Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th, 2009 - Protein

I had my quarterly oncologist appointment. All of my functions (liver, kidneys, ect) are fine, except, of course, my platelet count. Regardless of diet and exercise, I still hover between 70-80,000. Normal low count is 150,000 and high count is 450,000 (I think pregnant women get to 450). Nonetheless, it's better than last March's 34,000 count. They still do not know why I have a low platelet count, but at least I don't have cancer. My platelet count and past physical history place me in the high risk category. The doctor was impressed that I had lost 30 pounds from our last visit roughly 75 days ago. That pretty much matches my records. This morning I weighed 315. Worst case scenario, I lose 25 pounds before my next visit in January.

Somehow I got onto a protein campaign today. I was reading about how much your muscles scream for protein during and after hard workouts. I know I've been eating well, but I wasn't sure how many grams of protein I was getting. I figured out that I was getting maybe 150 or less grams per day. I eat my beans, nuts, soy, and, less often, tofu, but it is clearly not enough. I calculated that a man my size with a fairly extreme exercise routine should be getting at least 300 grams per day. The standard calculation for people with normal active life styles is 1/2 gram per body weight pound, however, muscle builders need 1.15 g/lbs/day. I put myself at the 1 gram/lbs/day, so I needed to find protein supplements. I found that the best source is a protein shake, but the ones I found at the vitamin store had whey or milk and they were very expensive. I checked out the local grocery store and found a vegan mix (100% Soy) for less money. Each two scoop serving has 31 g protein. My plan is to drink 4 or 5 of those drinks a day and a high protein bar when I workout and 2 when I ride. Your body can only absorb about 40 grams in any one sitting, so I have to basically eat protein during and between meals and push water. The powered drink has the consistency of cement, so I'm sure I need tons of water just to get that sludge through me. Combined with a protein conscious vegan diet, I think I can hit my daily requirements. I hope it allows me to increase my weights and riding distance or time. For an omnivore reference, a good 16 ounce steak is about 120 grams protein. You probably eat too much protein and unused protein turns to fat.

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