Any Personal Trainers/Nutritionalists out there who can help answer these questions?

The deal: I’m a guy who’s about 5’6, between 135-140 pounds, and on an excerise and dietary routine to put on muscle mass. I’ve been told a variety of different things about what to eat and how, so I figured I’d put it out to you, my generous and knowledgable friends, on the Dope. (-:

I work out every other day with an intensive, full body work out lifting heavy weights to fatigue.

  • How many grams of protein should I take in during each meal? Considering the amount of caleries I am burning, what is the maximum amount of protein my body should be able to process in a given sitting (I’ve been eating every two to three hours as a general rule).

  • How many grams of protein does one egg white have, roughly?

  • I’ve heard that after a heavy workout, the body is able to take in and process a lot more protein than normal, like double the amount, as long as it’s within the first hour or something after the workout (I’ve heard it as being called “The Window of Opportunity”). Can anyone confirm or deny this? And if it’s true, how much more can the body take, and within how much of a time period?

Thank you, and have a sparkling day.

                      - Freewill39.

Sorry, I’m not sufficiently expert to answer your specifics. But according to Bill Phillips, and his Body For Life plan, each meal should contain one portion of protein, and a portion is simply defined as either what you can comfortably hold in your relaxed hand or will cover your flat outstretched palm.

Don’t know about your final question, but Phillips advocates deliberately NOT eating for one hour after the workout, forcing your body to burn some of its reserves.

Philips doesn’t know the first thing about post-workout nutrition.

I’ll dig up some links later, but you want protein, plenty of it, and quickly after an intense workout. You’d be hard-pressed to eat too much.

As far as protein recommendations, the general range I hear is 1-1.5 g per pound of lean body mass.

“As far as protein recommendations, the general range I hear is 1-1.5 g per pound of lean body mass”

Right, but that is per day, right? How about per meal, in a given sitting? I 've been told that if someone takes in more protein in a given meal than the body can handle, it goes unprocessed and eventually simply becomes fat.

I look forward to those links, and thanks for the help!

I’ve never heard a reputable source claim that there’s a reasonable upper limit on the amount of protein that the body can digest at once.

The best source for post-workout nutrition is John Berardi, who is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on post-workout nutrition. The main article is this one (part 2), with more information here.

I’ll also toss in an article on insulin, which is something that anyone interested in nutrition needs to know about.

it works like this, excess protein becomes deaminated in the liver and turns into glucose ( this is called gluconeogenesis, which literally means birth of new glucose ).

now, glucose ( in form of dextrose ) is a supplement in itself that bodybuilders use, so having a little extra produced out of protein in your liver is not that big of a deal.

window of opportunity refers to the fact that exercise increases insulin sensitivity of muscle. insulin is the main storage hormone which regulates carbs and protein, but not fat ( fat has its own storage hormone ).

a good postworkout shake consists of protein + dextrose ( dextrose is glucose ) glucose spikes insulin levels and insulin drives the glucose ( with protein ) into the tissues, both into your adipose tissue for fat storage and into muscle for muscle building. however as after workout your muscle is more sensitive to insulin more protein will be absorbed into muscle at this time, then if you ate same protein at other time.

now what happens if you simply take more protein and no glucose ? well basically the protein will turn into glucose, but that will take time, and you will miss the window of opportunity.

so basically dont be afraid of eating more protein, but also don’t think that you never need glucose in your shake.

i have over last year worked up to 120 grams protein in my during-workout shake. i drink that one over 3 hours that my workout lasts. at all other meals i take 50 grams.

basically i figure about 300 grams per day, and try to split that evenly into my meals. a meal every 2 hours would be ideal, but i am too lazy for that, so it works out to more like every 4 hours for me.

the idea is to keep blood protein leves high all the time. and thanks to your liver the protein is gone from the blood a few hours after you eat it, so you just have to eat again and again :slight_smile:

the main reason as far as i know why people dont take a lot of protein at once is cuz they literally can’t stomach it, they feel sick. guys who take 80grams at once already feel macho about the whole thing :slight_smile:

oh, one egg white has 7 grams of protein. and raw meat has i think 20-25% protein. so basically i no longer look at eggs or meat as sources of protein, not enough for me :slight_smile:

here is where i buy mine:

i use whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate and ion exchange whey isolate for my shake, cuz it doesn’t feel as thick and i can stuff more of it in my shake that way :slight_smile:

The MINIMUM protein someone putting their body under moderate stress is 1-1.5 grams per KILOGRAM (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) of body weight.

As a weight-lifter, you want your body in an anabolic state, and could probably handle anything you throw at it (if your kidneys work well and you have no history of gout).

You can easily get the amount of protein you need in your diet, especially if it includes lean meat (smoked ham, turkey, chicken without skin, fish, sirloin tips) and egg whites.

Do yourself a favor and spend the $75 for a one-hour consultation with a nutritionist. It’s money well spent.

Specifically a sports nutritionalist. Make sure they aren’t fat and out of shape. Nothing worse than somebody that can’t regulate how they eat telling you how to eat.

you certainly can, the question is whether you want all the saturated fat and cholesterol that comes with it.

also whey protein concentrate is just plain cheaper ( if you buy where i buy it ) per gram of protein than the sources you mentioned, yet it has a great amino acid profile.

of course it gets quite boring eating the same damn thing every day, so i also do meat etc … but i just eat that for fun.

It seems to me you are off track and trying to eat your way to muscle mass.
As a former trainer (ACE), I have successfully put mass on a lot of folks. But the ones who make the best gains are the ones who are most focused in their workouts. The reason for this, I believe, is that it is fairly easy to eat enough protien - even those who don’t work out can - it’s what you do with it that’s the tough nut.
In the lifting world, everyone has their own pet programs and ideas. The problem is that the genetically gifted throw the curve, so to speak (almost anything they do will make them grow. One of the best lay bodies I’ve seen to date was built on push-ups alone!).
Back to us mere mortals. You’ve got your intake advice, now let’s use it. For the first 6 mo of training stick with what you are doing. But I caution you to dig deep, focus and make sure you are really using your reserves. This is truely the hardest part and the heart of packing on mass. Use big movements and stay away from isolation exercises. For instance, 3x’s a week try this:
Ab work
Wide grip bench pressess
Power cleans
Standing barbell curls
Overhead presses
Cardio (15 min - light)
Put your heart and soul into this routine and you should blast through a sticking point or two. Lift heavy, use a spotter and NEVER sacrifice form. To do so is to court serious injury and you can’t grow sitting on the sidelines. Don’t overlook the importance of rest - I’ve made some of my best growth spurts when I took a week or two off.
From there move on to a split (upper bod Mon & Thurs, lower bod Tues & Fri - or one of the many variations thereof).
And remember, unless you are trying to look good at the party, getting big and STAYING big is a lifestyle, so don’t expect too much too soon. Steady wins the race.

Lots of luck.

hombre how do you call this a routine, it doesnt even adress Lats, which are only the biggest upper body muscle :slight_smile:

besides powerlifting movements like cleans are not appropriate for beginners, nor are they necessary for bodybuilders.

and anyway, his question was about diet, not workout splits. if you want to make best gains you need to have EVERYTHING in order: routine, diet, rest and in my case also steroids :slight_smile:

Lats are hit quite well during a proper clean.
YMMV, but I disagree, power cleans are excellent for someone far enough into a program to be interested in protien intake. They set a good foundation and develop good core stabilization for more complex moves farther into a routine.

“and anyway, his question was about diet, not workout splits.”
Yeah, I know. But as a trainer I’ve seen way to many people trying everything BUT hard work gain mass. The protien Q had been answered well enough - I just thought I’d ad my $.02 worth on mass training while we were on the topic.

Happy lifting.

OT as it may seem, Hombre has the right approach.

Eating and taking suplements WILL NOT make you strong if your training routine is innapropriate.

Steroids aside. You need to have a long hard look at your routine.

For 99% of people weight training every other day is simply overtraining.

Do the big 5 exercises, The Squat, The Deadlift, the Benchpress. (You can substitute the Benchpress for weighted Dips if you find them more productive), Chinning with extra weight, and finally the Standing Military Press.

Olympic lifts such as the Clean & Jerk are great but are very hard for the novice to learn/perform on his/her own.

You should experiment your workout rate, however most trainees that I come across (who ARENT on steroids or freaks of nature) gain best on 45-60mins every 5 DAYS.

My workout has evolved into something like this:

2x5 Deadlift/Squat (alternates every 5 days)
2x5 Weighted Dips/Military Press (alternates every 5 days)
2x5 Weighted Chin-ups

Progression if the weight every week, and adherence to strict form means constant progression. Training to failure is common.

Nutrition. Eat 4 knife and fork meals a day, with a balance of carbs, protein and fat, do some CV work every few days including stretches (yoga etc) and crunches/sidebends. Drink Milk if you can handle it.


Get in the gym!!!

From the OP:

“I work out every other day with an intensive, full body work out lifting heavy weights to fatigue.”

What makes some of you think that the OP is not training properly? Because he asked about nutrition but didn’t ask for training advice?

To Cuckoorex

I did say it was Off Topic (slightly), but the reason why I feel that he is not training efficiently is exactly because:

“I work out every other day with an intensive, full body work out lifting heavy weights to fatigue.”

I have personally followed this kind of high volume training (and worse) and lost muscle mass, and got weaker! This led me to concentrate on every other aspect of my strength training (nutrition, rest, etc) without addressing the core problem of chronic overtraining.

Just my 2 cents worth…

Eh, let’s leave the training advice for people who need or want it. There’s nothing in the OP to indicate that this guy is unsatisfied with his progress, so why drag it up?

To ultrafilter

The OP specifically states he is, “on an excerise and dietary routine to put on muscle mass.” He also describes his routine which could be read as an implication that he is under the impression that the problem is with protien intake - not his routine. The fact that he has “been told a variety of different things about what to eat and how” implies he is actively seeking advise to put on more mass that I took as an indication that he is unhappy with his gains.
Further, he specifically ask for help from “personal trainers”. As jimdigritz pionts out correctly, he is over-training. He came to the place that stamps out ignorance and got his money’s worth.
I could be wrong about all the above, but being in the biz I’m used to speaking the lingo and reading between the lines and decided to err on the side of helping.
Finally, tisk-tisking us for “drag[ging] it up” uses just as much band-width as genuine advise - even if it was not specifically, as you saw it, asked for.