A few days ago, a young student (probably 18) who isn’t earning any income and works out at the same gym as me asked me, “Hey man, I can only spare $100 each month from my allowances to buy protein and supplements. What should I get?”
So this is my advice to every young chap who is a beginner and has only about S$100 (or RM250/US$80) each month to spend on building muscle. This is of course, assuming that you already have at least 3 good meals per day and this is simply an addition. Lastly, this is not OPTIMAL but if will build you the most muscle (with good training and recovery) for that amount of money.
You should spend that S$100 on…
Beef, rice and eggs!
Yup, that’s right. More food. No supplements. Why? Well, let’s make some calculations and comparisons.
At Singapore prices, S$100 can buy you say, approximately one of these:
- 10lbs (4.5kg) of mass gainer (17 500 kcal)
- 7lbs ( 3.2kg) of whey protein (12 800 kcal)
- 1.5kg (300 servings) of creatine monohydrate.
- 22lbs (10kg) of ground beef (from the wet market, not the imported beef you find in supermarkets) (21 000 kcal)
- 600 large eggs (44 700 kcal)
- 100lbs (40kg) of rice (143 200kcal)
So, in the effort to maximize calorie intake to build mass, what would you buy get the biggest bang for your buck? Rice, obviously! However, you’re not gonna build muscle on carbohydrates alone. Plus, good luck eating more than a kilo of rice a day! So, let’s say, you’ ve spent $15 per month on rice, which on average, increases your calorie intake by 700kcal per day. Great! You have all the energy to fuel you through your workouts! Now, let’s get some protein in to pack to on those muscle!
Well, since you’ve got all the carbs you need from rice for a dirt cheap $15 per month, why on earth would you need a mass gainer? (Plus, rice is so much better for you than maltodextrin. Maltodextrin spikes insulin like hell!). So, it’s between whey, creatine eggs and ground beef now. Creatine won’t do you much good if you’re not taking enough calories and protein. So, let’s scrap that. Plus, there are some naturally occuring creatine in beef.
Now, the benefit of whey which beef and eggs couldn’t provide is that it’s fast absorbing, which is perfect for post-workouts. On the other hand, beef and whole eggs are able to provide you a time-released source of protein. Plus, for beef, you get loads of other nutrients like zinc, selenium, niacin and smaller amounts of other nutrients. You’ll get plenty of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and selenium with eggs. AND lastly, any experienced bodybuilder (maybe except vegetarian bodybuilders) will tell you that beef is the ultimate muscle maker! There’s no ONE reason why beef is so, but rather a combination of all the nutrients, fats and protein which makes it the best muscle builder of all time.
So if I have to choose either having whey or beef, rice and eggs, I will actually choose the food! With that much calories, protein and other nutrients, eventually they will build me more muscle than any whey products of the same cost!
But wait. Missing a post-workout shake? Then have your meal as soon as you finish your workout. Or have a small sugary drink if the travel home takes a lil too long. The sugars will spike your insulin, which is anti-catabolic so you save your muscle from further breaking down. Either way, you will still build loads more muscle if you sacrifice your post-workout shake for lots of rice and beef for the rest of the day (of course, the best choice is if you can afford both, which is not the case here).
And yup, I know, ground beef and egg yolks has a substantial amount of fat. But dude, you’re BULKING!! You need those calories! Want something leaner? Go for chicken breast then. That’s still 2800g protein for $100. 😉
Don’t know how to cook? Well, experiment with various sauces and spices! I’ve learnt tonnes of delicious yet healthy recipes by doing that! Plus, ladies love men who are also great in the kitchen, not just in bed. 😉
So in conclusion, if your wallet is thin but you want your body to be thick, spend what you have on food! Even if you only consume half the yolks from the eggs you’ve bought, you’ll get 27 000kcal and 2900g of protein! That’s way more than what you can find in powders! You won’t regret it! Now who says you can’t bulk on a budget?
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