• Protein Mistakes You Might Be Making



      By Julie Upton HuffPo

      Protein is the nutrient of the year -- with more than half of all adults trying to get more of it into their diets, according to NPD Group, a market research firm. To help, food companies are pumping more protein into everything from breads and cereals to snack bars and smoothies.

      But before you start filling your shopping cart with protein-enhanced foods in the hopes that they'll help you get leaner, stronger or fitter, here are five facts to consider.

      You Don't Know How Much You Should Eat... But You Probably Eat More Than Enough

      While more than half of adults are trying to get more protein in their diets, some 71 percent say they don't know how much protein they're supposed to eat, according to the NPD group. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is .8 grams per kilogram body weight (about 60 grams protein for a 150-pound adults), but that's the minimum amount needed for sedentary adults to prevent a deficiency not the amount considered an optimal for maintaining a lean body mass.

      A more optimal goal amount is 1.5 times as much as the RDA or 1.2 grams protein per kilogram body weight or about .5 grams per pound. (If you weigh 200 pounds, that's 100 grams protein per day.) The American College of Sports Medicine recommends endurance athletes need 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram (.54 to 63 grams per pound) and bodybuilders need 1.6 to 1.7 grams protein per kilogram body weight (.72 to .77 grams per pound). National nutrition surveillance data show that the men average around 100 grams of protein per day and women eat 68 grams per day, but most active people eat more protein, so it's likely that you already eat enough protein.

      You're Eating Protein All Wrong

      A typical U.S. diet has very little protein at breakfast, adequate amounts at lunch and too much at dinner. In fact, we eat about three times as much protein at dinner as we do at our first meal. That's why a total daily protein goal is good to know, but it's not as important as how protein is divided into meals and snacks. Eating excess protein at one time is essentially wasted as the body can only utilize the essential amino acids present in about 30 grams of protein. And, if weight loss is what you're after, a protein-rich first meal is the most important to help curb appetite and cravings for carbohydrates throughout the day.

      "Our research shows that eating about 30 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner is more beneficial for muscle protein synthesis than eating a large amount at dinner," explains Douglas Paddon-Jones, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and metabolism at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX. The study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition found a 25 percent increase in muscle protein synthesis when protein is divided into three, 30-gram doses at breakfast, lunch and dinner compared to eating the same total protein (90 grams) but in this distribution pattern: 11 grams protein at breakfast, 16 grams at lunch and 63 grams at dinner.

      A 30-gram portion of meat, fish or poultry is about 4 ounces or about the size of an iPhone. A cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese also provide nearly 30 grams of protein. An egg and most 1-ounce servings of nuts contain about 6 grams of protein. (Athletes with high energy needs may need an additional 30-gram protein serving before bedtime or during the day.)

      There's No 30-Minute "Anabolic Window of Opportunity"

      Despite what you may have heard from your trainer or read in popular articles, research doesn't support the notion that there is a 30-minute window of opportunity to get amino acids from protein to your muscles post-exercise to optimize muscle protein synthesis. In fact, new research shows that the immediacy around protein intake post-exercise for strength athletes is grossly exaggerated.

      For strength athletes, several studies show that the body's muscle-building capabilities are enhanced for at least 24 hours after hard resistance training, so as long as you train hard and get enough quality protein in your diet, you don't need to worry about drinking your recovery beverage as soon as you've completed your last rep.

      And, according to Paddon-Jones muscle protein synthesis doesn't even turn on for about 30 to 40 minutes after exercise, so as long as you eat 30 grams of high-quality protein within a few hours post-exercise, you'll optimize muscle building. (Unlike strength athletes, endurance athletes will benefit from quick attention to rehydrating and replenishing post-exercise, but that is for hydration and muscle glycogen and not for muscle protein synthesis.)

      Pricey Protein Supplements Aren't Necessarily Better Than Real Food

      The bulk of the scientific evidence shows that, unless you're a vegetarian or vegan, you can easily obtain all the essential amino acids necessary to optimize muscle protein synthesis by eating real foods. The key is getting enough of the nine essential amino acids, with particular attention to leucine, the branch chain amino acid that directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis. Leucine is found in ample amounts in dairy foods, poultry, fish, beef, beans and eggs. If you eat 30 grams of protein from a variety of high-quality protein foods you should get about 2 to 3 grams of the amino acid, which has been shown to optimally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Vegetarians may need supplemental protein to get enough leucine in their diets.

      Protein Alone Doesn't Build Muscle... Nor Will It Peel Off Pounds

      Many active individuals believe that eating more protein equals more muscle. Not so. Protein alone does nothing to build muscle tissue: a progressive training regimen is necessary to provide muscles the constant challenge they need to continue to adapt (read: get stronger). Muscles adapt quickly to the demands of exercise, so it's important to keep exercise constantly varied to see the best gains in lean tissue.

      And, if you're eating more protein to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body needs. Period. If you up your calories from protein, you need to remove calories from carbohydrates, fats or alcohol to create a calorie deficit that promotes weight loss.

      References:
      1. The Journal of Nutrition, "Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 14-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults."

      Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-...b_5360319.html
      Comments 17 Comments
      1. Clipper83's Avatar
        Clipper83 -
        I was starting to get into this, then I saw the "30 grams of protein per meal" thing
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Originally Posted by Clipper83 View Post
        I was starting to get into this, then I saw the "30 grams of protein per meal" thing
        I got a bit further, nearly to the end in fact, but got stopped where it says, "keep exercise constantly varied to promote maximum muscle growth".
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Protein is overhyped. They've marketed it so well it's hilarious. Most pros don't even mess with powders. Our body can only utilize about 25-30% of our calories coming from protein. Eating more than that is a waste.
      1. Whacked's Avatar
        Whacked -
        Originally Posted by wiseman View Post
        Protein is overhyped. They've marketed it so well it's hilarious. Most pros don't even mess with powders. Our body can only utilize about 25-30% of our calories coming from protein. Eating more than that is a waste.
        Agreed

        I'm only eating 100-125/day max.

        Used to be 200-225/day.

        Zero discernable muscle loss.
      1. JD261985's Avatar
        JD261985 -
        Just eat .8-1 Gram of protein per pound of body weight. Honestly this shyt doesn't have to be so complicated. A lot of this science based research puts people in a rut IMO and makes it easier to lose motivation. There are also isn't a "eat 6 meals a day" rule lol. Most of us don't have time to eat 30 G protein per meal sometimes we have to eat 60,80 or even 100 grams. Take digestive enzymes with each meal. I recommend enzymedica digestive spectrum.
      1. Buffspartan's Avatar
        Buffspartan -
        Well all I can say is when I eat under 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight or lessI can only maintain, I cannot make gains unless I eat 1.5 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight so that right there says something.
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Originally Posted by Buffspartan View Post
        Well all I can say is when I eat under 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight or lessI can only maintain, I cannot make gains unless I eat 1.5 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight so that right there says something.
        Probably because you don't eat a lot of carbs lol
      1. Buffspartan's Avatar
        Buffspartan -
        Originally Posted by wiseman View Post
        Probably because you don't eat a lot of carbs lol
        No not really. Carbs make me bloated and fatigued. I like fat way too much to so I generally like to use the 1970s bodybuilding diet. In the winter I'll eat some carbs though.
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Originally Posted by Buffspartan View Post

        No not really. Carbs make me bloated and fatigued. I like fat way too much to so I generally like to use the 1970s bodybuilding diet. In the winter I'll eat some carbs though.
        Carbs will make a person seem bloated because carbohydrates hydrate the body. Take away carbs and the water that is stored by glycogen will vanish. But if low carb works for you go for it. Everybody is different. I can't stand a low carb diet. I love me some rice lol
      1. mikeault's Avatar
        mikeault -
        I thought the whole "you can only use xx number of grams per meal" theory was debunked a long stone ago?
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        When on androgens or anything remotely anabolic, higher amounts are preferred as the muscle's net balance of anabolic vs. catabolic activity is positive due to increased MPS.

        Natural state, 30grams, or 10g of EAA's every 2.5hrs maximizes MPS synthesis in the natural athlete. I can round up those studies if needed.

        So when we follow guidelines of mainstream bodybuilders, who take PED's for added anabolism, their protein intake reflects a MPS that could be 50% higher than a natural athlete. Of course they eat more protein!

        In that same vein, if u are cutting and want to reduce muscle loss, getting additonal EAA's works to keep that anabolic vs. catabolic activity in a net positive relationship. This is another reason why pro bodybuilders up their protein intake, as well as their androgens, to increase MPS to a point that muscle GROWTH occurs during the "cut".

        Lots to consider here but the overall message was pretty good I think.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Originally Posted by mikeault View Post
        I thought the whole "you can only use xx number of grams per meal" theory was debunked a long stone ago?
        Not really. The body can only uptake so much MPS at one time. Muscles are finite, therefore MPS is finite. However, it doesnt mean extra protein is useless. Protein is a way better option for glucose energy than carbs and fats in the realm of cutting..
      1. Buffspartan's Avatar
        Buffspartan -
        Originally Posted by wiseman View Post
        Carbs will make a person seem bloated because carbohydrates hydrate the body. Take away carbs and the water that is stored by glycogen will vanish. But if low carb works for you go for it. Everybody is different. I can't stand a low carb diet. I love me some rice lol
        I love carbs, but for some reason my body feels better when I limit them. Right now I'm on a virtually no carb diet, but even when I eat carbs I still have to limit them because for some reason my body just doesn't react well to a lot of them.
      1. Whacked's Avatar
        Whacked -
        Originally Posted by Buffspartan View Post
        I love carbs, but for some reason my body feels better when I limit them. Right now I'm on a virtually no carb diet, but even when I eat carbs I still have to limit them because for some reason my body just doesn't react well to a lot of them.
        Get ur greens and Alkaline salts in ya bro (potassium citrate, magnesium, etc). All that acidosis from a very low carb diet (presumably high meats/protein) can wreak havoc on you cumulatively.
      1. Buffspartan's Avatar
        Buffspartan -
        I eat a few servings of veggies everyday to. Usually mixed salad greens, broccoli and peas. Sometimes a veggie blend from the freezer section of whole foods to.
      1. Whacked's Avatar
        Whacked -
        Originally Posted by Buffspartan View Post
        I eat a few servings of veggies everyday to. Usually mixed salad greens, broccoli and peas. Sometimes a veggie blend from the freezer section of whole foods to.
        Atta boy ;)
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Originally Posted by Whacked View Post

        Get ur greens and Alkaline salts in ya bro (potassium citrate, magnesium, etc). All that acidosis from a very low carb diet (presumably high meats/protein) can wreak havoc on you cumulatively.
        Too true! Too much protein makes the body acidic. Cancer is always found in an acidic environment.

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