Eating the Proper Amount of Protein
By Michelle Falsetta
I hear a lot of conflicting theories about the how much protein is
required for making consistent gains. I have been training for 4 years and
would like to enter a bodybuilding competition but I want to go into it
knowing everything there is to know. Or at least not going in blindfolded.
Can you give me a more general answer?
There is no quick answer that
I can give you. However, I am used to people picking my brain so here you
On the average, bodybuilders
are often mislead by all the supplement hype in the media today. The number
one question I get asked from men and women is about how most pro
bodybuilders consume 400 to 500 grams of protein per day and use it all.
Here are some facts about
protein...It takes about one gram of protein for every two grams of
bodyweight just to maintain the weight you already have. It takes 30
to 50% more protein to facilitate new growth. This is assuming you are
training correctly. (Most people don't)
This only pertains to 100%
usable protein that's been properly absorbed and synthesized into usable
nitrogen. What I mean by this is that all protein is NOT created equal. For
instance, soy beans, eaten whole will leave the body the same way they
entered it; undigested. So, instead of the 90% of protein the soy bean is
made up of, your body will only absorb 10 grams out of a 50 gram
Now, your body only uses
the equivalent of about 10% of your total bodyweight in protein grams per
digestive cycle. (are you still with me)? The only exception to this is
if you are not eating adequate carbohydrates to meet your body's energy
requirements. In this case, your body draws on your protein stores for
energy, which will intern reduce the protein available for maintenance and
growth. These facts are very important because if you don't understand them,
you will be on a protein "merry-go-round".
It is critical that you ingest
the proper amount of the "right" kinds of fat so that your
body properly metabolizes the protein and that you take in sufficient
carbohydrates to spare all your usable protein without over
supplying glycogen, which will be quickly stored as body fat.
Kathy, you mentioned you want
to know everything there is to know about proper nutrition prior to entering
your first bodybuilding show. I certainly do not know everything and neither
will you. However, knowing the basics and perhaps a little beyond that will
certainly put you on the road to success.
I wish you luck!
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