Monday, 6 January 2014

Planning my Diet - Protein - How much do i Require?

Have you seen how many arguments erupt from that one question when it's asked on a body building forum? To be honest I don't at present even know how much Protein I require. If you just go by peoples advice, then there's a mountain of different answers.

I've decided that maybe the best way to answer this is to ask a few different question.

 1) How much of my meal is actually absorbed in one sitting? I've blogged on Insulin levels playing a key part in digesting protein into the body before. This might reflect how much we can consume and absorb.

 2) Does the amount of Protein (Amino Acids) Absorbed reflect on how much tissue damage is done during a workout? Proteins role is to repair any micro fibers that are torn during a workout. Thus making them bigger and stronger for the next workout. If no damage occurs, what would the effect of consuming Protein have?

  3) Finally what are the downsides of consuming excessive amounts of  Protein? We strive to build a stronger healthier body? Does the journey provide more dangers then the end result? I think I need to do a separate blog on the downsides of 'Cost'. Consuming more food doesn't come cheap. Body Building can hurt your bank balance just as much as your muscles. Are there ways to cheat the system and eat more for less?

How much of my meal is actually absorbed in one sitting? 

Well from a little investigation I think I've managed to hit the nail on the head, and answered this question... with another question! How big is our engine??
  We are not all the same size, shape or build. If we want to be able to calculate how much Protein our bodies can absorb we first need to calculate how large our body mass is. This question can be attacked from another angle.
  Take a deep breath because I'm about to go a long way around a question. Ready? Okay, our bodies need a certain amount of Calories a day (Energy) even without us doing any physical work (our organs and cells need energy to function as much as we do to move). Calories are a unit of energy which are produced from the consumption or Macro Nutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins). In theory if we can Calculate how much energy we need per day including any excessive work and exercise we do, we can calculate our maximum daily Protein consumption.
  If we agree that we sleep for 8 hours a day, then that leaves 16 hours a day that we are awake and able to to consume food. Now if we then agree that it takes 2 - 4 hours for food to leave the stomach (depending on what type of protein based food it is. The more lean, the longer it takes for the stomach to break it down. Fish can leave the party in as little as 30 minutes. Poultry in around 2 hours and anything on four legs normally gets churned up then out, in about 4 hours). For arguments sake shall we say it takes 3 hours for protein to pass through our tummies? I highly doubt were going to be eating steak all day so it would make sense to say 3 hours as an average. Now were awake for 16 hours and we can eat every 3 hours so I make that a little over 5 meals a day. Now remember this has been based on just an average as I'm certain that nobody is going to fancy eating the same thing everyday, thus giving us room to mix our pallets up a little.
  We need to calculate our daily Calorie consumption. This is easily done with the help of a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) Calculator. This will calculate how many Calories your body will need if you did nothing all day. Once you have your answer, your need to calculate how many more Calories you require for your daily routine, work, exercise, etc..
  Its clear that i will need to have two meal plans. One for Training days and one for Non-Training days. Take note that as you grow and put on muscle, you will in turn weigh more. That will result in another trip to the Calorie Calculator pages from time to time.

 I've calculated that for a Non-Training day for me I will require around 3000 Calories per day. If I divide that into 5 meals a day like I earlier discussed, it leaves me with 600 Calories per meal.

Now for a new piece of information. I'm going to give you the values of Calories in Macro-Nutrients per gram.

  • Carbohydrate = 4 calories per gram.
  • Protein = 4 calories per gram.
  • Fat = 9 calories per gram.

Now I for one am not going to live off of only a supply of Protein for a diet so I need to invent a logical way to add my daily required amount of Carbohydrates and Fats to my diet. As you may already know, Carbohydrates are a great catalyst in asking you body to start producing Insulin, which in turn helps aid you body to absorb Protein. Also complex Carb's and Unsaturated Fats have a number of good qualities and should not be left out of the mix, in order to produce a healthy diet.

I have decided that for my diet and per meal I will consume a:
  • Meat product
  • Healthy oil (unsaturated Fat, Omega 3, etc..)
  • Serving of nuts
  • Serving of veg (1 of my 5 a day)
Now every meal will not be the same so these values are only a rough guide for me to try my best to follow. I'm going to make an average meal and see what my Protein content comes to. I've used the information on an online shopping website to acquire my food Calories.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 20g = 180 Calories
  • Cashew Nuts - 20g = 116.4 Calories (3.64g of Protein)
  • Broccoli - 80g = 30 Calories
Above is the healthy part of my meal which I want to eat alongside my Protein. Now to discover just how much Protein i need to consume in order to consume 600 Calories in this meal. I've already used 326.4 Calories. This Leaves me 273.6 Calories left to consume from Protein. Using our Macro Nutrients Ratios we can see that it leaves us a maximum of 68.4g of Protein we can consume + the 3.64g of protein in the Cashew Nuts.

Grand total = 72.04g of Protein per Meal and 360.2g per day!!

For the record if the meat i had decided to eat with this meal was chicken , this is how much I would need to consume in order to reach my Maximum.
  • Chicken - 298.7g = 273.6 Calories (68.4g of Protein)
Remember this is only just the MAXIMUM amount of Protein I can consume HEALTHILY. It does not mean that this is how much I require in order to 'bulk'. It is only how much is required to give me my daily amount of Calories.

Does the amount of Protein (Amino Acids) Absorbed reflect on how much tissue damage is done during a workout?

Yes and No. We need to stop looking at Protein as if it's just one thing. Protein can be divided into 20 Amino Acids which all have their own job/s to do around the human body. As far as repairing muscles are concerned we only need about two Amino Acids (Lysine and Leucine). Now call it a coincidence or not but when protein is also used as fuel for the body (Calories), these two cannot be used. They are referred to as Ketogenic. So to answer the question, if your was to damage muscle fibers and you only consumed these two Amino Acids then yes, the more you consume the better for repair. Unfortunately there is no calculation for how much to consume in regards to how much damage to your muscles has been done. Now on the other hand, if you were going to only rely on getting these to muscle repair Amino Acids from your diet of Protein shakes and food, then one of two things will happen.
  1. You will consume the correct amount of your daily protein and fats, therefore limiting the speed of your recovery.
  2. You will consume excessive amounts of protein and fats, therefore providing your body with all the Lysine and Leucine it requires. Unfortunately more then likely also exceeding your daily Calorie input, resulting in your body to start storing body fat.  
For the record Lysine and Leucine are available for purchase from many shops should anyone wish to use these alongside your regular meals and shakes.  

Finally what are the downsides of consuming excessive amounts of  Protein?

Why are all the answers to these questions in two parts?? Okay now if you was to live on a bad diet of just protein you would probably fall victim to an array of different illnesses, until of course your eventual demise. Osteoporosis, Kidney stones, Heart disease, dehydration, blah blah blah. You would suffer from similar things if you decided to live off of just Fats or Carbs too. 

Now any sensible chap out there can easily avoid any of these problems with the correct diet. Putting a little fish in your diet and consuming unsaturated Fats will help prevent Heart disease for example. drinking more water will help keep you hydrated and flush out any calcium in your kidneys which could later become a stone. Its really not rocket science.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Planning My Diet - Spiking Insulin, Good or Bad?

Not a lot of chaps really know what Insulin is. When you hear the word 'Insulin' you may automatically think 'Diabetes'. I did, until i started researching diets on my quest to creating my own personal bodybuilding meal plan. It turns out Insulin can be wrestled into submission and used to work for you as a key element in bodybuilding.

lets start with a summary of what insulin actually is in layman's terminology. Its a hormone your body makes. I'm sure you know about hormones. They're the chemicals your body spewed out when it went through pubity and everything went nuts. Your body makes a wide variety of hormones and they all have their own little jobs to do as they pass through your blood stream. Now Insulin's little job is regulating your blood sugar (Glucose) levels. Basically it tells your cells, liver, muscles, etc.. to start absorbing your blood sugar (Glucose). Insulin has a pal called 'Glucagon'. Glucagon does the opposite to Insulin. It tells all the body parts which had previously been storing blood sugar (Glucose) to stop storing it and start using it. This reaction is called Glycogenolysis. Why is all this important? Blood sugar (Glucose) is the bodies fuel. Too much sugar in the blood is toxic for your body. However if your body runs out of room to store all this Glucose your Liver will begin to convert any excess Glucose into fatty acids (Fat!!).

Now here's where Bodybuilding comes in to play. Insulin doesn't only tell the body to start absorbing Glucose. It also tells the the body to start absorbing other chemicals such as Amino Acids, Creatine, etc.. These Chemicals play a key part in bodybuilding. 'Amino Acids' in the simplest terms are the body's Lego Bricks. all shapes and colours and together can build basically anything the body needs. Amino Acids may also be referred too as BCAA or EAA. They are found in foods that contain Protein. Creatine is a chemical absorbed by your muscles as fuel in times of need, such as weight training. There are many other chemicals which I'm not going to go into detail with on here which also aid bodybuilding and can be absorbed into the body using Insulin.

So here's the boundary we're faced with. We wish to raise our insulin level so that we may take in all the chemicals we require for bodybuilding. However we don't want to Exceed our Glucose levels and start generating fatty acids.
  An old wives tale was that Insulin was triggered and regulated by the amount of Carbohydrates (Sugar) eaten from a meal (Glucose in our blood). This was always the worry, as in order to raise Insulin levels you would need to consume Carbohydrates and in turn too many Carbohydrates would cause excess Glucose, resulting in fatty acids being distributed around your waistline. Recent studies have now proven this theory as wrong. Your Insulin levels can and has been proven to peek higher when only a small amount of Carbohydrates are consumed along side the same amount of protein. One of the experiments I'm referring to used 75g of each (675kcal). This resulted in a higher peek of Insulin then when they used a high amount of Carbohydrates (125g) along side a small amount of Protein (21g). The reason they used these ratios are that both meals always equal '675kcal' and therefore help to produce the fairest test they could.

This now means if regulated properly we can create a diet which will spike our Insulin levels during a meal so that we can piggyback some bodybuilding supplements alongside. As long as you do not exceed your daily amount of Calories (kcal - a unit measurement of the body's fuel intake). You can set yourself 4 or 5 meals a day and use each high Protein low Carbohydrate meal guideline and add a supplement to each meal. Many bodybuilding diets use this time to add Omega 3 oils to your body throughout the day on a non training day and only start adding things like Creatine on training days.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mapping My Progress - The Begining

I've never realized how much of a mirror hobo i am. if mirrors were money i wouldn't have enough to buy an insult from turret sufferer. I have one small mirror in the bathroom, that is all...
  Well anyway I've bought a full length one from the magical kingdom commonly known as Ikea. Ikea also known to many as "where am I? I'm lost, I only came here for kitchen cutlery.."
  I'm planning on using this for progress shots. I'm pondering on one a week. Maybe a glorious morning shot? This should prove a fair experiment i imagine. After 8 hours of "zzz" my head off, my body should always awake in the same state as the previous week. No post meals or trained body parts which may be swollen one week and flat the next. Just the same rumbling tum, messy hair and morning erection in each mirror snapshot.

I ordered some Digital Calipers which turned up today in the post. Did you know women have a different scale to men when measure their fat content? Hardly fair! If we're fat, so are you love! Hiding your spare tyre behind a code-wheel of lady dress sizes is shameful. Us men don't hide behind size 10 or size 16 trousers! heck no, we put the size on it in imperial bloody inches like anyone with rational thought would do!

Also managed to dig out a measuring ribbon I won in a Christmas cracker. Won that thing way back before i had the hairs on my chin, an overdraft facility, even before i had enough years to earn the right to regret things i hadn't done in them. Obviously it had spent all this time living in that magical drawer that contains all the Christmas cracker screwdriver sets, batteries, elastic bands, some old keys and a phone book from 1993.

Now with my bathroom scales to add to the list i believe I'm just about ready to begin mapping my progress. What I may do is make an excel chart for my measurements in a blog and just update the blogg each week accordingly... or when i remember, which ever comes first!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Diary - an Introduction to Body Bulding

In the Beginning there was nothing. It was empty, cold and desolate..
..So it took out a 12 month Gym membership, for far too much money in hope it could create something Godly!
I don't know about you but when i start a book i always take note on how the first paragraph starts. not so i use it to judge the book. I have friends who i have much more fun judging behind their back. Many stories share similar plots although your never find the same opening twice. strange but its just something i do. Like reading the back of the shampoo bottle when on the loo or jumping into bed so the monster cant grab my feet.
I've been hitting the gym and dabbling in the dark art protein shakes, creatine and pre workout caffeine infused bomb guzzlers since i left school at 16. Now although Ive managed to put on enough muscle to achieve the nickname commonly known as  'the bear', i still cant help but look in a mirror feel im closer to  'the teddy bear'.
For the first time in 13years I'm going to put a hypothetical pen to paper and note of my progression from teddy to grizzly in one year. I'm going to use any trial and error knowledge i have picked up with weight lifting, cardio and diet along with actual fact information i can find online.
If for any reason these posts abruptly come to an end before the year is up i should imagine it's down to either my kidneys exploding due too excessive and incorrect consumption of protein intake, the veins in my neck bursting during a 500kg dead lift, i have given up all my worldly belonging to live a much simpler life as hobo who travels the country side and occasionally meets new friends before saving the day and moving on to a new adventure, or simply because Ive lost interest in blogging my shizzle.