Race Fuel For Your Body: Lean Protein For Building Muscles
“I’m feeling drained. Let’s get some fuel.” he would say – instead of what most normal people say, which is something more like, “I’m hungry.” Or, “Sure, I could eat.”
Something about the idea of food as fuel clicked for me. That change in thinking has made a big impact on my health and fitness and has had long-lasting effects.
You know what happens to the moving parts of your motorcycle when you use race gas versus regular unleaded.
Why would we think our bodies are any different?
But even when I wanted to make changes for the better I found it hard to figure out exactly what food was my version of race gas. I think most nutrition advice is so either vague or so wrapped in jargon it doesn’t mean anything to a real person.
According to most weight training programs, you should eat 1 gram of protein for every 2.2 lbs of body weight.
So if you’re 140 lbs – divide 140/2.2 – you should eat 63.3 grams of protein per day (if you are working out and trying to build muscle).
If you’r 175 lbs you should eat 79.5 (175/2.2) grams of protein per day.
Not really helpful, right?
Because what does 63.3 grams of protein look like anyway?
Let’s take a look:
- 1 large egg has 6 grams
- 2 tblsp of peanut butter have 8 grams
- 1/4 cup of peanuts has 9 grams
- 1/4 cup of almonds has 8 grams
- 1/4 cup of cashews has 5 grams
- 1/2 cup of edamame (Soy beans) cooked has 14 grams (you can buy these frozen at the groceries store)
- 1/2 cup of tofu has 20 grams (I know what you’re gonna say, but 20 grams!!)
- 1/2 cup black beans has 6 grams
- 5 oz. can of tuna has 26 grams
- Chicken (breast meat) 35 grams
So you can have 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast (12 grams), a peanut butter sandwich for lunch (2 tblsp – 8 grams – plus lick the spoon= 8.3), a handful of almonds at 4 o’clock (8 grams), and a chicken breast for dinner (35 grams) and you’ve eaten 63.3 grams of protein for the day.
If you want to be really serious, add up the calorie count of your planned protein for each day, and then add in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains to reach your total calories for the day. There are apps available for Androids and iPhones, if you want to keep track.
To reach your number, try to plan in advance and don’t over eat. 63.3 grams of protein plus donuts and soda will NOT help you get lean, get strong, and build your endurance.
Give this a try:
Start saying “fuel” instead of “food”, and see what changes in your own mind.