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 Protein - how much is enough

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porco_espinho

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PostSubject: Protein - how much is enough   Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:50 pm

Quote :
This post has been split from here as the topic changed to protein - Note from Pete

Jay,
Thanks replying. Could you please advise whether you have been able to gain muscle mass while being a vegan? I am just new to all this and trying to find out what is the best vegan protein to take. I am currently experimenting with hemp and rice but would love to get insights with your experience in athletics. Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Protein - how much is enough   Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:38 am

porco_espinho wrote:
Jay,
Thanks replying. Could you please advise whether you have been able to gain muscle mass while being a vegan? I am just new to all this and trying to find out what is the best vegan protein to take. I am currently experimenting with hemp and rice but would love to get insights with your experience in athletics. Thanks!

I don't think being vegan gives a person an advantage but not really a disadvantage either, except for inconveniences with eating out. I had lifted weights very hard and consistent for more than a decade before I went straight from omnivore to vegan. I managed to gain a very little after becoming vegan. So for example, I've never been very good at bench presses. Only managed 285 previous to being vegan. Got 300 as a vegan. But I maybe could have gotten 300 when I ate meat also. Possibly just didn't try the few times I could have got it.

As far as protein and protein shakes. Right now I eat like maybe 40 grams of protein a day and simply just don't worry about it. In the past I've experimented with up to over 300 grams a day for extended periods of time (years spent over 200 a day.)

I would call getting 200 grams of protein a day, "protein stuffing". And I think it results in a strength gain of 5 to 15%. But it's not cumulative, you don't gain more and more strength as a result of protein stuffing for years on end. It's more like priming a pump. You get this little extra boost of strength that you hold on to only exactly for as long as you continue to stuff in the protein. As such it's understandable to protein stuff if you're in a strength sport and competing. Otherwise, not really worth the hassle in my opinion.

But for protein stuffing I actually liked rice protein shakes best. Even though this is supposedly a very incomplete protein, the whole complete/incomplete protein thing is vastly overhyped. The body holds on to the various essential amino acids and doesn't need to get them all at once at each meal in order to build muscle.

I liked rice protein shakes because I thought they tasted the best. And I clearly noticed my strength was just as good on them as on the others. Other people claim pea protein is the best as it's complete (I seriously didn't like the taste of it). Other people say the same of soy (it's also relatively "complete".) I try to not eat too much soy. My body just doesn't like a lot of soy. And I really didn't like the taste of the one hemp protein powder I tried but there are surely other brands I haven't tried. I'm sure there are plenty of brands I haven't tried that might taste good. And it's been a few years now, perhaps some better versions have been made. Also individual tastes vary of course.

I'll tell you quite honestly though, and heh, I'm sorry to sound negative about this but I personally for a while ate so much rice protein shakes that I started to have issues with using the bathroom. Things were coming out like rocks unfortunately. This also could have been related to just that one brand.

I've come to the conclusion really that protein shakes are really just not a very natural food and perhaps protein stuffing is really just not so good for one's health. Perhaps simply eating healthy natural food is better.

As I've gotten older I've become far more interested in increasing my strength to body weight ratio then in worrying about gaining size or mass. I think this is really a smarter direction to go in. And for that I've found to my surprise that simply eating whole fruits (not fruit juices) does more for that then anything.

But for a good tasting protein shake, I liked rice (I forget which brand, I recall there was a rice protein brand also that I didn't like at all) with frozen blueberries, rice milk, maybe a banana and possibly some flax seed.

Otherwise lentils soups are good. And mixing hummus with vegetables.

The most impressive strong people I've known by the way (the ones who weren't taking steriods, etc), didn't do the whole protein stuffing thing. They did seem instead to primarily eat a lot of fruit and just in general eat really healthy, not much processed food. But yes, protein stuffing will result in a boost in your strength, that will last for exactly as long as you continue to protein stuff...
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PostSubject: Re: Protein - how much is enough   Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:38 am

I would say you tend to get better results if hypertrophy is your goal & you go very high with protein. I'd say you almost certainly need above what an average person needs to stay healthy to achieve maximum strength goals, but no where near what a bodybuilder needs to achieve maximum hypertrophy.
Younger people might well need more protein, but also calories in general, so the % might not actually be so different. A serious lifter in their teens or early 20's might easily need 5,000 calories or more to get up to some big lifts, obviously that's a fair whack of protein right there if you eat a variety of foods (that include some higher protein sources).
I'd say first off work up in calories in general & save protein for convenience meals. If you have problems of stuff 'coming out like rocks' then try adding ground flax to your shake as you'll get healthy fats & plenty of fibre to smooth the passage. If you find getting the meals impossible without a protein shake or two, then consider adding spirulina, greens powder or something to add so other nutrients to it as protein powder is mainly...well protein & has little vitamin, mineral or antioxidant benefit, so trying to make more like a meal would be beneficial I believe.
I don't think there is a 'best' protein powder, I have used several, just find one you like, or vary them if you like it doesn't really matter. Just be sure to eat to suit your goals.

If you're after pure strength or athletic performance I'd say focus on that goal totally, you often can't get 6-pack abs & lift a huge weight or play a sport at elite level. You 'may' get them as a side effect, but you shouldn't work towards them as they are not a goal - stick to your goal. If it is to lift 600 pounds, then focus on that. If that means a thicker waist, then a thicker waist is what you will have, if it's to be a pro American footballer, then 8% bodyfat isn't what you want anyway, fat stops injury, so 14-16% fat is a better goal if you want to stay injury free anyway, don't mix your goals. If you're setting them right now pick one basic goal (like getting bigger, getting stronger, getting better at my sport, getting buff whatever), but ONLY one major goal, then work from there. So say you want to get strong for powerlifting, now we can set numbers. We can see where you are right now, where you want to get to by the end of 2010 & work out how we can reach that goal, getting to work with coaches that can help you, join clubs that will motivate you (or if you train at home getting people to train with that will drive your training up) etc etc. It's a campaign & you should plan it as such...sure it will be fun (in a torture under the bar kind of way), but it also has to be planned. Now this plan has to be flexible as you may suffer injury or you may even surpass what you expected, so you have to be willing to adapt, but try to make sure every aim fits your goals, so if it's to hit a massive powerlifting total (in this example), you don't cut for summer so you look buff on the beach, beach-buff doesn't do it on the platform, so forget the abs & keep on with the grinding out those heavy plates!
But your eating must reflect your goals, just as your training must reflect your goals, you need both in place to succeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Protein - how much is enough   Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:13 am

Here's an interesting article that talks about protein intake that just appeared on my google search thingie today (I have searches going all the time for the word vegan amongst other things so I can dig up relevant stuff as it appears). Although it's called "How To Build Crazy Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet". He actually talks about being a herbivore ,which would mean vegan, not a veggie & has some interesting points. I've actually tried carb cycling myself in the past. To be honest I wouldn't need it unless I really wanted to dip into low % bodyfat, which isn't now as I'm still on a strength goal, as I think I need to get stronger & bigger before I even consider seriously cutting & carbs really don't affect me so much as I'm a real carb burning machine.
Several points of interest Coach Dos is actually a vegan, I've had some contact with him in the past, Clarence Bass is a low % meat eater, meaning he does eat animals on occasion & isn't a veggie, as is Tony Gonzalez.
Hmm, I might split this thread into the nutrition section as it's moved onto protein in general
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PostSubject: Re: Protein - how much is enough   Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:01 pm

Jay:
Thanks. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences and perspectives on protein ingestion (& digestion). I find them very conforting as I would not like to depend on protein powders on the long run.

Pete,
Thanks for the bit on goal setting and focus. It hit a nail as sometimes I find myself working on too many (often divergent) goals at once.

Healthy and Happy New Year to both of you!
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PostSubject: Re: Protein - how much is enough   Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:26 pm

Pete wrote:
Here's an interesting article that talks about protein intake that just appeared on my google search thingie today (I have searches going all the time for the word vegan amongst other things so I can dig up relevant stuff as it appears). Although it's called "How To Build Crazy Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet". He actually talks about being a herbivore ,which would mean vegan, not a veggie & has some interesting points. I've actually tried carb cycling myself in the past. To be honest I wouldn't need it unless I really wanted to dip into low % bodyfat, which isn't now as I'm still on a strength goal, as I think I need to get stronger & bigger before I even consider seriously cutting & carbs really don't affect me so much as I'm a real carb burning machine.
Several points of interest Coach Dos is actually a vegan, I've had some contact with him in the past, Clarence Bass is a low % meat eater, meaning he does eat animals on occasion & isn't a veggie, as is Tony Gonzalez.
Hmm, I might split this thread into the nutrition section as it's moved onto protein in general
Good to hear he was at least right about Dos and Pearl. Wink There are of course many other people in just as good a shape as Bass and Gonzalez (who just aren't very well known) that are vegan. I might have to make another list some time.
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