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What to replace protein powder with? (and other hardgainer questions)

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  • What to replace protein powder with? (and other hardgainer questions)

    This might be a lengthy post, so I apologize in advance.

    I'm a very slender guy. I'm 20 years old, and I weigh 150 pounds. In the past few months, I've been trying to build some more muscle mass. I've seen results so far (I weighed around 140-145 pounds prior), but I want to change a few things. I worked out today, and it was pretty typical of what I've been doing, so here's how I worked out/ate (the dairy is an experiment, btw):

    -No breakfast
    -12:00 PM: Worked out for about 20 minutes (loads of push-ups, dips, curls, and carrying some heavy water bottles around my house)
    -12:30 PM: PWO drink/snack - 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 cup raw milk, egg white protein powder (24g protein), 1 banana, 1 cup of blueberries
    -1:30 PM: PWO meal - 3 egg omelet with salsa and feta cheese, 1 can of tuna (I would normally have a real cut of meat, but I didn't have anything else on hand), 1 sweet potato + 1 tbsp. butter
    -4:00 PM: 1 cup raw milk, 1 banana, 40g dark chocolate (88% cacao)
    -7:00 PM: 2 chicken legs (about 12oz), smoothie (1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 avocado, five small strawberries, 1 banana)

    I would have had more vegetables, but I didn't have any left today. With that said:

    1. I want to cut out the protein powder. I've tried various types of whey protein and don't like it. Egg white protein powder sits better with me, but there are some problems -- I usually feel fatigued, moody, and heavy when I consume it, and I've noticed that the more I use it, the more prominent the wrinkles on my forehead become. Odd, but it happens. I've considered trying brown rice protein, but I think I'd rather just eat real food. From reading around, I've gathered that it's good to have around 70-100 grams of protein in the first two hours PWO if you're looking to build/maintain. First of all, is this even true? And secondly, what should I replace the powder with?

    2. I've read about milk being beneficial for building, so I experimented this week and bought a gallon of raw milk. I drank about 2-3 cups on workout days, and 1 cup on rest days. For me, non-raw dairy results in fatigue, acne, and moodiness, but raw dairy does almost the opposite. It's definitely giving me some results in terms of size, but I'm feeling kind of "doughy" -- I'm not sure if it's the milk or the large amounts of fruits I've been eating. I'll probably cut out the milk first and see if that helps. My question here: how many carbohydrates should I be eating on workout days? I know the general consensus here is to obtain carbohydrates from starchy foods like sweet potatoes, but I feel much better when I get them from fruit. Potatoes, rice, etc. tend to make me feel overfull and lethargic.

    Thanks for taking the time to read that! Haha. Any tips/advice will be appreciated. Feel free to critique anything you see fit! :]
    Last edited by tarek; 01-21-2011, 08:31 PM.

  • #2
    So I'm not going to comment on how to gain (not my area of expertise!)--but where is your FAT? It seems pretty low to me...
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    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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    • #3
      Really? I had around a cup of coconut milk, two cups of raw milk, a tablespoon of butter, two tablespoons of olive oil (some added added to the omelet, and the tuna was packed in it), dark chocolate, half an avocado, and two chicken legs with the skin on. Should I be eating more than that?

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      • #4
        my husband is also a "hardgainer." he does best on the "dave diet" which is basically primal. (his friend dave introduced/created it). i'll see if he'll weigh in on what he does.

        he has been protein powder free since 2002. thank god. that stuff is nasty. and it stinks. and it's really hard to get off of one's cups and glasses when someone doesn't RINSE it. (a thing he still doesn't do with dishes, btw). anyway, i'll ask.

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        • #5
          I plugged most of your foods into Fitday-- and you end up around 150 or so grams of fat. I eat that much and I am only eating 1500 calories (a slight deficit to lose my last few pounds of belly fat.)

          It just doesn't seem like enough, considering your weight/desire to gain. How about adding some raw cheese to up your protein and fat?
          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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          • #6
            here's DH's daily do, he said i could put this up, but he's currently not lifting heavy and way down on his weight (due to injuries), but super lean for sure, and still good sized muscle (imo), though none of his clothes fit!

            1. breakfast 6:30 am (he gets up at 5:30, does a workout or whatever he's doing that morning, then he and the baby make breakfast from 6:15 to 6:30, then they eat): 4 eggs fried in butter (abt 2 tbsp), steamed veggies (as much as you want, he usually has about two cups) plus another tablespoon of butter, tbsp of flax oil, and 1/3 tbsp cod liver oil, cup of yogurt and mixed berries or banana (more calories in the banana), two brazil nuts;

            2. snack at 10:00 am: orange serving of pumpkin seeds (soaked), 25 grams dark chocolate;

            3. Lunch at 12:30: BAS with olive oil plus some meat (whatever we have left over, usually);

            4. snack at 4:00: apple with almond/brazil nut butter, glass of raw milk, and either more chocolate or some veggie slices or what have you;

            6. dinner at 8:00 or so: meat of some kind made in a crock pot, plus veggies (as much as we want), sometimes some yogurt or milk or kefir after, and so on.

            He figures the snacks would expand into meals. he agrees with the idea of "eat when you are hungry" and he also will snack on a fair few avocados, bacon, etc.

            anyway, an idea.

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            • #7
              Your diet should be seventy to eighty percent fat. Too much protein and too little non protein food is a recipe for problems. Drop the protein powder and eat steak instead. The great bodybuilders of yesteryear used steak and eggs as their secret to bulking up.

              The Gallon of Milk a Day thing is from Mark Rippetoe and does work, but I'm not sure its necessary. I'm also not sure its of any benefit to you since you are not doing Rippetoe's mass building program or anything similar. Rippetoe's program: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wi..._Strength_Wiki
              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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              • #8
                Thanks for the responses!

                @Bushrat: would you say there's a legitimate need to eat lots of protein when trying to build mass, or is fat more critical?

                @zoebird: tell your husband thanks!
                Last edited by tarek; 01-23-2011, 05:43 PM.

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                • #9
                  i think you need more "FOOOOOOD".... eat a ribeye/chuck steak and gorge on beef roasts post workout, eggs/omelettes...i would replace your coconut milk/raw milk/protein smoothie thingy with real food, meat meat meat with a glass of raw milk
                  Get on my Level
                  http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                  • #10
                    Protein powder is not nasty! Some of you get so frickin' anal about eating that it takes the fun out of it! This isn't neuroscience! To gain more muscle you need to eat more.Your calories should be around 3,000-3,500

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                    • #11
                      And to burn fat,do intervals 3 times a week- 20 minute sessions-no more or you'll burn the muscle you do add.Do cardio AT THE END of your work-out!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
                        i think you need more "FOOOOOOD".... eat a ribeye/chuck steak and gorge on beef roasts post workout, eggs/omelettes...i would replace your coconut milk/raw milk/protein smoothie thingy with real food, meat meat meat with a glass of raw milk
                        This. Eat more food, and real, whole food. Big fatty steaks, eggs etc. They are a mix of protein and fat. If you need to supplement anything it will be more fat because meat is cut too lean in most butcher shops and supermarkets. Every skinny kid bulks up these days by eating pizza and mcdonalds, which is carbs on top of carbs, so its no wonder they need more protein. Once you centre your diet around real foods you won't be protein deficient.

                        If you want any sort of protein powder then I'd go with Marks Primal Fuel (which is actually a meal replacement).
                        A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                        • #13
                          Fat in sufficient quantities will have a 'protein sparing' effect - so you will be fine with a moderate protein intake when trying to grow. People overconsume protein as a result of protein powder marketing and the 'Flex' effect. Either that or they eat a diet devoid of anything but lean chicken breasts and tuna, meaning they need to eat tons of stuff because most of it is burnt up as fuel.

                          Leave out the powders and make up a mix of raw eggs, heavy cream and/or raw milk - add some berries for flavour if you want. A protein/fat based weight gainer which is 100% whole foods.

                          You need MORE calories to grow on a high fat diet because insulin levels are kept lower.

                          However your training needs work if you want to grow. Is there any reason you're not at a gym?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alex_the_iron View Post
                            Fat in sufficient quantities will have a 'protein sparing' effect - so you will be fine with a moderate protein intake when trying to grow. People overconsume protein as a result of protein powder marketing and the 'Flex' effect. Either that or they eat a diet devoid of anything but lean chicken breasts and tuna, meaning they need to eat tons of stuff because most of it is burnt up as fuel.

                            Leave out the powders and make up a mix of raw eggs, heavy cream and/or raw milk - add some berries for flavour if you want. A protein/fat based weight gainer which is 100% whole foods.

                            You need MORE calories to grow on a high fat diet because insulin levels are kept lower.

                            However your training needs work if you want to grow. Is there any reason you're not at a gym?
                            How much would you consider a moderate amount?

                            I don't go to a gym because I don't really want to spend money on it. I'm also not looking to get "ripped" or build mass really fast; another ten pounds or so of muscle mass over time would be fine with me.

                            Originally posted by Fitastic View Post
                            Protein powder is not nasty! Some of you get so frickin' anal about eating that it takes the fun out of it! This isn't neuroscience! To gain more muscle you need to eat more.Your calories should be around 3,000-3,500
                            Yeah, I've been working on upping my caloric intake. It can be a little challenging to eat around 3,000 calories consistently. I don't think protein powders are nasty; I love the way they taste, but I hate the way they make me feel. They're heavily processed, so I don't think having them on a regular basis is too healthful. Not for me, at least.

                            Thanks again, guys!

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                            • #15
                              Do Starting Strength and eat 3000-5000 calories a day. You will grow... and you're still pretty young so you'll have good muscle gains and probably little fat, as well as huge increase in strength.

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