I gotta say, I'm confused by the mixed messages I've been getting about protein.
It seems like most of the things I read and hear, when I ask about building muscle, say simply "eat more protein," as if it were the magic road to burliness. But I also read an article that the body really gets all the protein it needs from a regular diet, and doesn't need supplementation - indeed, that surplus protein could be turned to fat.
As for me, I'm a vegetarian so am at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to protein - though I do love my brown rice & beans & tofu. I'm trying to improve at two sports at the moment - rockclimbing and cycling - that don't seem terribly complementary: I'm trying to increase strength in my arms and shoulders, and endurance in my legs and lungs. So it's a bit complicated.
I have the whey protein powder in smoothies. I found a protein bar I like that seems nice and low-sugar (ThinkThin). But I don't really have a target to shoot for, so I'm kind of flying blind. And I don't know whether it makes a difference to try and have more protein the day of (the day after?) a particularly hard climb or ride, or if I should just shoot for the same amount every day. Heck, I don't even know if I'm doing more harm than good to my body by trying to supplement like this, particularly in such a state of ignorance.
I've looked around here and seen some very knowledgeable nutrition posts, though couldn't find anything that dealt specifically with this topic - how do I determine how much protein I should be trying to ingest in a day, and does it matter when I eat it?