Bodybuilding and Protein intake: It’s about the quality, not the quantity dudes (and dudettes)
Posted Oct 21 2012 1:36am
I can't say this is truly fact, just my opinion based upon experimentation.
Among's weightlifters, the is this tendency to put down as much protein, especially animal protein, as possible, to bulk up and build muscle.
I have found this to be a waste of time, for one simple reason, in that the human body can only process so much of that protein that goes into the body.
Just like those many people trying to lose weight by counting their calories, weightlifters tend to count their grams of protein per day, with many of the "protein zealots" taking in several hundred grams a day.
Having always had the opposite weight problem that many have, that is, me finding it hard to put on weight as opposed to those desperately trying to lose weight, it seems that what works better for me is to focus on protein sources that are highly absorbable and processable by the body.
Me, being the typical guy, always trying to get a 'bod like the guy pictured above (uh, well maybe somewhat like his body in symmetry, but slightly less big), went though the phase of buying wheel barrels of chicken breast, and even trying the 10 raw egg shakes (the raw egg thing lasted about 2 weeks for me), my longest steak was putting down 2 to 4 of cans of canned tuna every day for a year or so in my early thirties.
In in the end, putting down all that animal protein every day, normally for commercially processed chicken and cattle, or high mercury canned tuna in toxic lined cans, doesn't create more muscle, but in reality only creates more stress on the body. A better approach is to go with smaller servings of more quality protein, which should allow for more to be absorbed by the body.
Studies have shown that a 30 gram serving of conventionally raised beef or chicken, the body may only process a few grams of that meat, compared to a smaller portion of grass fed beef, or pasture raised chicken, as well as compared to a high quality protein powder for smoothies, with a full spectrum of highly processable amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
I chuckle at my "wolfing down" protein phase, because none of it really worked, especially since the more I worked out, the more I slimmed down because I drop body fat so easily. Personally I still can't find that holy grail of the ultimate bulking up technique, of course I would never try steroids of human growth hormones, it ain't that serious. (Steroids? I wont even put McDonalds in my body). But, I have few techniques which have move me up from about 185 lbs like I was in my 20's to near 200 today.
I do love the challenge, I'd love to get to about 218, I think that fits a 6'2" slim frame more nicely, I suppose partially for male ego, but also for mental focus via weightlifting, learning more about nutrition, having fun with new weightlifting techniques, and all the rest. I guess I'll never get the bod of the first guy above, but I do strive to have a 'bod that someone (preferably female) might say, "damn, that dude has a nice bod for his age".
Anyhoo, I've learned that what works best for me, since I doubt if I ever become a vegetarian, is to have a hybrid intake of high quality protein, mainly Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, pasture raised eggs (not raw, mostly scrambled in coconut oil), occasional high quality pasture raised chicken (or at least chickens fed with organic feed), and finally and equally and perhaps more important, as I volumtarinly choose to decrease, not elimiate, my intake of animal protein as I get older, a daily intake of extremely high quality plant based protein, my current favorites are Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder.
One reason I love Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder in my smoothies is because it has a full amino acid profile, unlike many of the others that may be lacking one or two of the amino acids. That lack of an amino acid makes it difficult for that protein to be converted into muscle. The ingredient list of Garden of Life Raw protein Powder is as follows :
So, when it's all said and done, think logically about the high protein intake thing. I do know the few times I tried to cut all animal protein, I lost a lot of muscle, so there must be a happy medium between not enough protein and too little, as it pertains to weightlifters and other exercise fanatics trying to put on muscle. In the end we have to experiment, think out of the box, and pay attention to what works best for us.