Friday, March 23, 2012

How much protein do you need?

Since I started P90X again, I have been tracking my calories using MyFitnessPal (I hope to post a review soon). MyFitnessPal has a guided questionnaire that helps you choose the number of calories that you need based on your goals or you can input your desired goals. For example, it told me that I needed 55% of my calories from carbs. When I do the review I will add the other nutrients. I can't remember them right now.

I also signed up for Team Beachbody with a coach. Team Beachbody suggested that based on my goals (P90X, toning and maintaining weight), I should consume 2100 calories each day in a 40:30:30 ratio. That is 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. My coach told me that I should aim for 40%, 40%, 20%. I also know that the first phase of P90X requires a high protein diet  (50%). So which should I choose?

I decided to go with coach's suggestion. However, that meant 154g of protein each day!!! And that's before exercise! Throw in a high calorie-burning P90X routine and I apparently need more. Without P90X I need 1540 calories per day and with it I could need up to 2100. I didn't realise how much protein that was until I tried to eat it. So far I don't think I have managed to eat more than 80g of protein any day. But I must admit that some nights I am very hungry. For example, I am hungry right now. But it's hard to figure out what to eat when I've almost hit my daily carb goal but there's a lot of protein left to consume. Additionally, I can't have my cholesterol intake be too high.  I guess I need to make wiser carb choices. I eat brown rice and whole wheat bread though so I am not sure what to change.

This gets even more confusing when you read that the suggested amount of protein each day is 0.8-1g per kg of weight. I weigh 54kg so that would mean 54g of protein each day. I know this would increase because of P90X but is 154g - almost 3 times the required amount a good increase? All of this is very confusing to me. I need to ask my coach about this but I am trying to wrap my head around some other information before I do. I've read that high protein diets can be risky for people who have kidney disease. I don't know if I have kidney disease and hope I don't. I also don't want to damage my kidneys.

For now I am doing a 40-30-30. I am going to be drinking a protein shake each day. However, I will not go more than 100g per day. I am just not comfortable with that number. The problem comes from the percentage breakdown compared with the solely protein calculator. They just don't match up.

I will post again when I learn more.

Until then.

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