Legend tells us that the Power Athlete Diet recommendation was delivered via winged messenger as a gift from Chuck Norris from Mount Olympus. As he bestowed this great gift upon us, in true Chuck Norris fashion, he put first things first as we eat with abandon meat, fowl, fish, seafood, and egg. Chuck’s message is that protein is important to a Power Athlete.
What is Protein?
Protein is one of the three energy-yielding macronutrients. All macronutrients are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Protein is different in that it has nitrogen in addition to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Nitrogen is the amino in amino acids and these are the building blocks of protein.
As Power Athletes, we are concerned with nitrogen balance. Protein synthesis balances with protein breakdown; if those two things are equal then there is nitrogen balance. On the flip side, if protein breakdown is greater than protein synthesis, we have a negative nitrogen balance; this scenario is typically found in cases of starvation and severe injury. Muscle and other body tissues will be broken down to be utilized as energy if a sufficient amount can’t be gleaned from outside sources. For a Power Athlete, a positive nitrogen state is ideal, which is protein synthesis is greater than protein breakdown. This is a growth state.
Our body can make carbohydrates, fats, and some proteins. As stated above, proteins are made of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that we need, eleven of which are non-essential, meaning we can produce them. The remaining nine are essential, meaning we are unable produce them at all. The only way we can obtain them? Dietary protein. While protein is in most foods, animal proteins have the most complete amino acid profile, meaning these animal proteins are the most efficient source to obtain these essential aminos.
Protein has many important roles such as enzymes, transporters, fluid regulation, acid-base balance, antibodies, hormones, source of energy, and tissue structure. This is a heavy workload! Because of this demand, we are constantly breaking down protein for their amino acids to be used and recycled. However, during this process, up to twenty-five percent of available amino acids can be lost.
Most of the body’s protein is hard at work in muscle tissue: skeletal muscle tissue allowing us to move, and smooth muscle tissues of organs just doing their normal. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, the body does not have a specialized storage mechanism for protein. Energy is a valuable commodity in the body, and when energy stores are low the protein in muscle tissue will be broken down and used for energy.
If you are following a Power Athlete program, then this is an important point: you MUST get an adequate amount of protein to have enough to fuel both their important routine functions AND building flesh.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg). However, the RDA is a basic measure for general needs, it is most appropriate for a generally healthy sedentary individual. As a Power Athlete, this amount is simply not adequate enough to meet the anabolic demand you’re creating from banging weights on one of our world famous programs.
The amount of protein depends on your goal. In general, we recommend at least 1 g/lb of body weight. However, if your goal is to pack on slabs of muscle so that you can Be the Hammer, then you may need considerably more. For building or maintaining muscle mass, a range of 1.4-2.0 g protein/kg is recommended. However, there is novel evidence that intakes >3.0g/kg/d may have positive effects on body composition. (1)
Is it safe to consume these amounts? Substantial evidence indicates higher protein intakes promote healthy aging, weight management, and athletic performance. (2) Whether you are leaning, bulking, or maintaining it is important to get plenty of protein.
As Chuck Norris showed us, protein is an important and essential macronutrient. Remember if you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you cannot see Chuck Norris two things are happening, one is that you could be two seconds away from death or worse that he sees if you are getting enough protein or not.
If you are someone who is ready to take their nutrition seriously and truly start unlocking your potential, hit us up at the link below and get ready to see what you’re truly capable of.
1. Campbell, B., Kreider, R. B., Ziegenfuss, T., La Bounty, P., Roberts, M., Burke, D., . . . Antonio, J. (2007). International society of sports Nutrition POSITION stand: Protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1), 8. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-8
2. Phillips, S. M., Chevalier, S., & Leidy, H. J. (2016). Protein “requirements” beyond the rda: Implications for optimizing health. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(5), 565-572. doi:10.1139/apnm-2015-0550
PODCAST: PA Radio Episode 479 Chris Burres
BLOG: Just Tell Me What To Eat by John Welbourn
BLOG: Going Macro on Micros: Blood Testing Blood Testing for Success by Bryce Wolcott
BLOG: Coaching Key Components of Grit by Jim Davis
COACHING: Power Athlete Nutrition Coaching
Rob has been in the fitness/strength and conditioning industry for 21+ years. For the last 12 years, he has owned and operated CrossFit West Houston. Through CrossFit, Rob found Power Athlete the methodology course and earning his Block One. Nutrition is a passion which lead him to currently pursuing a Masters program in Nutrition at Lamar University and Power Athlete Nutrition coach.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Never miss out on an epic blog post or podcast, drop your email below and we’ll stay in-touch.