How much protein should I eat?
When my youngest brother Adrian first started training, I always stressed the importance of protein. I got on him about getting enough protein in. He finally asked me once:
“How much protein do I need?”
I’m obviously not smart enough to answer this nor will I pretend to be.
There seems to be lots of confusion here. I’m going to attempt to single in on an answer. I searched far and wide to find out what the deal is here.
What’s the scoop on getting in enough protein on a daily basis?
What did the experts had to say about protein per day?
What are the rules for eating protein?
My favorite trick used to be to have 30 grams of protein upon waking up. I really never understood the gram of protein per pound of weight laws.
What did the experts have to say?
Strength Sensei on protein consumption:
“For males, who aim at increasing muscle mass and strength gains, if you only train once a day, 2 g a kg should be more than enough (for women 1.2g /kg of bodyweight).”
Bodybuilding.com on how much protein we should be consuming on a daily basis:
“Protein intake ranging from 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to one gram per pound or more can be beneficial for an individual involved in an intense training program.”
That’s a ton of protein. That means that I need 180 grams of protein per day. I squeeze a ton of protein in, but I’m not sure if I ever manage to get this much in. I just don’t want to get to the point where I’m forcing myself to eat a chicken breast or egg whites.
What did MSNBC have to say on how much protein to eat per day?
“Between 10 percent and 15 percent of your total calories should come from protein. So, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, at least 200 should come from protein, or about 50 grams. You should try to eat around one gram of protein per one kilogram of body weight, or around 0.4 grams per pound.”
This is a bit more realistic. That’s about 72 grams of protein per day for me. However, the article was clearly designed for a more mainstream audience and not the hardcores like us that train away even on holidays.
Every expert has their own opinion on this and there are all kinds of fitness rules. So I finally wanted to check out one more of my favorite fitness sites before I concluded with an answer
Mark of Mark’s Daily Apply also chimed in with:
“Are you actively trying to pack on muscle mass, and working out accordingly? You can use a lot more protein, up to and perhaps even over 1g/lb bodyweight.”
The general consensus for anyone that trains like a swinger and wants to put on lean muscle, needs about one gram of protein per pound.
That sounds simple enough.
Is this even possible though?
How much protein should I eat?
Someone once asked me about how much protein I consume on a daily basis. I couldn’t answer. I have LITERALLY no clue!
My rules for consuming enough protein to fix/repair muscles are simple:
- Start my day off with protein. The first meal of your day should be filled with protein. This is by far the best way to start your day, every single day. Unless you’re on the intermittent fasting program like yours truly.
- Eat protein with every meal. I try to have a source of protein with every single meal. For example, I’ll have veggies with egg whites or beans with chicken. I try to add any possible protein source into my meals. You won’t have to worry about counting calories if you follow this rule.
- Replace crappy food with high-protein food. This is by far one of the most important rules if you want to look great. All you have to do is replace a poor choice of food with a strong source of protein. Ditch the Big Mac and replace it with a chicken breast. Throw that pizza slice away (sometimes) and grab a can of tuna.
This leads to one final question about consuming protein…
How can I afford to eat a ton of protein?
It’s not easy at first to get in enough protein into your system. It’s actually very discouraging when you first try to get into the whole high-protein diet world.
My best tips for finding cheap protein are:
- Cans of tuna. Have you ever seen how much protein is actually in one little can of tuna? It’s a lot. The best part is that a can only cost a dollar or two. I once found a sale where I bought a can for a dollar and each can had 60 grams of protein. That’s pretty impressive.
- Protein powder on sale. Powders always go on sale. While they’re not the best option, it’s a great way to squeeze in protein into your diet when you’re super busy or always on the go.
- Buying chicken/beef in bulk. Whenever chicken goes on sale I buy it in bulk. You can always find some good deals on meat. The best part is that chicken is easy to prepare. All you need is a frying pan and maybe a few minutes.
- Cans of beans. Another source of protein. Very cheap and easy to prepare. I’m a sick man and I eat straight out of the can.
Anyone reading this can afford a high protein diet. I promise you that.
[Check out: Start here to get going if you’re still confused!]
How much protein do you eat? What has worked for you?
If you’re going to train hard and if you want to feel amazing, you absolutely need to get enough protein in or else you’re just wasting time.