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  1. #1
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Should I be taking whey protein or a supplement

    I don't think I am getting enough protein. My wife is a vegetarian and so I get meat about 1x a week. I eat lots of milk, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and eggs (cooked....) but I am wondering if I should be taking a supplement. I do not count calories and definitely do not count grams of protein either so I really have no clue where I am at vs where I should be. A quick google search suggests maybe 130 grams per day (160 lbs)... anyone vegetarian or married to one, what are you taking? I know it seems crazy but I was away on business for 2 weeks, ate chicken and eggs every single day (eggs is something I just started doing at home) and felt very very strong. A few weeks later I am back to feeling very sluggish.
    Last edited by pjcampbell; 07-14-08 at 05:51 PM.

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    cmh
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    If you want more protien, I'd suggest eating a little more meat and dairy rather than taking a supplement. After all, it is your wife that is the vegetarian, not you. By the way, it could be the extra iron from more meat and eggs that made you feel strong, not the protien.

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    Where did you get the 130 grams per day? Probably more like 50-60 grams per day.

    The only way to answer the question is to add up the protein you're eating and see if it's more or less than that. Use something like calorieking.com and it will just take a few minutes. I was low on protein until I did this, but it's easy to add more.

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    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    They say 1.5-2 grams per KG of body weight for very active people. That would be a minimum of 109.

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    True, more if you're very active.

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    +1 to natural sources. Supplements deliver their cargo to your body faster than you can process it. Some of it you, literally, piss away.

    Secondly, why do you think that you're not eating enough? Don't mess around with the internet. A simple blood test will tell you for sure.

  7. #7
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    I think it because I am very active, and eat meat rarely... I am feeling really sluggish and I can't figure out why. I should not be overtrained at all. I can't imagine I get enough protein from fruits, vegetables, milk and grains on a daily basis. I am trying to incorporate eggs more often but it's still not a daily thing. Beans, quinoa, meat, are more of a once a week kind of thing.

    I'm going to go through a typical day:
    OJ - 2 grams
    whole grain English muffins x 2-10 grams
    1 large banana - 1 gram
    1 large apple - 1 gram
    2 cups of milk with cereal throughout day - 18 g
    Barbaras Shredded oat cereal - 2 servings - 12g
    Organic high fiber o's - 2 servings - 14g
    1/3 pound of whole wheat pasta with olive oil, carrots, brocoli - ~56 grams

    That is 114. At 1.7 * my mass in KG = 123... I imagine if I am low a little every day it is cumulative in some sense. There some things I left out but it's like 1g here and there, between other servings of fruits and vegetables. It's clear the big hitters are grains and milk, but I do not think that grains, even whole grains, contain all of the "essential amino acids" or whatever (aside from quinoa).


    A blood test would be wonderful... sounds expensive though.

    Thanks for the serious replies. BTW I hate counting calories and grams... this is not something I want to make a daily process!!!

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    Senior Member Bnjmn's Avatar
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    You cannot look at protein as generic - especially when dealing with vegetable protein, which is incomplete. It looks like you are eating a lot of vegetable protein, so you may want to supplement. I have read that supplementing about 1/3 of your intake as a rule of thumb if you are eating mostly vegetable protein
    I am a vegetarian, though I do eat fish (canned Alaskan salmon) on a daily basis. I also supplement with whey and casein (milk proteins) and a little bit of soy protein (about 50g supplement total). I eat lots of beans (chick peas, black beans, lentils, "refried" beans) and nuts (esp almonds)- I work them (in various combos) into just about everything. I also eat a lot of fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, kiwis) and dried fruit (figs, raisins, apricots, goji berries, prunes).
    I have zero energy problems (even while losing 8 lbs last month) - but I don't think that has to do with protein intake. You should measure and add up all your calories, carbs, fats, and proteins and find out what you consume versus your resting metabolic needs (do a google search) and your workout requirements.
    If you are tired, it is most likely a calorie or a carb deficit.

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    Looks like a terrific diet to me. You might have felt more "fueled up" the week you were away just by eating more calories. If you do eat meat only once a week, consider a multivitamin and make sure you get enough iron.

    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    I think it because I am very active, and eat meat rarely... I am feeling really sluggish and I can't figure out why. I should not be overtrained at all. I can't imagine I get enough protein from fruits, vegetables, milk and grains on a daily basis. I am trying to incorporate eggs more often but it's still not a daily thing. Beans, quinoa, meat, are more of a once a week kind of thing.

    I'm going to go through a typical day:
    OJ - 2 grams
    whole grain English muffins x 2-10 grams
    1 large banana - 1 gram
    1 large apple - 1 gram
    2 cups of milk with cereal throughout day - 18 g
    Barbaras Shredded oat cereal - 2 servings - 12g
    Organic high fiber o's - 2 servings - 14g
    1/3 pound of whole wheat pasta with olive oil, carrots, brocoli - ~56 grams

    That is 114. At 1.7 * my mass in KG = 123... I imagine if I am low a little every day it is cumulative in some sense. There some things I left out but it's like 1g here and there, between other servings of fruits and vegetables. It's clear the big hitters are grains and milk, but I do not think that grains, even whole grains, contain all of the "essential amino acids" or whatever (aside from quinoa).


    A blood test would be wonderful... sounds expensive though.

    Thanks for the serious replies. BTW I hate counting calories and grams... this is not something I want to make a daily process!!!

  10. #10
    Has Been kmagnuss's Avatar
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    I do a bit of weight training, and biking is just a side deal until my knee heals up...but I can definitely tell when I'm not getting enough protein. I weigh around 185ish right now, and I normally eat around 150+ g of protein per day (when I'm actually lifting consistently)... Not including vegetable protein, which as said earlier, has incomplete chains. When I'm not eating protein in mass like this, I defintely feel more sluggish. But...that's just me and I think it's a bit overkill for most people unless they are lifting weights frequently.

  11. #11
    I am the cheese sgrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    They say 1.5-2 grams per KG of body weight for very active people. That would be a minimum of 109.
    They are referring to professional endurance athletes, not amateur cyclists. At over 110g there's very little chance that you're protein deficient. Iron deficiency is much more likely.

  12. #12
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    It depends on what website you go to, I guess. And "very active" to "moderately" active can be interpreted... Obviously there's a big difference between 1.5 and 2, also.

    Iron... maybe I don't know. I don't know anything about iron. Does one need to get iron from different types of sources (like protein, to make a complete protein...)? I do eat a lot of greens, plenty of whole grains,etc. but 0 red meat. Not really many nuts, some beans, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    It depends on what website you go to, I guess. And "very active" to "moderately" active can be interpreted... Obviously there's a big difference between 1.5 and 2, also.

    Iron... maybe I don't know. I don't know anything about iron. Does one need to get iron from different types of sources (like protein, to make a complete protein...)? I do eat a lot of greens, plenty of whole grains,etc. but 0 red meat. Not really many nuts, some beans, etc.
    Iron from animal products is absorbed much more readily than from plant products
    http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm
    see heme v. non-heme iron

  14. #14
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgrundy View Post
    They are referring to professional endurance athletes, not amateur cyclists. At over 110g there's very little chance that you're protein deficient. Iron deficiency is much more likely.
    I was thinking the same thing. A little red meat goes a long way in terms of iron. Having said that, I don't think that trying to fill the whole protein bill with soy or vegetable protein is the going to get it done.

    Question 1: Do you believe in evolution?
    Question 2: You have canine teeth specifically to tear and chew meat, do you think these are a product of evolution?
    Question 3: If you answered 'yes' to question 1 and 2, then why do you want to be a vegetarian (I know the OP isn't _really_ a Veggie)?

    If the answer to Question 3 is socio/political, then knock yourself out. If the answer is 'to be more healthy', then you need to rethink your plan.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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    Senior Member MONGO!'s Avatar
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    I'm vegetarian and I make sure to eat a lot of protein rich food, tofu, protein shakes, protein bars etc.

    Whey protein is good, easily digested but not good to take before or during excercise, soy protein is better for that.

    You probably do need to take some other supplements too, including iron.
    I do when I remember but it's not a strict ritual and I rarely feel the benefit.

    To Fat Boy, evolution is irrelevant to my decision to not eat meat, it's a combination of health and moral conscience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
    Whey protein is good
    Whey is dairy-based, so it's not for vegans/strict vegetarians.

  17. #17
    I am the cheese sgrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    Iron... maybe I don't know. I don't know anything about iron. Does one need to get iron from different types of sources (like protein, to make a complete protein...)? I do eat a lot of greens, plenty of whole grains,etc. but 0 red meat. Not really many nuts, some beans, etc.
    No, you technically don't need to mix different sources of iron, as far as I know, but it can be really beneficial. As stated above, there is a big difference in absorbability between heme and non-heme iron. I believe about 10-30% of heme iron is absorbed by the body, whereas the number is something like 2-10% for non-heme iron. However, mixing sources of heme and non-heme iron can increase the amount of non-heme iron that your body absorbs, so it's a good idea. Adding some ground beef to a bean chili, for example, not only adds iron to the meal, but increases the amount of iron from the beans that you absorb.

    Also, vitamin C helps iron absorption too. So eating citrus or strawberries with your meal will help a lot. IIRC caffeine and calcium interfere with iron absorption, so its best to avoid them when you're eating an iron-rich meal.

    Some really good plant sources of iron are beans, lentils, broccoli, and spinach. If you're not going to eat read meat, I'd make an effort to eat these things every day. Goya is your friend: http://www.goya.com/english/products...=1&prodCatID=1.

    That being said, I'm not a doctor.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MattyNJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    I do a bit of weight training, and biking is just a side deal until my knee heals up...but I can definitely tell when I'm not getting enough protein. I weigh around 185ish right now, and I normally eat around 150+ g of protein per day (when I'm actually lifting consistently)... Not including vegetable protein, which as said earlier, has incomplete chains. When I'm not eating protein in mass like this, I defintely feel more sluggish. But...that's just me and I think it's a bit overkill for most people unless they are lifting weights frequently.

    I agree. Not only sluggish but if I dont eat at least 1g per lb of lean mass body weight, my body goes catabolic on me with the massive amount of cardio (ie: cycling & running), and I loose more muscle weight than fat! As a weight trainer myself, I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

    Tons of protein (at least 1g per lean mass body weight) is anti catabolic, I also supplement L Glutamine with the protein, everyday, which also helps from losing muscle mass when doing extreme cardio
    2007 CANNONDALE CAAD9
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  19. #19
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
    To Fat Boy, evolution is irrelevant to my decision to not eat meat, it's a combination of health and moral conscience.
    Well, like I said, if it's a socio/political thing, I got nothing against what you're doing. You call it moral conscience. Whatever. That's your deal and wouldn't even attempt to talk you out of it.

    On the health side, though, evolution is anything but irrelevant. For eons, the more successful of your ancestors ate meat. Your entire digestive tract has been formed to process meat. Your cells process the metabolized products of meat very efficiently. Your body operates better with some meat in your diet. Naturally, you can overdo it, but I'm an 'everything in moderation' type of guy.

    There are a lot of plant products that I love. A big loaf of warm bread is awesome. You can't live on that, though. Our ancestors have only been farming for a relatively short period of time. Our bodies are not nearly as adapted to grains based food as they are to others. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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    Whey protein messes up my stomach something fierce, but I do ok if I add a tiny bit to granola or a smoothie. I tried soy protein, and the stuff just never dissolves, and has a very grainy quality. One of the best things I've heard is some cottage cheese and peanut butter at night. The casein in the cottage cheese is slow digesting, good for at night, and the fat in the peanut butter slows it down more.
    Truth be told, I think we get too much protein in our diets anyways.

  21. #21
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    I started taking this Metabolol MetII stuff at half of the recommended daily dose for my body weight. It has iron and it has protein and all sorts of other stuff.

    I take a multi, and lots of OJ (too lazy to peel orange juices) for my C. We grow spinach but not enough to eat it everyday.

    I will try to get some meat incorporated. This is easier said than done (as someone said... just eat more meat, it's not that easy) but my closest realistic bet is probably frozen chicken burritos from Trader Joe's or frozen chicken breasts from Applegate Farms.

  22. #22
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. A little red meat goes a long way in terms of iron. Having said that, I don't think that trying to fill the whole protein bill with soy or vegetable protein is the going to get it done.

    Question 1: Do you believe in evolution?
    Question 2: You have canine teeth specifically to tear and chew meat, do you think these are a product of evolution?
    Question 3: If you answered 'yes' to question 1 and 2, then why do you want to be a vegetarian (I know the OP isn't _really_ a Veggie)?

    If the answer to Question 3 is socio/political, then knock yourself out. If the answer is 'to be more healthy', then you need to rethink your plan.

    Your evolution defense is pretty flimsy. I could easily turn the tables. Just sayin'.


  23. #23
    Senior Member MONGO!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jooaa View Post
    Whey is dairy-based, so it's not for vegans/strict vegetarians.
    The op is not even a vegetarian let alone a vegan.
    I'm not vegan either.

    Well, like I said, if it's a socio/political thing,
    No, it's not
    I got nothing against what you're doing. You call it moral conscience. Whatever. That's your deal and wouldn't even attempt to talk you out of it.
    Thank you.
    Your entire digestive tract has been formed to process meat.
    You're quite wrong about this.

    According to Hammer, taking whey protein at night ups your HGH levels.
    Just sayin'

  24. #24
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Fine, your approach seems to be working great. Why was the thread started again?

    ------------------------------------------------

    The chart for Vegan.com was very informative. I'm probably going to change my habits right after lunch.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  25. #25
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    Do you enjoy eating meat? If so just include some in your diet rather then messing with supplements. It's not hard to freeze meat and marinade in a bag, pop it in the sink for a few minutes then broil it.

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