Protein. Let’s talk.

It’s every bodybuilder’s favorite macronutrient and for good reason. It’s on the top of the list for discussion in lectures and round table discussions.

 

Protein is wonderful. It an essential part of our make up, is extremely satiating and is a true anabolic.

Though how much is too much ? Would it be too much if your kidneys exploded ??

Today I woke up to make my morning smoothie and decided upon something different. I was going to combine all the ingredients I use for my “usual” but would grind the nuts, grains and seeds to store in the fridge as a protein mix.

This got me thinking. While I am blessed to have studied nutrition and know how to create my perfect protein concoction for myself .. what about everyone else? Are they really still using synthesised products in an attempt to get their daily dose of the good stuff?

The answer is yes. Millions of people all over the world are still stuffing their bodies with flavoured powder in order to justify their protein intake.

Fitness professionals all over the world are still recommending a daily intake of approximately 1g per pound of body weight.

Well, isn’t it the building block to our body !? Yes. Of course. Protein is awesome… but..

You are consuming too much of it .

According to the FSC, a balanced diet is recommended to allow a daily protein intake of 50g. This is almost a quarter of what most athletes are consuming.

Dr Mike Roussell put’s it in plain text when he refers to protein saying “it can be downright dangerous”.

Excess protein can lead to calcium deposits as the body is attempting to alkalise and maintain it’s norml PH (somewhere between 7 and 7.4. You guessed it, this can lead to kidney stones and other urinary tract problems. Ouch !

So if excess protein is not conducive to a healthy body, why are we consuming pounds of supplements in an effort to become lean and mean ?

Not sure..

Absolutely, one upon a time when people weren’t health conscious and availability was low, there was a drastic need for a supplement to aid consumption of protein. These days with all the amino acid availability, what we need to look at is getting enough protein from food sources and less from synthesised chemicals containing harmful metals that will affect us long term.

So, we all know the downside to over consuming of protein and subjecting our bodies to large quantities of supplements filled with disease causing chemicals.. but what are the highest protein foods and how much do we need ?

If you consume meat and eggs, a combination of 1 or 2 of the following coupled with foods from the table below may actually give you all the protein you need.

Eggs

Eggs are one of those foods that always makes the top five list when it comes to nutrient density and high protein content. They should always come from organic, free range chickens to provide optimum nutrition to the body. 1 large whole egg on average contains:

  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a staple of bodybuilding building diets because it’s considered very high in protein. What isn’t taken into consideration is the health of the chicken, how it was manufactured and therefore what benefits it is actually bringing to the body. One serve of organic free range chicken breast of 50g contains on average:

  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 11.5 grams

Tuna Steak (Raw)

Tuna is one of the highest protein foods in the seafood department. A 50g serving of clean fish contains:

  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 11.7 grams

Vegetarian

If you prefer not to eat meat, you are not limited by choice !! The table below has kindly been outlined by the Vegetarian Althete sourced from the World Health Organisation.

You may be surprised to know how many foods actually contain protein.

Amino acid WHO Mg/ kg body weight WHO Mg/ 55 kg (121 lbs) WHO Mg/ 80 kg (176 lbs) Good dairy/egg sources (per 200 calories) Best vegan sources (per 200 calories)
I Isoleucine 20 1100 1600
Egg whites 2754 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 2022 mg
Watercress 1691 mg
Chard 1540 mg
Spinach 1322 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1474 mg
Kidney beans 1297 mg
L Leucine 39 2145 3120
Egg whites 4233 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 3540 mg
Watercress 3017 mg
Alfalfa seeds raw 2322 mg
Kidney beans 2103 mg
Tofu 2500mg
Sesame flour 2307 mg
Sunflower seed flour 2148 mg
K Lysine 30 1650 2400
Egg white 3358 mg
Cream cheese 2859 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 2784 mg
Watercress 2436 mg
Tofu 2253 mg
M Methionine+ C Cysteine 15 (total) 825 1200
Egg whites 1660 mg
Sesame flour 994 mg
Seaweed spirulina 908 mg
F Phenylalanine+ Y Tyrosine 25 (total) 1375 2000
Egg whites 2435 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 1856 mg
Cottage cheese 1489 mg
Cream cheese 1465 mg
Cheddar cheese 1363 mg
Cottonseed flour 1870 mg
Sesame flour 1596 mg
Kidney beans 1473 mg
Spinach 1428 mg
T Threonine 15 825 1200
Egg white 1942 mg
Watercress 2418 mg
Spinach 1496 mg
Sesame seed flour 1250 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1202 mg
Kidney beans 1230 mg
W Tryptophan 4 220 320
Egg white 673 mg
Mozzarella cheese 399 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 383 mg
Spinach 690 mg
Sesame flour 659 mg
Sunflower seed flour 451
Watercress 544 mg
Turnip greens 400 mg
Broccoli rabe 390 mg
Asparagus 322 mg
Kidney beans 303 mg
Oat bran 280 mg
V Valine 26 1430 2080 Egg white 3371 mg
Watercress 2491 mg
Mushrooms, white 193 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1703 mg
Sesame seed flour 1682 mg
Snow/snap peas 1595 mg
Kidney beans 1503 mg

Do your body a favour and find the healthy balance in your life.

If you have explored all avenues and are sure you require excess protein in your diet, consider protein swapping so you are not eating large quantities of foods and synthesised products that are harming your body long term.

Choose an array of foods from the table above to compliment your training and keep hormones controlled, thus providing better functioning, allowing better workouts and ultimately creating a more balanced body.

Our bodies are incredible machines that have the ability to provide us with strength, lean muscle mass, energy and functionality.

Give your body a chance by fueling it right and you may just be surprised what can be acheived.

Stay motivated and dedicated to your health.

Always committed to your success,

Marissa