For the bodybuilders out there who have to get in more protein that most people, what do you do to stay on budget?
I live in Korea and the price of meat is rather expensive compared to North America, when you buy at the grocery store. Pork used to be cheap but there was a big outbreak of hoof and mouth this year, and the entire domestic meat market is protected by tariffs which means the price of foreign meat is raised.
I'm looking for ways to get about 185 grams of protein per day, cheaply. This usually means eating a lot of muscle meat which can get expensive. Whole fish, octopus, squid, and eggs can be moderately priced here, but there seems to be a lot of work involved in preparing them and I'm largely clueless about how to do so.
I would say go with what's cheap. In the US, chicken is pretty cheap and rotisserie chickens are convenient. If you have access to the seafood you say you do, I'd use that. Eggs are a great source of protein. I wouldn't get too stressed out about hitting that 185 gram mark everyday. It's totally possible and likely 1 gram per pound of bodyweight isn't essential to put on muscle.
One last idea is to protein fast one day per week to induce autophagy. This could save you some money on the protein and shouldn't alter your results adversely since it's only once per week.
250g frozen Chicken Livers - £0.45 - 50g Protein Kidneys work out slightly more expensive but not much Hearts once again - ever so slightly more expensive but not much
But all far cheaper than muscle meat.
well thats in the UK at least
Probably gonna have to go with whatever is available to you. Eggs will likely need to be your number one source since you don't wanna eat too much fish and you say you don't know what to do with octopus. Do you have access to quality beef where you're at in Korea? Even on a budget, sometimes ground beef and/or breakfast steaks can be affordable. If you are spending any frivolous money on weird stuff, I would funnel it back into your budget for the staples so you can afford the beef, even given Korea's current meat market situation that you speak of. Another avenue could be milk if you can get whole organic milk out there and you tolerate it well. Eggs, beef, milk.
Something to keep in mind is that I would either stick with healthy ways to build muscle or don't do it. If you don't have the funds right now to do it right, then don't make your body a experiemental filter for unhealthy sources of protein in the name of building muscle.
In the States, the best price/gram deal is dried egg whites from Roseacre Farms (www.roseacre.com). If you can't find a local source of dried egg whites in Korea, you could try them. Or, alternately, you could just separate out the egg whites from fresh eggs and mix them in with whatever you are cooking up for a meal.
I have to say, Jons mention of the protein requirement certainly fit my experience within bodybuilding. I was a young male (15-17) (still a male, for the record), so my hormonal profile was probably jacked, but I was training around 4 times per week (4 day split) and eating around 120g protein per day, if that. Over the course of those two years I probably put on around 2 stone of muscle. Later on I added more protein, and I can't honestly say I noticed faster growth. Perhaps better recovery? Too subjective to really say. All in all, I think protein requirements are possibly exaggerated to cover a wide margin of error; hormonal profiles, genetic predispositions, dietry quality, training intelligence/consistency, adequate rest etc are probably more significant when coming to muscle building. At least in my own fairly mesomorphic n=1...
Don't automatically believe all the gurus telling you you need 1-1.5g per lb (or whatever the latest recommendations are) to build muscle. What they don't tell you is that excess protein is very easily and quickly turned into fat. I have proved for myself that it is quite possible to build muscle while eating moderate protein on a calorie restricted VLD diet. Good luck.
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