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I am looking for Protein suggestions that I can have to consume 30grams after waking up. I am a vegetarian but I do eat eggs. Not too keen on consuming 5 boiled eggs first thing in the morning.

I have started exercise (Boxing Bootcamp twice a week and Mountain Biking once a week) for last 4 weeks and after listening Tim Ferris's talk, I would like to give it a shot.

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    I must ask: Is within 30 minutes really necessary? Or, is it more important that it's just the first thing you consume? Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 21:35
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    The specific suggestion by Tim Ferris' is "within 30 minutes". Apparently it's supposed to increase fatloss, if I recall correctly due to increased metabolism.
    – Letharion
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:48
  • As a note: This question was on topic when it was originally asked. Shortly afterward, the scope of the site was changed to remove nutrition questions that were unrelated to a fitness program.
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 14:33

9 Answers 9

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A whey protein shake would be an easy way to get protein.

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A good breakfast for me can consist of a 2-3 scrambled eggs mixed with half a can (~150g) cottage cheese. Spice it up with some tabasco sauce and it's totally edible, and it takes about 5 mins to make.

Another option is to just eat a whole can of cottage cheese straight (perhaps mixed with something sweet like a splash of kool aid). That's nearly 40 grams of protein by itself.

If you're not into milk products, then 2-3 eggs and a bowl of oatmeal on the side will also put you in the 30g protein range. Raw rolled oats can be as high as 16g/100g of protein, plus they're dirt cheap.

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    +1 for protein loading off of real food. Also, it would be good also consider edamame and tuna. There is also a wide variety of cereals fortified with protein such as wolframalpha.com/input/?i=special+k+protein+plus. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 21:18
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    The problem with cottage cheese is that it's casein, not whey, and part of the purpose for protein loading on waking is to get a quick rush of protein. IMO cottage cheese isn't ideal for this. Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 18:55
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Eat a can of tuna. White albacore. Each can has 2 servings and each serving has 14 grams of protein. Put some ranch dressing in there and you are good to go! 28 grams is close enough for me, but 1 tbsp of peanut butter would put you over the top. ;)

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  • Wouldn't want to eat this too often. Too much mercury in big fish like tuna to eat them regularly. Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 2:42
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Yoghurt? Whey protein shakes? HIGH PROTEIN COOKIES??
None of this is what Tim Ferriss was talking about I'm afraid.
He means high quality protein, i.e. animal protein. If you're a vegetarian, then I guess you've got to do
the best you can with a restrictive system of eating.

I have a similar issue, in that I find it difficult to eat so much in the morning (which is how I landed here, looking for tips!) So, why do I have an issue with the above foods?

(1) Yoghurt
Fine if you can tolerate it, but dairy is a problem for most humans because of the milk
proteins which cause all manner of issues. We're not kids. We no longer need milk.

Exceptions to the rule seem to be hard cheeses, ghee etc. (grass-fed if you can get it). Cottage cheese has a lot of protein and is low carb, so if you're wanting to lose weight and MUST consume dairy, it's not the worst thing you could eat. (and it's yum).

(2) Whey Protein Shakes.
Most are just clever ways of sucking money out of chumps. Why not just eat 'food'? If you have to use them, then go for whey protein isolate, which is far superior.

(3) High Protein Cookies
Dumbest. Idea. Ever. You may get your 30gm of protein for a handful of these stupid things, but it'll come bundled with massive amounts of carbs and gluten. Not only totally undoing your weight-loss efforts, but you'll GAIN weight. Again, if you're following Ferriss' protocol and you want to lose weight, you need to avoid grains (inc. fake grains such as quinoa), sugars (inc. fruit initially) and most dairy.
Robb Wolf would suggest steering clear of legumes too.

Anyway, best of luck and keep going. I've done the Slow-Carb thing for 3mths and lost 20kg - and I did it in the most haphazard way possible (mainly because I couldn't afford all the food I had to eat - esp. the grass-fed stuff) and with no other exercise than walking (quickly) for an hour most days. Cheers, m@

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  • Avoid grains, quinoa, fruit, most dairy, legumes and whey protein? For a vegetarian in need of high protein foods that leaves.. what.. Eggs?? (Not saying you're wrong, just doesn't seem to leave much on the table!)
    – Molomby
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 2:50
  • Haha.. just noticed you username/avatar. I suppose you'd say it's the "vegetarian" part that has to give? :P
    – Molomby
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 2:51
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Does "vegetarian" mean "no dairy"? Because greek yogurt is great for morning protein. Blueberry Chobani is the variety I usually buy. Two 6oz containers will get you 28 grams of protein and only 280 calories.

If 12oz of yogurt is too much or too boring for you, or you want some more carbs, I might suggest something like this:

Total: 505 calories, 32g protein

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Try high protein cookies. Titan makes one with 20g of protein in one pack of cookies. I have heard the 30g too and wonder if your size matters. I am only 115 lbs so my daily protein intake is a lot lower than most people.

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  • I wonder about the other ingredient in those cookies, I mean they are called cookies after all.
    – Baarn
    Commented Nov 2, 2012 at 21:52
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Spirulina. Spirulina is an algae that grows naturally in the rivers of Africa and contains more protein than meat. It can be bought as a powder or pill.

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  • More protein per what? Gram, calorie, atom, liter? Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 16:23
  • Considering the weight of each pill (around 2-3g/pill) you'd have to eat quite a lot of them, especially because they are only ~60% protein… I guess that this might get pretty expensive.
    – Baarn
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 16:27
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    It isn't any better than milk or meat as a protein source, and is about 30 times more expensive. It is slightly higher than meat in protein / 100g, but to get 140 grams of meat, you need to eat about 4ish ounces. Or you can take 200 pills to get 100 grams of spirulina for the same protein content. Why is it people can't do simple math?
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 22:18
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    Second note: I was looking at prices/specs, and found one that showed spirulina has 55g protein/100g. So, to get 30g of protein first thing, you'd need slightly more than 50g, or 25ish pills. It also states that it has 5mcg of B-12 per 100g, but fails to mention it's in a form that is inert to the body and of little use.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 22:24
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If you aren't keen on eating first thing in the morning then definitely consider this. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a great way to lose body fat while maintaining and even gaining muscle.

Definitely at least Google it and read a little before writing it off. Check out Leangains.com and RippedBody.jp to see some of the awesome physiques people can achieve through skipping breakfast and opting for just some black coffee or tea instead.

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The Tim Ferris approach offers no value for athletes and can actually cause you to add pounds of fat instead of losing it because of two things: 1) 30 min after you wake up your body isn’t looking for external (food intake) energy supplies as you literally just regenerated your internal energy so it’s going to store any protein turning it into glycogen which will become fat; and 2) protein takes several hours to break down in the stomach, so it’s not impacting your metabolism by taking within the first 30 minutes after waking. The best process for an athlete such as you is to drink a full 8 oz of water within those first 30 minutes, go for your run and then intake a full 30-40 grams of high quality protein anywhere from 30-60 minutes after your run is complete. The protein will satiate your morning hunger and by midday that protein will have been fully absorbed by your body providing good energy recovery during the late hours of the day to help with the lean muscle growth that runners need.

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  • While this question is off topic now (It was not when it was originally asked), you have a couple misconceptions. Gastric emptying (From the stomach) is complete within 1-2 hours, and all proteins absorbed within a couple hours (half an hour for fast digesting proteins). Excess glycogen is stored in the liver, it doesn't become fat. Fat storage is a different metabolic process
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 14:06

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