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Protein and Masters Track Athletes, Masters Powerlifters

Protein and Masters Track Athletes, Masters Powerlifters

Low-hanging Nutritional Fruit for Masters Track and Masters Powerlifting (1)

If you are following my nutritional logs elsewhere on this site, you may have seen the small tables that appear at the bottom of the page (and if you follow on your phone, I’m sorry they’re so small—I haven’t found a way yet to make them appear bigger). If you look closely, you’ll see that my protein intake is usually pretty high, somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. There is a lot of information on the web that suggests the ideal ratio for muscle building is 1 gram per pound of body weight, and some weeks I can make that. But what I find is that it’s plenty hard to do so.

Here's my own experience of protein intake. Your mileage may vary.

First, yes, I do take a protein supplement. I buy mine from www.bulksupplements.com and have found their ordering and shipping to be fast and easy. A scoop of their whey isolate and a 12 ounce glass of light soy milk gives me 35.5 grams of protein, only 4 grams of fat, and 225 calories. For me, that is good bang for my protein buck.

But any more supplement than that in a day and my gut fills with gas. It’s not a real solution. The real solution has to come from other animal and plant sources of protein.

You could infer from my nutrition pages that I eat a lot of fish. I try to include fish two or three times a week. For instance, a six-ounce salmon filet will give you 43 grams of protein in a 300 calorie package with 4.5 grams of Omega-3 (that’s roughly twice your daily need of Omega-3).

Or a six-ounce piece of cod, which gives you almost 40 grams of protein in a 175 calorie package. We pair that up with great northern beans and tomatoes to make a fabulous fish stew, which gets you to 57 grams of protein and 450 calories. Cod is low fat, so the Omega counts are low, but then, so’s the overall fat.

And then there’s tuna (not Chicken of the Sea, though I like that a lot): see the dish of the week on my 12/7-13 Nutrition page, Tuna Nicoise, for a really well balanced 550 calorie meal, 39 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbs, 25 grams of fat. It's an amazingly filling (and beautiful) dish.

I know that lots of us pound the chicken down, and I do too. A 6-ounce breast, skinless and boneless, gives you 49 grams of protein and my favorite, boneless skinless chicken thighs, comes in at 40 grams for two medium thighs. But I can’t eat chicken every day without starting to cluck, whereas there’s enough variety in fish to keep me from getting tired of it.

So there you have ammunition to get most of your protein without supplements. Don’t forget eggs and dairy. Beans work too. So does quinoa. I even go for tofu once in a while. Those are all “complete proteins,” with a full arsenal of amino acids. The point is that you don’t have to feel like red meat is always going to be the answer if you want to get your protein on.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a steak once in a while . . .

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