A closer look at the high-protein diet of Bryson DeChambeau
It’s no secret that Bryson DeChambeau is eating a lot these days: eggs, bacon, steak, potatoes, up to seven (!!!) protein shakes.
And the difference has been, well, noticeable.
“Are you saying that I’m fat?” DeChambeau jokingly asked a reporter last month.
All kidding aside, DeChambeau’s body transformation, which has seen him go from 195 pounds to 240 in less than a year, hasn’t been about just eating and lifting more. “I don’t necessarily eat anything or everything I want,” he said two weeks ago in Detroit while revealing the basics of his diet.
“Bryson has been very strategic with his intake, and in order to get the results like he has, you almost have to be,” said Acacia Wright, nutritionist and dietician for Orgain, which makes the shakes that DeChambeau drinks. “What he’s done is he’s really maximized his nutrient density to support his performance.”
That includes going heavy on the protein.
With protein the key to muscle building and recovery, DeChambeau has ramped up that aspect of his diet while keeping a two-to-one carbohydrates-to-protein ratio, the carbs ensuring that he meets his high energy demands.
Here’s a quick breakdown of DeChambeau’s general daily diet:
- Breakfast: Four eggs, five strips of bacon, toast, two Orgain protein shakes
- Throughout day: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, GoMacro bars, snacks, two to three Orgain protein shakes
- Dinner: Steak, potatoes, two Orgain protein shakes
“It is definitely a meal plan that I would say is aligned with bulking or putting on muscle,” Wright said. “I wouldn’t say this would be your average individual’s diet; this would definitely be a diet that would support a caloric surplus and therefore favor muscle-building.”
Wright recommends the average person target a daily diet that includes optimally about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For a 175-pound person, that equates to just south of 100 grams of protein per day, ideally dispersed throughout the day (20-40 grams per meal).
As for DeChambeau, looking just at his usual breakfast routine, he is consuming at least 80 grams of protein every morning. And assuming he’s having about 8 ounces of steak and one potato for dinner, coupled with the two protein shakes, he’s pushing nearly 100 grams of protein every evening.
Just in protein shakes, he’s averaging between 96 and 112 grams of protein a day. Each Orgain shake contains 16 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbs, 250 calories and 21 different vitamins and minerals.
When you add in the snacks (each GoMacro bar is about 10-12 grams of protein per bar), it’s safe to say that DeChambeau is flirting with 300 grams of protein a day.
“Bottomline with protein: it’s key to manufacturing muscle,” Wright said. “The latest research suggests that with athletes who are focused on building muscle, they require slightly elevated amounts of protein. … In the case with Bryson, he is consuming a lot of protein. His needs and activity level are considerably higher.”
As for caloric intake, DeChambeau estimates an equally eye-popping amount. “If you would add all that up, it’d be around 3,000 to 3,500 [calories],” he said. “Something like that.”
Obviously, everyone is different, and their dietary needs depend on their body compensation, calorie needs, fitness and health goals, and exercise habits, among other things. With that in mind, Wright recommends that anyone who wishes to embark on a dietary and workout journey similar to DeChambeau’s work closely with their doctor to determine the proper amount of protein needed to reach their bulking goals.
Just like not many people can hit 400-plus-yard drives, not many need that much protein in their diets.