Exercise! - How much protein if exercising?

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05-06-2007, 07:12 PM
Hey! I was reading some of the threads here, and I just wondered... Am I getting enough protein? I do some weight training every day (different muscle groups) as well as cardio machines. Here's what my FitDay overview says for averages:

Protein: 64 gm 19%
Carbs: 153 gm 41%
Fats: 53 gm 35%

Hmmm that only comes out to 95% total but oh well.

Do I need more protein?


05-06-2007, 07:21 PM
I like this table that Wndranne posted in Maintainers a few months ago:

From The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Monique Ryan, recommended protein amounts:

Sedentary adult: 0.4 g/lb body weight (or about 60 g/day for a 150 lb person)
Endurance athletes, moderate training: 0.45 g/lb
Endurance athletes, heavy training: 0.5-0.75 g/lb
Endurance athletes, very intense training: 0.8-0.9 g/lb
Strength training athletes, experienced: 0.5-0.7 g/lb
Strength training athletes, novice: 0.8 g/lb
Athlete restricting calories (all of us probably): 0.8-0.9 g/lb
Teenagers (growing): 0.8-0.9 g/lb
Maximum recommended: 1 g/lb

I do best when my protein is 40 - 45% of my daily calories - which works out to about a gram per pound or a little less - but everyone's needs and preferences are different. :)

05-06-2007, 08:10 PM
Huh! So it looks like I'm way under in my protein intake... and probably over in carbs and fats.

I think I'll try adjusting and see how that goes. Thanks!


05-06-2007, 08:21 PM
Jay, the first place I'd trim is your fat intake. Usually it's recommended that fats not exceed 30% of your calories. I did the math and it looks like you're averaging 1345 calories, so 30% would be 403 calories, which equals 45 grams of fat.

Then let's say you bumped your protein up to 100 grams - that would equal 400 calories. So now you're up to 803 (403 from fat and 400 from protein). That would leave you 542 calories for carbs, which equals 136 grams, not far from where you are now.

So your calories would stay the same, at 1345, and you'd be eating a 30P/40C/30F ratio.

Do you think a plan like that might be workable for you? :)

05-06-2007, 11:28 PM
Yes, Meg--that does sound workable. The only challenge will probably be finding protein without fat attached. :lol: But I've used whey protein powder in the past--that should help. I'll add it to breakfast shakes and things like that.

(Can't use soy protein--I react to it.)

I do think I've been "running low" on protein because sometimes by the 5th day at the gym, I feel weak--unable to "suck it up" as usual. The weights seem to get heavier... :wl: Also, I suppose I ought to rest every 3 days instead of going 5 straight days--what do you think? I do vary my weights so I'm not using the same muscles every day.

Thanks for the help!

P.S. FitDay gives slightly different numbers when I enter the grams. But I think that's OK.

05-07-2007, 06:51 AM
Fitday automatically subtracts fiber carbs from total carbs and I didn't. I think you should get the same numbers on fats (grams x 9) and protein (grams x 4). :)

Lean protein sources (without much fat) - how about egg whites (or Eggbeaters), LF cottage cheese, chicken and turkey breast, most fish and seafood (even the fatty fishes, like salmon, have good fats, so you could include them), and FF yogurt (I love Greek FF yogurt)?

PP is good too and I have the same problem that you do with soy. I buy packets of LC UltraMet (Champion Nutrition) and they're 36g of protein (230 calories, 6g carbs, 6g fat) so are an ideal meal replacement.

I think your gym experiences may have something to do with not enough protein because protein builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. If you're tearing down muscle and not fueling repair, I think you'd run out of energy.

I lift five days a week and do cardio 6- 7 days, and feel great. But I also eat 120 - 150 grams of protein/day, so that may have something to do with it!

Try resting every third day and see if that helps. But try increasing your protein too. :)

Be sure to come back and give us an update!

05-08-2007, 05:00 PM
OK now Meg this is just too weird.

Yesterday was my first day of getting close to 100 grams protein (98 gms actually), with fewer fats.

Today I weighed at the gym, as usual--and I've dropped a little over a pound since yesterday afternoon!


Now I know better than to say that just because one thing happens AFTER something else, there is cause and effect... But still! I have been trying to get BELOW 164 since April 18 and gone up down up down up... and I figured I was due to drop SOON, PLEEAASE!!! and so it's just weird! But I like it. :D

I'll let you know what it's like after a week!


05-08-2007, 05:10 PM
There's a thing called the thermic effect of food that accounts for about 5% of the calories you burn it a day. It's the calories used to metabolize food and apparently protein is harder to break down that carbs and fats (which don't even need to be metabolized to be stored as fat). So some people think that eating higher protein causes you to burn slightly more calories.

Of course, the effect is small and like you say, the scale drop is most probably coincidence. But it's interesting!

Congratulations on the pound and definitely keep reporting! :)

05-08-2007, 10:33 PM
Now I know better to say that just because one thing happens AFTER something else, there is cause and effect...

This made me smile! I hope my students learn this lesson in my research class this term!

But congrats on the pound, HOWEVER it happened! :D

05-09-2007, 03:46 AM
Hey wyllenn! Love the new photo! You look sooooo much younger! Congrats :)

05-14-2007, 07:15 PM
OK, well it's a week since I upped my protein and lowered my fat, and in the last week I have dropped 1-3/4 pounds!


:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

My average numbers for the past week:

Protein: 86 g 28%
Carbs: 140 g 41%
Fats: 40 g 28%

I also have to admit that I got stricter with my calories in vs. calories burned in the past week than I had been the week before--so that didn't hurt either. But I wasn't more tired with exercise.


05-14-2007, 07:36 PM
Good job Jay! Have you found yourself with more energy or feeling fuller longer?

I'm having a devil of a time getting my protein up above 100g a day, even with my giant calorie budget (2000-2200). I feel as though I'm constantly eating meat, fish, peanut butter and eggs and I still can't pull it off. I might have to resort to protein powder, but I am really loathe to do so.

05-14-2007, 08:08 PM
Thanks, baffled111! :D Yes, I haven't been feeling so weak by the end of my exercise week--and protein always helps me not to get hungry too quick.

I can't quite get my protein up to 100 g at the calorie level I'm at--at least not all the time. Can you eat cheese? You didn't list it. Lowfat cheese might work.

I had forgotten about peanut butter! I'll have to add that.

I don't mind the protein powder so much because I've used it before. I get a strawberry flavored one--not too bad, even in water. I can't use soy protein isolate, though--I react to it.


05-16-2007, 09:00 AM
i find it hard to get alot of protein just because its very rarely that I eat meat,and the only meat i do eat is chicken, fish and sometimes turkey so most of my high protein items are also higher carbs like beans.... im going to try to pay more attention to that.

Also, I just wanted to comment that it is argued that peanut butter is a fat source, not a protein source because the grams of fat are higher than the grams of protein, though they are healthy fats, still high cals due to cals from fat. So for *me* peanut butter is not a protein option.. It is definitely eatten in moderation.

Im thinking of adding protein powder to my oatmeal and other receipes, it seems to be a good alternative for me :)

Congrats on the weight loss!

05-16-2007, 04:47 PM
That's a good point about the peanut butter. It does have more fat than protein. But it's pretty yummy. One of my favorite snacks is 2 Ryvita crackers each with 1 tsp of peanut butter. 127 cals, 7g fat, 4g protein, 4g fiber. I'm not specifically looking to keep my fat low--just my protein high and my calories moderate--so it works for me and I have it almost every day.

My Kashi GoLean cereal has 13g of protein per serving, which seems like alot! With all the fiber (10g) and protein you'd think it would keep me full for longer than 2 hours, but, alas....

05-16-2007, 09:47 PM
I think the protein isolates, like the soy protein in Kashi Go Lean, get absorbed faster than a whole-soy food or a whole-protein food (like eggs, meat, etc.) and so one still gets hungry.

You're right about the peanut butter, Ready2Shed, it does have a lot of fat. So one has to be aware of that, just like the carbs with beans.

I like tuna as a snack with crackers. I add salsa to the tuna, the hotter the better, and salsa is very low cal. Caramba! Es muy delicioso! :lol:


05-16-2007, 09:55 PM
That is a very good explanation, Jay. I like it. I guess it still counts for muscle health, but certainly not for staying full.

Your tuna idea is intriguing, too. I haven't ever really come around to canned tuna but I should probably give it a try, mixed up with some stuff--an ersatz tuna 'dip'. I *love* seared ahi, but canned tuna seems dodgy to me. I always wind up putting peanut butter or 1/8oz of nice hard cheese on my crackers. Tasty, but not super-healthy.

05-21-2007, 07:27 PM
Just an update! It has now been two weeks since I adjusted my eating to getting more protein and less fat, and I have now dropped from 164 to 161--3 pounds! And I am not running out of steam and exhausted later in the week after exercising many days in a row.

:broc: :broc:

Here's what my FitDay has as my averages for the last 2 weeks:

Fat: 43 gms 30%
Carbs: 142 gms 40%
Protein: 87 gms 27%

(The missing 3% is fiber)

Calories eaten: 1,302
Calories burned: 1,955


05-21-2007, 08:00 PM
Jay, that's fantastic! You're going to be in the 150s in no time. :D

05-21-2007, 09:06 PM
That's great Jay! Congrats!

05-22-2007, 12:15 AM
YAY :woohoo: Jay!!!

05-22-2007, 08:59 PM
That's great, Jay :bravo:

I lift 4-5 days a week and do cardio 5-6. I feel best eating 45-50% protein. With eggs, LF cottage cheese, turkey, fish, chicken, more chicken, then more fish...and did I mention egg whites? and a good whey/casein blend protein powder, I find it very easy to eat about 150 grams per day.