Dialing In: Protein Intake


Sometimes, fitness science really seems to point in opposite directions, leaving those of us who are secondary or tertiary researchers lost in the wilderness. The question of how much protein to consume is one such topic. I have seen articles by vegans who claim that humans need minimal protein, articles by raging carnivores stating that they require 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to survive, and everything in between. 

With subjects, like this, I try to take the safest approach, and I like to lean on my own experience. I had a vegan month where I wanted it not to be so (mostly because of volatile gas levels due to the sheer amount of beans that I was consuming), but all I know is that when I track my protein intake and get enough of it, I notice muscle and strength gains much more quickly than when I don’t. I try and eat about 1 gram per pound of body weight. 

For some of us, getting enough protein isn’t really an issue. It all depends on the specific person; their likes and dislikes, budgets, and availability of certain foods. As much as I love meat and cheese, my diet by default does not contain as much protein as I’d like, mostly because I’m cheap.

So, here is a short list of foods that don’t steal your rent money but deliver a lot of protein-per-penny. I’d encourage you to add a few of these that aren’t already in your diet to what you eat each day, and see if you don’t see results more quickly.

  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Beans
  • Chicken breast
  • Whey Protein Powder (seems expensive, but when you do the math the amount of protein you get is great).
  • Cottage cheese
  • Nuts (watch the fat)
  • Cheese (same as above)
  • Milk
  • Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies (Have this with coffee before your workout. Trust me). 
  • Pork rinds
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