An adequate amount of protein is imperative to getting stronger (keeping in mind that getting stronger is different from getting bigger or getting leaner). I think a generally accepted principal regarding protein intake is roughly a gram per pound, even more if you are trying to get bigger. I may have mentioned before, that I weigh about 155, but sometimes swing a bit in the 152-158 pound range. Ideally, I would like to tack on at least 5-10 pounds of muscle over the coming months.
That is easier said than done (at least for me), though I am trying. On a good day, I probably get about 50% of my necessary protein from food. That leaves another 75-80 grams to get from supplements, which could be a few protein shakes and/or bars. The issue for me, though, is if I have a few protein supplements, I can’t eat as much normal food. Pretty frustrating.
Another issue regarding my overall protein intake/diet/strength training goals is the fact that I run and cycle so much. I am not trying to really get much bigger, just stronger, so I don’t thing the cardio is hurting me too much. However, it saps my body and I need to refuel, which means I need complex carbs, and equally as important, hydration. According to Marc David’s column on JustAskMarc.com, someone with my level of daily activity needs at least 124 oz. of water a day. Let’s just say that is about 2 gallons, or 16 8 oz. glasses or water a day. Of course, this does not factor in the added effects of too much alcohol or caffeine (a topic for another time).
So, between my cardio and strength training, I need to eat and drink a whole LOT. And, not of foods that I necessarily want, as I described in Tuesday’s post. I wish there were a contraption I could hook myself up to each morning to shoot my body up with enough protein, carbs, and hydration (please let me know if you know of one!), but until then I will be a non stop chugalugging and chowin’ down machine!