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 heard somewhere that achieving your health goals is determined largely by what you do in the kitchen. I am grateful to have found Julia who brought direction and accountability to this most important piece for me. Having Julia in my corner has brought me confidence and certainty that I am on my way to achieving my goals. I highly recommend her if you are serious about making a change and feeling better about your health.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

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.

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

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