Categorized | Featured, Fitness, Nutrition

Protein Supplements a Necessary Evil – Part 1.

First, let me tell you the truth – I have always despised and been very skeptical of powder supplements. I always thought to myself that in this capitalist society, manufacturers probably put a bunch of unnecessary chemicals in powder supplements to maximize the product. So if I take them, 10 years from now I will end up with cancer. But, after doing some research about nutrition, I’ve realized that I’ve been wrong – and I may have done a disservice to my athletic career.

Let me explain: I have been breaking my body instead of building it. Why didn’t I notice? Simply because I was in my in my teens! But now, at the age of 23, I have realized that without proper nutrition I might never accomplish my goals. Before moving on, let me explain where my previous mindset was wrong.

  1. The beauty of capitalism is that it encourages competition. A lot of these products have not been approved by the FDA, which I don’t like, but they are regulated by consumers and experts. If a product doesn’t produce results, it does not get positive reviews from experts or consumers – and boom it’s out of the stores and the company is out of business. But even if the product is good, as soon as another product becomes a bit better, or even equal in quality, there is no competitive advantage. This forces the manufacturers to go on a never-ending journey of improvement. And that’s a good thing.
  2. If you can get the same amount of protein from natural foods like steak, fish, etc., this is obviously the best choice. But, before you assume you are getting the right amount of protein from non-supplement sources, lets examine how much protein a BJJ athlete should consume. This is according to my previous research (Small Steps to Better Nutrition for Athletes)

Body Weight



0.55 to 0.8


55 to 80


60.5 to 88


66 to 96


71.5 to 104


77 to 112


82.5 to 120


88 to 128


93.5 to 136


99 to 144


104.5 to 152


110 to 160


115.5 to 168


121 to 176


126.5 to 184


132 to 192


137.5 to 200


143 to 208


148.5 to 216


154 to 224

So, if you are like me and weight 175 pounds, you should eat an average of 121 grams of protein per day.

How much fish is that? From we see that it will take about one and a half fillets of salmon every day to accomplish that. And while you’ll be getting your protein, you’ll also be eating 66 grams of fat. That would only leave us with 12 gram of fat to eat for the rest of the day, according to our previous researh (Small Steps to Better Nutrition for Athletes).

BJJ Engineer - Naples, FL: Nutritional Data for Salmon

Here are some other high protein foods to help you get a perspective:

Food, Amount, Protein
Fish, 3 oz, 21 grams
Chicken, 3 oz, 21 grams
Turkey, 3 oz, 21 grams
Meat, 3 oz, 21 grams
Milk, 8 oz, 8 grams
Tofu, 3 oz, 15 grams
Yogurt, 8 oz, 8 grams
Cheese, 3 oz, 21 grams
Peanut butter, 2 tbsp, 8 grams
Eggs, 2 large, 13 grams

If you get the non-organic salmon for $6 a pound, this will cost you about $9 dollars a day, or $270 dollars a month – and that’s just for salmon!

Also, it’s important to point out that this salmon-only diet only provides 1101 calories per day. Our research( Lehigh Wrestling Balance Diet for Fueling Wrestlers ) also indicates that a 175-pound BJJ athlete should eat anywhere from 1,700 to 3,500 (1700 being absolutely minimal and not good during hard training periods like Panams Championship or World Championship preparation periods). So, we have to eat about 1000 calories more, but we can only only eat 12 more grams of fat! That’s a pretty hard act to follow.

This is why Protein Powder Supplements are a necessary evil. Most of us don’t have the time to plan exact diets with natural products. And we also don’t have the money, nor the time and energy, to cook after training sessions.

In our next article, we will examine protein more scientifically and determine the best solution to our protein needs.

Go to Part 2

4 Responses to “Protein Supplements a Necessary Evil – Part 1.”

  1. A Word of Advice: Use milk. I tried mixing it with water and it didn’t taste that good. With milk I actually liked the way the Vanilla Ice Cream flavor tasted. You may want to buy two 5 lbs containers of different flavors as well, so that you don’t get bored of the same taste. The 10 lbs container should last two months as you probably will have other source of proteins in your diet. Currently I am having 2-3 scoops (2-3 shakes per day).
    I also had this shake before and after the Circuit of the Week: “Barbara” and I felt really good!
    I definitely recommend it.!

  2. Chris says:

    What do you think of the Muscle Milk products as a supplement? Thanks.

  3. Muscle Milk was reported on ConsumerReports.Org. for having arsenic and too much metal and things you don’t want to put in your system.

    Also read:

    I stay away and I would definitely recommend you the same. The company I recommend in this article has had a good history of fine products. I use them for Casein, Whey, and Creatine Supplements.