Bodybuilding and Protein intake: It’s about the quality, not the quantity dudes (and dudettes)

I can't say this is truly fact,  just my opinion based upon experimentation.

Among's weightlifters, the is this tendency to put down as much protein, especially animal protein, as possible, to bulk up and build muscle.

I have found this to be a waste of time, for one simple reason, in that the human body can only process so much of that protein that goes into the body.

Just like those many people trying to lose weight by counting  their calories, weightlifters tend to count their grams of protein per day, with many of the "protein zealots" taking in several hundred grams a day.

Having always had the opposite weight problem that many have, that is, me finding it hard to put on weight as opposed to those desperately trying to lose weight, it seems that what works better for me is to focus on protein sources that are highly absorbable and processable by the body.

Me, being the typical guy, always trying to get a 'bod like the guy pictured above (uh, well maybe somewhat like his body in symmetry,  but slightly less big), went though the phase of buying wheel barrels of chicken breast, and even trying the 10 raw egg shakes (the raw egg thing lasted about 2 weeks for me), my longest steak was putting down 2 to 4 of cans of canned tuna every day for a year or so in my early thirties.

In in the end, putting down all that animal protein every day, normally for commercially processed chicken and cattle, or high mercury canned tuna in toxic lined cans, doesn't create more muscle, but in reality only creates more stress on the body.  A better approach is to go with smaller servings of more quality protein, which should allow for more to be absorbed by the body.

Studies have shown that a 30 gram serving of conventionally raised beef or chicken, the body may only process a few grams of that meat, compared to a smaller portion of grass fed beef, or pasture raised chicken, as well as compared to a high quality protein powder for smoothies, with a full spectrum of highly processable amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

I chuckle at my "wolfing down" protein phase, because none of it really worked, especially since the more I worked out, the more I slimmed down because I drop body fat so easily. Personally I still can't find that holy grail of the ultimate bulking up technique, of course I would never try steroids of human growth hormones, it ain't that serious. (Steroids? I wont even put McDonalds in my body). But, I have few techniques which have move me up from about 185 lbs like I was in my 20's to near 200 today.

I do love the challenge, I'd love to get to about 218, I think that fits a 6'2" slim frame more nicely, I suppose partially for male ego, but also for mental focus via weightlifting, learning more about nutrition, having fun with new weightlifting techniques, and all the rest. I guess I'll never get the bod of the first guy above, but I do strive to have a 'bod that someone (preferably female) might say, "damn, that dude has a nice bod for his age".

Anyhoo, I've learned that what works best for me, since I doubt if I ever become a vegetarian, is to have a hybrid intake of high quality protein, mainly Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, pasture raised eggs (not raw, mostly scrambled in coconut oil), occasional high quality pasture raised chicken (or at least chickens fed with organic feed), and finally and equally and perhaps more important, as I voluntarinly choose to decrease, not elimiate, my intake of animal protein as I get older, a daily intake of extremely high quality plant based protein.

So, when it's all said and done, think logically about the high protein intake thing. I do know the few times I tried to cut all animal protein, I lost a lot of muscle, so there must be a happy medium between too much protein and too little, as it pertains to weightlifters and other exercise fanatics trying to put on muscle. In the end we have to experiment, think out of the box, and pay attention to what works best for us.

~stay healthy~


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posted to   Monday mania  fat tuesdays real food Wednesdays Freaky Friday , Fight Back Fridays

6 Responses


hmmm, not sure how I feel about protein 'powders', However I have heard that Garden of LIfe is different than any other option out there.  I will look into it some more.  My hubs used to have an affinity to those powders but I shamed him into not using them anymore as most of them are filled with horriblly bad ingredients.  Thanks for the info!


Oh yeah!!! I'm really picky about those powders, and you're right most of them are garbage, because thy try to flavor them and make them taste like a milkshake or whatever. I'll repost the ingredients in Garden of Life here: Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Amaranth Sprout, Organic Quinoa Sprout, Organic Millet Sprout, Organic Buckwheat Sprout, Organic Garbanzo Bean Sprout, Organic Lentil Sprout, Organic Adzuki Bean Sprout, Organic Flax Seed Sprout, Organic Sunflower Seed Sprout, Organic Pumpkin Seed Sprout, Organic Chia Seed Sprout, Organic Sesame Seed Sprout……… I really like it, and there are few protein powders, or protein bars that I like. That liquid smoothie is really important because it replenishes the body faster after a workout than the hours it takes the body to digest and process chicken and beef. It's great in the morning as well because your digestive system doesn't have to expend as much energy as it does digesting solid foods, and thus that energy is not wasted in the morning, leaving me a little more energetic…………..


Thanks for the article, I've been looking for ways to put on a bit of muscle too. I used raw egg yolks in my smoothie for a while but found that eating too many eggs a day was starting to make me a little bit sensitive to them in general. I've looked into buying raw hemp protein and possibly the Garden of Life too but protein powder is so expensive! What suppliers or sources do you recommend for buying protein powder?


I only use Garden of life and a produce called Vega One . The reason being these products contain plant based proteins with ALL the essential amino acids. I used to take Hemp protein, a decent product, but it was lacking in on of the essential amino acids. What that means is that food is missing a component of the entire puzzle it need to create protein from food. So whatever protein powder you use, make sure it supplies all the essential amino acids. Normally they will mention this fact as part of their advertising. That is of course why they are so expensive, because most plant based protein are not technically “complete proteins”. That why the best of the best mix different plants to get the full spectrum of the amino acid profile. Make sure you check out the other half of the whole “bulking up” thing which is adjusting your exercise routine. Create a short but very intense routine (like sprinters compared to marathon runners) Here is the link to that article.

…p.s. I love that women are not afraid to get buffed these says. It’s very appealing as long as they don’t get on the steroids or testosterone. ~stay healthy~


So after commenting here I went ahead and purchase Garden of Life's Raw Protein and it has definitely helped me gain some muscle mass and also recovery after workouts. I am nearing the end of my tub however and wondered what your thoughts were on a good-quality whey protein powder…?


I’m flattered that to looked into a product I wrote about. You know I really couldn’t give you and answer about Whey because I’m not really into whey powders for decades and I’m not sure who’s doing what. The main reason for me is that with Whey and Soy, the nutrients are not in their natural state, and the body still has to work to assemble the amino acids into protein. It gets a little more complicated than that, I’m gonna write about it one day. At the same time, so many people swear by Whey, there’s no way I could say it bad for you, it’s just not for me. I had always felt Hemp protein was a better choice than whey, because hemp is in it’s raw natural state and the body doesn’t have to do any “Work” with assembling amino acids to create protein cells as with whey and soy protein. The problem with hemp is that is not a “complete protein”, in that it has one or two of the essential amino acids missing, and doesn’t doesn’t have to full spectrum to properly build muscle. Although, I used hemp for years and loved it, as I learned about “complete proteins” that’s when I switched to garden of life. So the only advice I could really give is to purchase the most expensive one you can afford and try to stick to name brands, avoiding cheap products. Hope that helps a little, sorry I can’t give you more on that one……make sure you read my other article on women bulking up

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