Nutrition is an essential part of body building and fitness, in general. I was reading body building websites and magazines for a while to determine what I should be eating and how much.
The popular general rule of thumb I keep coming across is 2.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. But that never hit home with me for some reason. Then I remembered that a friend of mine is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Not only that, she is a professional fitness trainer.
Who better to ask?
Knowing me, and my detailing of my exercise routine and goals to her, she came up with 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. I asked her why she thought all the magazines and professional web sites were pushing so much protein. She wasn't really that sure but suspected it was due to steroid use and possibly just comfort food. She also stressed that I drink LOTS of water to process all that protein.
Today I was doing a quick bit of reading on the fitness forums. It seems that protein intake is still a big confusing issue for almost everyone out there. Here's the skinny:
You can only absorb 8-10 grams of liquid whey protein isolate (i.e. a shake) per hour. The rest is eliminated as bodily waste. Your GI tract takes about 1.5 hours to move your protein shake through therefore the most you can absorb is 15 grams. [source
The whole "per pound of body weight" also comes with caveats. Not all your body is muscle. Some of it is fat and you WILL want to account for that. Protein has a caloric value to it so you don't want to feed the fat. [source
So, the next time you see a shake touting 64 grams of protein per serving, just remember how much money you are dumping into the toilet.
Save your money. Get the lower protein content beverage and drink them throughout the day to maintain your anabolic growth state.