You're confused about protein. How many grams per day? Per meal? Shakes versus whole food? Protein before you train, after you train, before bed ... in the middle of the night? We get it. And with all the information - and in reality, misinformation - floating around out there, who can blame you?
Here at MUTANT we've done all the legwork when it comes to the science. We've also been producing a line of marketing-leading, award-winning and delicious-tasting protein supplements for well over a decade now, which are used by some of the biggest names in the iron game.
In short, we know a thing or two, about a thing or two, when it comes to protein. We got your back on this one and we're going to give you what you need to know, and help you implement that into a plan.
No fluff, no frills!
So read on and put your confusion to bed once and for all because if you don't, you're going to leave gains on the table for your training partner to take!
Protein, along with carbohydrates and fat, is a macronutrient. While protein and carbs both supply four (4) calories per gram, fat clocks in at nine (9) calories per gram. All three play key roles when it comes to the gains you're looking for - we're talking about more muscle, strength increases and better performance here.
That said though, protein is especially important because it's made up of Nitrogen-bearing amino acids. Nitrogen is key because it's involved in the growth and repair processes. And with that, the questions begs: how much of this nitrogen-rich protein should you be consuming?
Daily Protein Requirements
This question has been argued it seems like forever.
Now, you've got your bro science camp that pushes the old standby rule of one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day recommendation.
You've also got high-profile fitness guru’s on YouTube and Instagram talking about how their up towards two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, and sometimes even more.
What's the deal here?
It comes down to consuming enough protein daily to keep your body in a state of positive nitrogen balance, meaning that you're holding on to more protein than you're excreting, which is again, key to the gains we're looking for. Too little protein and you're not taking advantage of your efforts in the gym. Too much protein and you've got yourself some expensive pee.
In a May 2017 study published in The Journal of Nutrition the author points to the fact that high-level bodybuilders (and 'elite' athletic populations in general) have heightened energy requirements and puts forth a recommendation of 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day for the aforementioned, while also stressing that this recommendation is not for novice, or even intermediate athletes.1
So, assuming you're no rookie and you're training balls to the wall, then 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day should get you where you need to be. How that plays out in practical terms is as follows ...
Take your bodyweight in pounds, divide that by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms; and then multiple that number by the same 2.2 to get your daily protein requirement. Let's take a 180-pound male gym-goer as an example. 180 pounds divided by 2.2 gives us a bodyweight of 81.8 kilograms. 81.8 multiplied by 2.2 gives us 180 grams of protein per day. Yes, 180!
Keep the math simple though and shoot for one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Score one for the bro science camp on this one!
Next up is determining your protein feedings throughout the day. And with that, we're teed right up for another heated topic when it comes to protein; how many grams of protein can you absorb in one meal for the purpose of protein synthesis?
While you'll often hear people throw out a number like 25 grams, the truth is that it's completely dependent on the individual. Think about it: are we to believe that a 260-pound pro hitting the Olympia stage and a 150-pound teenager looking to bulk up for football camp can both equally absorb only 25 grams of protein at a time?
A research article published in the February 2018 issue of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition sheds some light on the topic. To quote the article ... "Based on the current evidence, we conclude that to maximize anabolism one should consume protein at a target intake of 0.4 g/kg/meal across a minimum of four meals in order to reach a minimum of 1.6 g/kg/day. Using the upper daily intake of 2.2 g/kg/day reported in the literature spread out over the same four meals would necessitate a maximum of 0.55 g/kg/meal.2
In simple terms: take your own total daily protein intake and spread that out as evenly as you can over four to six meals daily. Returning to our 180-pound male gym-goer example, he would aim for four to six meals daily, with a goal of 30 to 45 grams of protein per meal.
Let's now move on to what actual sources of protein you should be including in your diet. The answer here is to get your get your protein nutrition from two places:
(1) High-quality, clean food sources.
(2) Superior protein supplements like MUTANT ISO SURGE.
Now I know what you're thinking, "do I really need protein shakes to make gains?"
To put the answer in perspective, it's kind of like asking "do I really need to lift weights to build muscle?"
Well, do you?
The best way to build muscle is a routine that includes compound weight-lifting exercises with isolation work; all of which is supplemented with bodyweight exercises.
The same concept holds true when it comes to your protein intake. Sure, you could make gains with food alone, but again, is that really the best approach; especially when you consider quality, convenience, cost and taste?
If it were, would supplements have even been invented?
Adding a heavy-hitting protein supplement like ISO SURGE into the mix really is the best approach. Here we have a product that we make in our very own federally-licensed facility, and comes to the table with 25 grams of the highest-quality, biologically-active whey protein isolate per scoop. ISO SURGE is also low in fat and carbs, fortified with digestive enzymes and available in a wide variety of incredibly delicious flavors like our very popular Triple Chocolate.
Yes, Triple Chocolate .. because single or double isn't enough!
This is MUTANT baby!
Can you imagine a shake that that's high in protein, low in both fat and carbs, takes seconds to prepare, is super economical ... and tastes like something from your favorite ice cream joint? Well, that's exactly what you get with ISO SURGE Triple Chocolate! Click here to try it for yourself.
Food First + Supplementation
That said, when it comes to your protein nutrition, you're best off to adopt a 'food-first' approach and supplement that with ISO SURGE.
If you're going with four meals a day, you're looking at three whole food protein sources and a serving of ISO SURGE. If you're hitting six meals a day, you're looking at four protein feedings from food and two ISO SURGE shakes to fill in the gaps.
Putting The Pieces Together
Brass tacks here.
You train you ass off in the gym and make tons of sacrifices in pursuit of your goals. The truth is, if your protein game is not on point, you're setting yourself up for failure.
Don't be that guy. Don't settle for average, or even good, when you can be great.
Consider this your protein blueprint. It's worked for the most extreme athletes before you, and it will work for you; provided of course, you do your part.
We can only do so much. You've got to put the work in by training like never before and following the plan. We've got all the confidence in the world in you.
Now let the gains begin!
- Douglas Paddon-Jones. "Protein Recommendations for Bodybuilders: In This Case, More May Indeed Be Better." The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 147, Issue 5, May 2017, Pages 723–724, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.247981.
- Schoenfeld, B.J.,Aragon, A.A. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr15, 10 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1.