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  1. #1
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    am I getting enough protein? - supplement or change diet.

    Hello there,

    Done some reading in here and just checked out this recent thread:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...protein-powder

    I ride 5-7 times a week and if it's only 5 times I'm playing other sports those two days. I ride around 30-40 miles a day on solo rides, usually do fast group rides on Thursday/Saturday. I know it is good to have protein right after a ride.

    I eat a pretty balanced diet (fruits, greens, beans, boiled eggs, pasta, some milk, not many sweets, almost no soda, almonds, etc.) and take a daily vitamin. I weigh 145 pounds and am happy with that weight. I just wonder if I am getting enough protein each day. I eat eggs, almonds, sunflower seeds, some tuna fish, very little meat, some milk, a banana each day. I'm 29 years old.

    So, my question is would my riding and body and health benefit from a protein powder supplement? I generally like to eat real food, minus my daily vitamin, but I'm wondering if I get enough protein or not. And, if you suggest a powder, I was checking out whey protein and soy protein. Not sure of the pros/cons of each.

    I feel pretty good all around, just curious to hear what others might advise. I don't know if my body would perform better with some more protein. I played college sports and ate a lot more to keep weight on then (faster metabolism) and we also lifted weights, which I do very rarely now. I also ate more meat in college.

    Thanks for the replies!

  2. #2
    z90
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    I like Michael Pollan's advice, "Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food". I'm no nutritionist, but your diet sounds pretty good to me, and you feel good, so why mess with it?
    Last edited by z90; 04-12-10 at 02:53 PM.

  3. #3
    z90
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    PS, If you don't have the patience to read the whole article, skip down to the bottom and read the section "beyond nutritionism"

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    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for the reply! I'm originally from upstate NY though now I'm living in NC. And...I'm actually a historian with a concentration in food history, so I've read a lot of stuff from Pollan. I just found out he's originally from Long Island.

    Yeah, you might be right, if I'm feeling good and eating a balance diet, maybe I don't need protein powders.
    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    most people lose 2 lbs of muscle mass every year. this is due to lack of exercise and lack of protein consumption. I try to eat protein in every meal of the day, that's three proteins a day! plus I take a protein supplement after each of two intense weight training sessions. also after very long intense bike rides.

    interesting note - which won't concern you at your weight - even protein can be stored as fat if you eat too much at one sitting

    I'm 51 and trying to reduce the effect of aging by burning fat and building muscle mass - so my training and nutrition are probably vastly different than yours.

    that said, most everyone can use a bit more muscle and you can't build muscle from twinkies ... :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    most people lose 2 lbs of muscle mass every year. this is due to lack of exercise and lack of protein consumption.
    Rubbish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
    Hello there,

    Done some reading in here and just checked out this recent thread:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...protein-powder

    I ride 5-7 times a week and if it's only 5 times I'm playing other sports those two days. I ride around 30-40 miles a day on solo rides, usually do fast group rides on Thursday/Saturday. I know it is good to have protein right after a ride.

    I eat a pretty balanced diet (fruits, greens, beans, boiled eggs, pasta, some milk, not many sweets, almost no soda, almonds, etc.) and take a daily vitamin. I weigh 145 pounds and am happy with that weight. I just wonder if I am getting enough protein each day. I eat eggs, almonds, sunflower seeds, some tuna fish, very little meat, some milk, a banana each day. I'm 29 years old.

    So, my question is would my riding and body and health benefit from a protein powder supplement? I generally like to eat real food, minus my daily vitamin, but I'm wondering if I get enough protein or not. And, if you suggest a powder, I was checking out whey protein and soy protein. Not sure of the pros/cons of each.

    I feel pretty good all around, just curious to hear what others might advise. I don't know if my body would perform better with some more protein. I played college sports and ate a lot more to keep weight on then (faster metabolism) and we also lifted weights, which I do very rarely now. I also ate more meat in college.

    Thanks for the replies!
    I'd go by how you feel and your performance. If you are riding to just be generally fit then probably no extra protein is needed, but if you want to increase your performance (i.e. fast, longer, etc.) then some extra protein might be needed. Depends on your goals. If you want to increase performance then experiment with protein and see if it helps.

    Soy vs whey. I believe whey is superior, plus soy supposedly increases estrogen in men. A lot of the proteins supposedly have odd long term side effects when taken in large quantities regularly, and i believe whey has the least...

  8. #8
    z90
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    Just surfing the web, but this also looks like sensible advice, with some numbers you can use.
    Some quotes:
    "It's easy to get your protein requirements because protein is found in most foods"
    "... powders and supplements merely amount to very expensive urine"
    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/caryn/protein.html
    By the way, Pollan makes great use of the history of food and nutrition to skewer the constantly changing claims of reductionist nutritional science, as you probably already know.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    re: "rubbish"

    no, really, that's what the research says. they've done cross sections if cadavers and MRI and CAT scans of living people over time and even though they stay the same weight their body makeup changes. look it up.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    re: "rubbish"

    no, really, that's what the research says. they've done cross sections if cadavers and MRI and CAT scans of living people over time and even though they stay the same weight their body makeup changes. look it up.
    "body makeup changes" <> "most people lose 2 lbs of muscle mass every year"

    If you can't cite a reference I'll continue to assume you pulled the number out of your arse.

  11. #11
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    interesting note - which won't concern you at your weight - even protein can be stored as fat if you eat too much at one sitting
    Sorry, that is not true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein...ss_consumption

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
    Uh, then after deamination, where does the rest of the molecule go, if it is not immediately burned for energy? I don't think it just disappears.

    To the OP: My standard test for protein consumption is that if your legs hurt while you are on the bike, you are not getting enough protein. That pain comes from unrepaired microtears. If you don't hurt, your protein consumption is fine at your activity level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontide View Post

    Yes, it is true. ("even protein can be stored as fat if you eat too much at one sitting")

    As the wikipedia article states, the excess protein (which have been broken down into amino acids) will go through a deamination process which removes the nitrogen. This is excreted in the urine. That wikipedia article makes no mention of what happens to the remainder of the deaminated amino acid, though. Basically what happens is that (by various processes) it is converted to glucose, which is treated like any other glucose in your system. And high glucose intake leads to fat synthesis.

    The bottom line is that consuming 'excess' protein is like consuming carbohydrates. Your body will not store 'excess' protein for future use.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    ...I guess that guy doesn't have google:
    I suspect that it wasn't the concept of muscle loss that was being disputed, but the 2lb/yr number, which was kind of out-there. Your sources don't corroborate:
    the physically inactive male will lose muscle mass and muscle strength at a rate of .5% and although this number may seem low, it adds up quickly...
    It starts to set in around age 45, when muscle mass begins to decline at a rate of about 1 percent per year.
    muscle mass decreases between 35% to 40% in men and women in the five decades of life between 20 and 80 years of age
    Let's say a 160 lb person is 40% muscle at 20 years old(64lbs). A loss of 2lbs/yr would leave them with zero muscle by the age of 52.

  16. #16
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    Wow! thanks for all of the helpful replies! Way more than I expected to get, but I'm not complaining.

    I do eat a pretty balanced diet and have a good deal of muscle mass at my height/weight. Not as much in college, but I was lifting under a strength coach for sports a few times a week, so that is to be expected. I do want to incorporate a bit more strength and flexibility work, but it's like...hmm, I have 1-2 free hours, what should I do...stretch or ride? Ride is always the answer, but after years of sports without proper warm-up/cool down, I do need work on getting more flexible.

    I don't get sore legs during the ride. I generally feel very good during the ride and after. Well, during some fast group rides I definitely suffer, but more just from going fast, not anything inside my body. The usual, I think.

    I do ride for fun and exercise and to clear my head, but I also like to get better and push my body - I get bored just working so I still love physical exertion to balance my mental pursuits. I wouldn't mind getting faster.

    I *might* experiment with some protein supplements. But hey, I think if I drank chocolate milk or just milk after rides instead of the beer I drink some days, that might be a good idea

    Thanks for all the replies! I'm going to read through them again and check out some of the info. I feel pretty good and have continually seen improvements in my cycling in the few years I've been an avid rider, but I was wondering about protein intake since I ride a fair amount, know some cyclists up their protein intake, and I don't eat meat (a good source) but do eat a lot of beans and have a pretty balanced intake.

    Thanks!

  17. #17
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    The articles all point to different reasons for the muscle loss. One claims that loss of testosterone is the major factor; all seem to agree that a major reason for muscle loss in aging is lack of exercise, not lack of protein. While those on medically recommended low-protein diets needed to be extra careful to prevent muscle loss, none of them seem to support the "all protein all the time" diet suggestions you are making.

    I will also point out that only the usda.gov site had an unbiased article. The others are obviously catering to the supplement crowd and quick to push pills and powder where none are needed. Enough protein can be taken through normal means to maintain and add muscle mass through basic fitness and strength training programs.

    For the most part, eating healthy and keeping active is all you need. Your body will give you signs or signals if it's getting deficient in it's needs. If concerned a trip to your GP and/or consult with a nutritionist as they will provide much more accurate information for your needs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    OK good point - yeah that 2lbs per year was sounding high to me too.

    but see - the numbers listed are still impressive and not so good. I never did the math on myself but in the past 20 years, and mostly in the past 5 years I've been able to turn things around while people around me just keep going down hill drinking soda; munching on chips; eating endless cheese and pasta for lunch; then more soda as a pick me up in the afternoon. the OP sounds fine but he might want to have some protein with each meal, especially if he's training. I didn't say all protein all the time, so don't mis-quote me.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  19. #19
    Senior Member nayr497's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for the replies!

    Rumrun...I am completely shocked at what a lot of people put in their body. I'll gain a few pounds in the winter due to less riding and not watching my diet, but I tend to eat more than I need of good stuff, not terrible stuff.

    I can only imagine what people feel like who eat fast food, junk food, and soda. And, I can also only imagine how many pounds overweight a lot of people are. The more I look and think about it people are carrying around way more than a few extra pounds. Yikes, getting on a bike would make them want to change that, if they had to lug it all around.

    I'll look into protein intake a bit more. I do eat a lot of beans (black, baked, garbanzo, lima), some tuna fish, an egg almost daily, etc.

    Anyway, thanks for all the feedback. Very helpful to read!

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