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The Power of Protein

Over the past few weeks, I have had more frequent conversations with clients about diet. It occurred to me that this might be a good place to share my ideas on the subject. But before I do let’s start with a very important disclaimer. I am NOT a nutritionist. Not that I put a lot of stock in what passes for nutrition science. To be honest much of the mess we as a nation have found ourselves in over the last 40 years is directly attributable to the dissemination of bad and biased research. If you’re looking for proof look no further than the disastrous increase in obesity and obesity related diseases we’ve seen in the past three decades, inspired in no small part by a nationwide experiment in low fat diets.

The knowledge I do have largely comes from personal experience and anecdotal feedback. To that end please understand your personal mileage my vary. What I am doing and what currently “works” for me may not work for you. I encourage you to be curious, experiment, and find what does work for you. The good news is the feedback on dabbling with your diet comes relatively quickly. You’ll know soon enough if a change is helpful or not.


Okay, this is the big one. When I talk to clients about dietary changes this is the first one I make. Odds are, you aren’t getting enough. The recommendation for healthy adults is around 3/4 of a gram per pound of body weight. If you are strength training, make that a full gram. Some bodybuilders and powerlifters push that as high as 1.5 g/pound of body weight or even higher.

If you’ve just done some mental math, you’re right, that is a lot of protein and it is way more, I bet, than you’re currently getting. Using myself as an example I aim for 1 gram per pound of body weight and that puts me (currently) with a target of 245 grams. Notice I said target. I say this because 245 grams is a LOT of protein and most days I don’t hit this total. But it’s what I aim for and by aiming I ensure that I do get more protein than I otherwise might. That in turn leads to higher satiety between meals, curbs my sugar craving, and keeps my endurance and energy levels up.

I usually start my day with coffee. 1 cup, black. I’ll train my first client and then get my own workout in fasted. After my workout I’ll get a second cup of coffee and follow that up with a protein shake. I use Metabolic Drive Vanilla. It’s 20 grams of protein per serving and tastes good enough that I can drink it plain mixed with water. To that first shake I add AFA, a green algae micro nutrient supplement from Saluz, and 5 grams of creatine. I also take a mushroom tincture from Saluz and 4500 mg of l-arginine and l-citruline, amino acids that help with vasodilation. I take these to help keep my blood pressure down and to help with heart health in general. Sometime between 10 and 12 I get my first “food” meal. I usually eat 5 or 6 eggs (6-8 grams of protein depending on the source) with toast, or leftovers from last night. I get another shake (just protein and water this time) around 3:00 pm and dinner is around 7:00 or 8:00. Dinner is a couple chicken thighs, or a steak, maybe a hamburger or two that I made myself. Dinner protein is usually accompanied with roasted potatoes or rice, and a salad or some kind of veg.

Here’s how a typical day breaks down for protein:

2 protein shakes = 40 grams

6 eggs = 36 to 40 grams

3 chicken thighs = 84 grams

Total = 154 grams of protein. That’s a little better than half my goal.

On the days I get a steak I do better. Steak has 62 grams for a roughly 9 ounce portion. I prefer my steaks to weigh in around a pound or more so I can hit an excess of 100 grams in a single meal. I am considering doubling up on the protein in my shakes. Two scoops instead of one. I just haven't gotten my head wrapped around the added expense of more protein powder.

And now I can hear someone in the back saying, “I thought your body couldn’t handle more than 30 grams in a single sitting.” I, too, have heard that repeated for years. Current research suggests it’s not true. A recent study showed that participants could handle 100 gram boluses (single serving) of protein quite easily. With protein synthesis continuing to take place for hours after that high protein meal.

My own experience shows that the day after I get more protein my performance is better. I feel better. I feel stronger, more energetic. That just doesn’t happen with carbs alone. In fact immediately post a high carb meal I feel lethargic. All I want to do is lie down and nap.

Is this science? Not really. It’s my experience, influenced for sure by stuff I’ve read, but as far as I can tell that’s what all of life is. Your personal experience influenced to some degree by the shared experience of those you deem credible. Maybe that’s me, maybe it’s not. Regardless, I offer it to you freely and encourage you to do your own testing. Find out what works best for you. Just be honest with yourself and do your best to gauge how you really feel rather than trying to make yourself feel what others tell you you should. Hey, that sounds like a pretty good recipe for life.

Post Script:

I’ve included links to the products I use. These are all affiliate links and I do get a minor kick back from any purchases using these links . If you are currently using something you think is better feel free to comment below. Also, if you’d like to see me write more about food and my diet let me know.

Metabolic Drive, Whey Protein, Vanilla -

AFA - Use promo code squatch and save 20%

Protect, mushroom tincture -

L-Argine and L-Citruline -

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