Protein. The bodybuilder’s macronutrient. Rarely does a week at JKC elapse without a client asking Jon or myself some of the following questions:

  • How much protein should eat if I want to build some muscle?
  • What are the best sources of protein?
  • I know some people who take protein powder; should I?

To answer these questions definitively for all of you guys, Jon and myself thought it best to write a blog post that details the latest scientifically proven recommendations for protein consumption in the active population (All of you guys!)

How much protein should I eat if I want to build muscle?

The key here is the significance of the muscle building goal. I know that not all of the JKC Fit Fam want to look as swole as Schwarzenegger but if you want people to notice that you have been working out, you will need to build a little muscle in some key areas.

To do this you will need a certain amount of protein to assist in rebuilding your muscle tissue post-exercise. If you were to check Canada’s (very dated) Food Guide recommendations, you would find that they recommend an abysmal 0.8g/kg of protein. For me, that would equate to 78 grams/day. To put that in perspective, a 125 gram piece of chicken breast contains 39 grams of protein. Bang, two chicken breasts/day and I’m done…although I’d look more like Justin Bieber than just plain jacked.

You see, these recommendations are for the “average” population. However, as a member of the JKC Fam, you are considered members of the “athletic population”, that is, you engage of moderate to high-intensity activity multiple times per week, thus these recommendations do not apply to you.

So what do you need? Luckily, a recent study aimed to answer that question. Morton et al. 2018 examined 49 previous studies containing a combined 1863 participants looking for this answer. They found that to maximize effectiveness of resistance training anywhere from 1.6g/kg up to 2.2g/kg were optimal. So you don’t have to worry about the math, I’ve done it for you, simply find your weight in the table below and aim for at least the minimum number listed.

Weight in Pounds Weight in Kilograms 1.6g/kg/day 2.2g/kg/day
100 45 73 100
110 50 80 110
120 55 87 120
130 59 95 130
140 64 102 140
150 68 109 150
160 73 116 160
170 77 124 170
180 82 131 180
190 86 138 190
200 91 145 200
210 95 153 210
220 100 160 220
230 105 167 230
240 109 175 240
250 114 180 250

 

What are the best sources of protein?

Chicken? Eggs? Beef? Fish? Luckily for us, it has been scientifically determined what the best protein sources are. Proteins are rated based on their “biological value”, that is, the proportion of the protein from a particular food that is incorporated into the organism’s (your) body. Take a look at the table below. It ranks the biological value of numerous proteins. As many tables use whole eggs as the “gold standard or 100, this chart will do the same. The closer a score is to 100, the better. Note whey protein powder is much higher than 100, and since the rules of “The Price is Right” don’t apply here, going over is actually desirable. Also, just so you can get an idea for how much you need to eat to satisfy your daily protein needs, I have included the amount of protein in a typical serving of each item.

Item Biological Value Grams of Protein Per Serving
Whey Protein Powder 159 25 g/scoop
Whole Egg 100 7 g/extra-large egg
Cow’s Milk 91 9 g/cup
Cottage Cheese 84 28g/cup
Tuna 83 30 g/100 g serving
Beef 80 26 g/100 g serving
Chicken Breast 79 31 g/100 g serving
Yogurt (Greek) 68 23g/cup
Rice 59 2.7g/100 g serving
Oatmeal 55 2.4 g/100 g serving
Bread 54 9 g/100 g serving

Adapted from: http://www.fitstep.com/2/2-how-to-build-muscle/eating-for-muscle-growth/protein-quality-chart.htm

I know some people who take protein powder; should I?

This is highly dependent on the person. Basically, if you can achieve your daily recommended protein amount as specified above, then no, taking protein powder will not be of great benefit to you. However, if you find it difficult to get the daily recommended amount, then supplementation with a quality protein powder is highly recommended as they are very easy to utilize, simply add water and away you go. One that you could use would be something like Hemp Protein Powder – Hemp PrO. This is perfect for people like physicians or other health care professionals who may not have time built into their daily schedule for eating breaks.

If you are wondering what to look for in a protein powder ideally look for one that is a “Whey Protein Isolate”. These are the purest form of protein powders. A good suggestion is “Kaizen Whey Isolate” found at Costco. It is the cheapest isolate protein you will find and sells for $49.99/2 kg container. For a little cheaper option, check out “LeanFit Whey Concentrate”, also at Costco. As a whey concentrate, it is a little less pure then an isolate but still of high quality. This one sells for $39.99/2 kg container.

Hopefully this blog post has more than answered the questions you may have had about protein. However, if you are still unsure of some aspects written about here or perhaps something that wasn’t covered, please feel free to ask Jon or myself. We are always happy to answer the burning questions from those in pursuit of greater gainz!

photo credit: marcoverch Grünes Eiweißpulver via photopin (license)

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I chose JKC originally to help prevent rowing injuries. I’m a rower and we won the St. John’s Regatta in 2019 but I rowed through a rib stress fracture and missed significant time in the boat during the racing season. Training at JKC consistently since the pandemic helped me stay injury free this year and made me the strongest I’ve ever felt, which helped me help my team win the 2021 St. John’s Regatta! Jon adds variety and mixes the exercises up well so that the workout goes by quickly and strength is gained. The gym is very personable and I like the eclectic mix of people that are there. JKC is much more intimate and personal than other gyms.

I started at JKC because my colleagues that go to JKC all look and felt fit and healthy thanks to Jon and Thomas – if JKC helped them, I knew they could do the same for me! I think JKC stands out from other gyms because of their personal touch! They listen to you and help motivate and support. They always believe in my ability progress and learn new exercises. I’ve been training at JKC since January of 2019 and recommend them to anyone looking to learn how to lift weight properly, feel stronger, and improve their health.

JKC was recommended to me by my good friend Casidhe Dyke. Cas had been training with JKC for a while, and both he and his father had seen great results from the personal training that Jon and Thomas were giving them. I was and still am primarily a triathlete and I’ve always struggled with injuries. I was talking to Cas about incorporating more strength training in my program to try and prevent injuries going forward and Cas suggested that I give JKC a try. I reached out to Jon not long after, and the rest is history! After working with Jon and Thomas for a few months, I was getting stronger, faster, and most importantly, I was staying injury-free. I ended up being able to train the whole season without significant injury and posted a personal best at Ironman Copenhagen in 2018. A big part of that was due to the strength training and coaching I received at JKC.

I had spent a fair bit of time in gyms in my teens and twenties but I turned away from the gym to focus on activities that I enjoyed more. What keeps me at JKC is that I do really enjoy it. I always feel that I’ve accomplished something when I leave at the end of my workout. The environment is really positive and focused on challenging yourself whatever your level of comfort and fitness. I’ve also seen results that I’m really happy with; having someone who really knows what they’re talking about to guide your workouts makes them way more effective and focused than just “going to the gym”.

Shortly after I started at JKC, I sustained a fairly major injury that took me off my feet for several months. When I started to get back to activity, it was very difficult. Jon and Thomas worked hard to tailor my workouts to my goals and what I could do. With their help, I’ve been steadily building back strength and function.

Kathryn Sparrow

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

From my initial consult with Julia, she was professional and knowledgeable as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and athlete. She was interested in my nutrition and fitness goals and the development of a plan that would set me up for success.

Julia designed weekly meal plans that were complete with recipes and shopping lists. The food choices were nutritious, easy to prepare, and ensured that I felt well nourished and energized throughout my training and non-training days. Not only do I feel leaner and more fit, but I have more energy and I feel much more in tune with my body and food choices. Julia really helped me put everything in place so I can continue this process going forward- I cannot thank her enough!

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