Protein Timing, PART 1

proteinI have received countless questions from newbies and ‘oldies’ alike on how much protein they need and when to take it. I have heard ridiculous stories about how some guys chugged 60 g worth of whey protein in 1 sitting… although I have to admit, that is somewhat funny to hear. As part of my obligation as a coach and a teacher, I want to guide those of you who want to start getting ripped the proper, natural and healthy way.

How much Protein Is Too Much?

Truthfully, I do not know the right answer. If you google this subject, you will find different opinions on how much each individual should take, with complex equations involving your lean body mass %, and your weight in kilograms. Math is not my strongest point (I can only do hardcore algebra and partial differential equations from my engineering degree), so I like to keep everything simple. From my previous research, I know that recommends 1 g of protein per lb of bodyweight. Simple enough?

However, after talking to numerous fitness instructors, professional bodybuilders and fitness models (that’s one of the perks living in Hollywood), I have heard multiple opinions on this as well, varying from 1 g to 2 g per lbs of body-weight. But there is another issued the needs to be address: the simple fact that most people can ONLY digest up to 1.5 g of protein per lb of bodyweight. So imagine you’re a 200 lbs guy at 6’2 tall, then the max you should have is 300 g of protein in your daily diet. That is a lot of protein!! But if your body doesn’t need or can’t use that much protein, the excess protein will be ‘flushed’ away or stored as bodyfat. Either way, you’re stressing your kidneys, whose job will be filtering the excess protein out of your body.

In my personal opinion and based on my own experience, I prefer to have around 1.2 or 1.3g/lbs bodyweight. I usually try keeping my total protein intake around 200 g and have the rest of my calories coming from good complex natural carbs. I do recommend that for new guys, 1g/lbs bodyweight might be a good place to start since you might not need that much protein to begin with; while those who are already lean and fit, can then attempt the 1.3 g/lbs bodyweight.

IMPORTANT: You should have at least 50% of your total protein intake from whole food like eggs, poultry, fish, beans, etc. Do not rely too much on drinking whey or any other liquid protein.

Another mistake that I’ve heard many times is how much liquid protein should be consumed per sitting. Some people have doubled up the dose on the whey serving, while others have mixed an extra whey into their serving of Shakeology. If you do drink Shakeology, you should know that there is around 18 g of whey isolate, and adding a separate serving of whey will make your shake has around 30+ g of protein. I do believe that is too much whey/liquid protein for 1 sitting. Just to be safe, it is better to have around 25 g or less of protein per sitting, unless, of course you’re a 250 lbs muscular college football player 😉

I’d also like to speak to the people who use Mass Gainer to gain weight: I believe that you should try to consume whole food at all times. But if you do need to eat over 3000 calories (because you’re very active and have too fast of a metabolism), then you can be on Mass Gainer. But beware of marketing scams on most weight gainer products! Most brands out there will promote that they have 60+ g of protein per serving with 1000 total calories of liquid food. Think about it, is this healthy? And if you look at the Nutrition Guide, 1 serving of the weight gainer contains 4 scoops. The best approach on weight gainer, in my opinion, is to split the shake up to be consumed throughout the day. Perhaps drink 1/3 of  it in a single serving, 3x per day, spaced out evenly.

Now……  when is the best time to consume whey? Stay tuned for Part 2 in a couple of days!