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So, your protein is limited. Now what?

Updated: Apr 23, 2023


We all know that, for most coaches, a high-protein diet is the go-to solution for fat loss and muscle growth. And with reason: research shows diets high in protein increase satiety, boost metabolism, and provide energy—plus all that fun muscle repair stuff.


But there can be too much of a good thing. For people concerned with kidney health, an overabundance of protein could lead to chronic problems—and irreversible damage. And when your protein’s limited, it can feel almost impossible to chase those gains in any meaningful way.


Thing is, it’s not impossible. You can eat less than your bodyweight in protein and still build the muscle you want by focusing on two variables…


TIMING

  • Eat 18 to 20 grams of protein 1 to 2 hours before a workout

  • Eat 22 to 25 grams of protein within 2 to 3 hours after a workout.

DISTRIBUTION

  • Spread protein intake throughout the day.

  • Eat at least 12 to 15 grams with every meal (outside of pre- and post-workout dishes).

WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE IN REAL LIFE?


Imagine you could only eat 90 grams of protein a day, and eat five meals a day. This is how you could break down your intake:

  • Pre-workout: 20 grams

  • Post-workout: 25 grams

  • Meal 1: 15 grams

  • Meal 2: 15 grams

  • Meal 3: 15 grams

Studies show that eating at least 25 grams of protein after a workout stimulates maximal increases in protein synthesis after lifting weights. And eating protein throughout the day helps maximize protein absorption, maintaining muscle mass and promoting muscle growth.


REMEMBER: YOU CAN GET BUFF WITH LESS PROTEIN


It takes focus, dedication, and an understanding of the right programming and strategies for your body to maximize intake and promote growth. Need guidance? I'm here.

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