts suggest getting just 10% to 15% of your calories from protein. I suggested you split the difference, track your results and up your levels if you’re not getting the results you want.
You’re probably wondering why there’s such a large difference between the recommendations for most people and the amount of protein that bodybuilders tend to ingest.
Let’s clear this up…
First off, keep in mind that many of the recommendations are aimed at those who are sedentary or those who only do light exercise. Since you’re lifting weights and trying to build muscle, you need more protein to fuel this activity.
You may have even heard that too much protein damages the kidneys. So you have to wonder, is upping your protein really a good idea?
“If you’re scared go to church”
Naw, I’m jk, but seriously if you’re concerned about damaging your kidneys my suggestion is that you consult with your doctor. Tell him or her about your weight lifting and your need for more protein. If need be, request tests to make sure that your kidneys are healthy and functioning well. People with kidney problems should NOT eat that much protein.
Most healthy people have no problems processing more protein than the recommended daily allowance. Point is, I’m not a doctor… it’s always a good idea to clear your nutrition and exercise with your doctor (and a nutritionist, if you’d like).
Where to Get Protein
As I mentioned in the last post the best sources of protein are animal proteins. That’s because these are complete proteins, which include all the essential amino acids your body requires.
The downside of getting your protein from meat is that meat is often fatty – and not the good kind of fat. With that being said, you’ll want to choose lean, low fat cuts of meat. Also, be sure to trim the fat from your meat, remove the skin, and DON’T deep fry it.
Here are some great sources of lean protein:
Whey and egg-white protein. These are both fast-absorbing proteins that you can use to supplement your regular diet. The best time to ingest this sort of protein is right beofre and right after a weight-lifting session.
Lean cuts of beef, including lean ground beef and top round steak. Avoid the fatty cuts like rib eye and prime rib.
Chicken (especially white meat).
Milk and other dairy products such as cheese.
Tuna and other types of fish.
Lamb and veal.
Note: The above list emphasizes the complete animal proteins.
You can also get incomplete proteins in smaller amounts from:
Nuts, legumes, seeds, grains, tofu and vegetables (especially broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens).
That’s it for this one. Next time you’ll learn about a much-needed component of your diet that many overlook – and their results suffer for it! See you next time!