Lesser of two disgusting choices


Years ago, I kept a food journal for a nutritionist to review. After I handed it to her and she reviewed it, her first question to me was, "Do you ever eat protein?"


Of course, I do, it's right... um... uh... it's on... I did... well, shit. No, not really.

It's not a conscious choice, I just don't eat protein much.

I cannot eat enough


I'm pretty much not able to eat enough food, and it's starting to frustrate me. As part of my training program I'm eating as much as I can. Literally. If I can eat, I do. I have pooped more in one day (I'm averaging 3-4 times a day for the last week) than I ever pooped in a single day before (the goldfish story excluded).

Kris says give it time: eventually, my body will adjust to the additional nutrition requirements and extra food, and process it accordingly. Until then, 4 poops a day.

The worst part is that I don't know if I'm getting the correct requirements for food. Am I getting enough protein? Vitamins? Iron? I have no idea. I wish I knew.


How much protein do athletes need?

There isn't an exact number for athletes because protein needs vary, depending on whether an athlete is growing, rapidly building new muscle, doing endurance exercise, or dieting, in which case protein is used as a source of energy (table 1). Protein requirements for athletes are higher than the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.4 g of protein per pound of body weight, which is based on the needs of nonexercisers. Protein recommendations for athletes are commonly expressed in a range to include a safety margin (2). If you do the math (1g of protein has 4 calories), you'll see that you don't need to have 30% of your calories come from protein.

Table 1. Recommended Grams of Protein Per Pound of Body Weight Per Day*
RDA for sedentary adult 0.4
Adult recreational exerciser 0.5-0.75
Adult competitive athlete 0.6-0.9
Adult building muscle mass 0.7-0.9
Dieting athlete 0.7-1.0
Growing teenage athlete 0.9-1.0
*To find your daily protein requirement, multiply the appropriate numbers in this table by your weight in pounds.