August 5, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Protein and Weight Training

Using your calculation I should be getting 54 grams of protein a day, which is not a problem.

I have started strength training, [so] should I up my protein intake?

If so, by how much?

-- Chris (last name unknown)
Via the blog

As you have figured out, protein requirements are extremely easy to meet.

A three ounce portion (as large as the palm of your hand and no wider than your pinky) of salmon or chicken provides 27 grams, a sandwich consisting of two slices of whole wheat bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter adds up to 24 grams, a cup of milk delivers 8 grams, half a cup of lentils packs in 9 grams, and 23 almonds (one ounce) clock in at 6 grams.

Since the 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the minimum requirement, you you can safely double that intake – in your case, I would suggest not surpassing the 110 - 120 gram point.

As far as strength training is concerned, I’m assuming you want to know if upping protein intake will help you gain muscle mass.

The answer is both “yes” and “no.”

Acquiring muscle mass is achieved by shocking muscle groups and eating additional calories.

Some of these calories will surely come from protein, but also fats and carbohydrates.

Many people make the mistake of concentrating solely on protein, missing out on excess calories. Without more calories, you will not put on muscle mass!

Let’s say you currently eat 2,000 calories and 90 grams of protein a day.

A 1,700 calorie diet with 160 grams of protein is a lot less effective at helping you gain mass than a 2,500 calorie diet with 95 grams of protein.

The best suggestion I can give you is in regards to timing.

Be sure to eat a snack that contains complex carbohydrates and protein no later than 45 minutes after your workout for optimal glycogen refueling. A glass of skim milk and a tablespoon of peanut butter on whole wheat toast is one good example.


Chris said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I always appreciate your answers and clear writing style. Not to mention your willingness to donate your time and expertise free of charge. Thank you for providing such a great resource.

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