The truth about how much protein you really need.

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    The truth about how much protein you really need.


    The Truth on How Much Protein You Really Need Per Day to Build Muscle - Fitness Spotlight : Fitness Spotlight

    Just wondering what some thoughts on this are. It is from this blog I read occasionally. Most of the people on there are paleo or something similar which isn't my style but it is usually pretty level headed.

    I do think this is true to some extent. If you eat protein in every meal, you'll be ok.

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    I agree about the getting most of your intake from real foods, I don't bother with whey anymore as I prefer to eat and can always organise my time to ensure I have meals pretty soon after training.

    The problem with the author's thoughts is that no-one really knows how much protein one needs per day, some of the older work by Lemon et al. (1992) indicated that protein needs are increased with the 'early stages of training' but didn't improve N-Balance with intakes of protein above 1.32-2.62g/kg/LBM. However, N-Balance is hardly the most accurate representation of skeletal muscle protein turnover and most of the guys on here are highly trained so this theory hardly applies to them

    Some of the newer work by guys like Witard, Tipon (and even Layne Norton to an extent) suggest that the current recommendations are more than enough (1.8-2.0g/kg/LBM), as this data is based upon much longer-term studies than the original Lemon work.

    I'm still interested though why guys likes Poliquin continue to advocate very high protein intakes (>4.0g/kg/LBM)...
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKStrength View Post
    I agree about the getting most of your intake from real foods, I don't bother with whey anymore as I prefer to eat and can always organise my time to ensure I have meals pretty soon after training.

    The problem with the author's thoughts is that no-one really knows how much protein one needs per day, some of the older work by Lemon et al. (1992) indicated that protein needs are increased with the 'early stages of training' but didn't improve N-Balance with intakes of protein above 1.32-2.62g/kg/LBM. However, N-Balance is hardly the most accurate representation of skeletal muscle protein turnover and most of the guys on here are highly trained so this theory hardly applies to them

    Some of the newer work by guys like Witard, Tipon (and even Layne Norton to an extent) suggest that the current recommendations are more than enough (1.8-2.0g/kg/LBM), as this data is based upon much longer-term studies than the original Lemon work.

    I'm still interested though why guys likes Poliquin continue to advocate very high protein intakes (>4.0g/kg/LBM)...
    I am going out on a limb here, but i would say, RESULTS.

    lol.

    IMO, protein needs vary with each individual.
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    Hmm good article and I guess I eat too much protein but I feel like it really helps. Protein pulsing sounds pretty good I never read about that before until now. Think I’m going to check into that.
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    Pretty good find ive always been on that doubt the insane amounts of protein we should take but ive followed it because it hasnt been proven otherwise. I feel as someone stated getting your protein from whole foods is all you need but for the most part people wont argue with there results but i personally am going to try to lower my protein intake and see what happens.
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    This is a really good article but I cant see this changing the general consensus for a long time, lots of people have spent too much effort managing diet to dismiss there principles.

    I think we underestimate our bodies ability and also micromanage diet too much to make us feel like we are doing more and pushing things along.

    Since going over BTFFTM again and incorporating calorie/carb cycling and also coming across how the "starvation mode" is exaggerated I now tend to view my body processing foods in a 3 day time frame instead of a 24hr time frame.


    I am going to run a little self experiment this week and monitor my body temperature throughout the day as eating raises it and temperature is a good indicator of metabolism, just to see if the 6 meals a day for metabolism works or not.
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    For me, for 2-3 years i have been lifting, ive been taking in bodyweight or slightly less in protein, and i've put on tons of muscle
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    ditto, high protein has only helped me stack on muscle
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    This is a really good article but I cant see this changing the general consensus for a long time, lots of people have spent too much effort managing diet to dismiss there principles.

    I think we underestimate our bodies ability and also micromanage diet too much to make us feel like we are doing more and pushing things along.

    Since going over BTFFTM again and incorporating calorie/carb cycling and also coming across how the "starvation mode" is exaggerated I now tend to view my body processing foods in a 3 day time frame instead of a 24hr time frame.


    I am going to run a little self experiment this week and monitor my body temperature throughout the day as eating raises it and temperature is a good indicator of metabolism, just to see if the 6 meals a day for metabolism works or not.
    Eating More Meals Does Not Speed Up the Metabolism 2

    I think it is more of a preference thing. If you eat 3,000 calories a day it doesn't matter if you eat it in one sitting or 6. Of course, one sitting would be impossible. If it was possible it wouldn't be comfortable. As far as "keeping your metabolism" running though it's dumb. Our body isn't a car.

    I think lots of it has to do with marketing. Supplements companies want us to think we need to eat every 3 hours and eat 2g/lb body weight. Is consistently eating enough protein and steady meals important? Of course! Just like you said Hectic, I think we under estimate our body's ability to micro manage and just do what it's supposed to. It is much more about the bigger picture.
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    the study is flawed. but not about how much you should intake at each sitting, but about how much protein an athlete should intake.

    the numbers they use, pretty much all of them, from all sources, are from the nitrogen retention test. which test how much nitrogen your body releases. and it does this from various sources, (skin, hair, nails, feces). i forget the specifics, but if you want too look it up, go for it.

    I deleted my notes from the presentation i gave on this subject in one of my exs classes, but there is a new test called the amino acid indicator technique or something, that is more accurate, and shows the recomended daily intake should be higher, around 1.5-2g's per lb.

    and the conclusion of my presentation came to be that we dont really know how much protein should be consumed due to the metabolic pathways being too complex, maybe in the future, but as for now, if it's working for you, keep doing it, otherwise change it.
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    As everyone has mentioned i doubt this will change anything right now people who saw gains with high amount of protein per day will of course stick to that. If it aint broke dont fix it i mean it may be true you can still gain as much or close to as much with less but my feeling is people dont want to take the risk there already have been ingesting high amounts of protein so why stop.
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    Whats funny is that 2 of the studies he's using contradict each other. Which just goes to tell me its not all that simple The contradiction is

    APS increased in a dose-dependent manner and also reached a plateau at 20g ingested protein. Leucine oxidation was significantly increased after 20 and 40g protein were ingested.
    and

    After a controlled period, 15 elderly women (mean age: 68 y) were fed for 14 d either a pulse diet (n = 7), providing 80% of the daily protein intake at 1200, or a spread diet (n = 8), in which the same daily protein intake was spread over 4 meals. Both diets provided 1.7 g protein•kg fat-free mass (FFM). Protein accretion and daily protein turnover were determined by using the nitrogen balance method and the end product method (ammonia and urea) after an oral dose of glycine. Nitrogen balance was more positive with the pulse than with the spread diet. Protein turnover rates were also higher with the pulse than with the spread diet, mainly because of higher protein synthesis in the pulse group than in the spread group.
    so the first study says no more than 20g of protein in a single meal or you get "loss" of muscle thru oxidation, where the 2nd one shows that taking in 80% of your needs in a single meal gives higher nitrogen retention than even spread meals. And that 80% is far higher than 20g
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    I laugh at the 160lb kids on here eating 400 grams per day. All your body is going to do is convert half of it to glucose and fat and strain the kidneys

    Unless u have 250lbs of LBM and are on 3g of gear per week u can't give me a reason to believe it's beneficial to eat that much
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Whats funny is that 2 of the studies he's using contradict each other.
    My guess is that the people in the 1st study had already eaten a decent protein meal sometime before there training therefore didn't need much more protein after.

    I think this is a very interesting topic, although its not a lot of evidence its more than what I can find on anything contradicting it, a lot of the stuff we follow seems to be based on well-that-seems-to-make-sense logic rather than scientific studies.

    Its funny cause as for routines everyone follows a different routine and respects other peoples choices but when it comes to diet god forbid you don't eat 6 times a day.

    One thing I find very interesting is if you speak to any nutritionist or go to any health site you will get that magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, well I dont eat many of them so how have I not wound up with a deficiency, after doing some digging I found out that a lot of the nutrients that you supposedly only get from vegetables are found in meat anyway.

    I have never come across anything so misleading in life than the information we get on diet.
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    here's an obvious question for you guys on this topic.

    Since the two scenarios are
    A. 2g"ish" of protein for LBM "traditional thought process"
    B. We're taking more protein than we can benefit from as the author of the article suggests.

    My question is this: Why bother even trying B?

    -With exception to those tards who take a gross excess and over work their kidneys, most people take a reasonable amount that their body can handle, even if it's a little over the perfect ratio. It seems to me I'd rather have a little too much protein (option B), than risk having too little and hinder potential gain(option A).

    I mean it's obviously still theory crafting, so I'd rather just air on the side of caution and take a reasonable, but solid amount of protein. I see no benefits from even trying Option A.
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    General consensus is on a calorie deficit you need more protein, and for clean bulking you do too.
    Unused protein gets converted to sugar for energy, excess carbs get converted to fat, so it acts as a sort of buffer to not make it so easy for your body to store any excess fat from calories when bulking.

    On a cut it is believed you need more protein because you would be on a low carb low fat diet, fat = fat and carbs = weight gain, protein seems to be the safe choice you can go excess in for the same reasons as above.


    I think there is more anecdotal evidence from bodybuilders than there is scientific evidence to say its safe to get a lot of calories from protein to keep BF down. But I dont see any evidence that suggests staying 2g to 1kg of LBM and increasing fat intake would be any worse than keeping fat low and increasing protein, its just a combination of peoples fear of fat and playing it safe because of the belief that excess protein is anticatabolic. Although carbs are anti catabolic too.

    The 2g protein to 1kg LBM is based on that you are at or above maintenance calories and having enough carbs.
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    I remember a couple years ago here there was a bit of talk about a 33/33/33 macro split, a few people were doing it, I wonder what happened with that?
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    Optimum protein intake does differ from individual to individual. I find that my body type is very efficient and don't need to take in crazy amounts of protein. A less efficient body type (ecto) may have much greater needs per lb than I do. One thing I know for sure is if I overdo the protein, it's just more calories and I have hard time keeping fat down. When I diet down protein intake may be slightly higher to achieve the macro-nutrient balance I require. I used to go much higher during a cut but since have increased my fat intake ratio from 10% to 20%.
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    couple of questions here. First, the (ecto) body style statement. Forgive my ignorance on the issue, but what are the body types or could you refer me to a place to learn about it.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't protein a negative caloric substance? Or is that true as long as the protein is used and not an excess gram of protein?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    so the first study says no more than 20g of protein in a single meal or you get "loss" of muscle thru oxidation, where the 2nd one shows that taking in 80% of your needs in a single meal gives higher nitrogen retention than even spread meals. And that 80% is far higher than 20g
    Not nearly so much as you are thinking. The first (edit 2nd) study said 30g in a meal. So lets do the math for an elderly woman:

    150lbs / 2.2lbs per kg x .8g protein per kg (recommended intake) = 54g of protein per day

    54g x 80% = 43g in one meal.

    An extra 13g over the 30g limit. That fits in pretty well with the point that pulsing protein may allow better protein utilization.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamWeaver View Post
    Optimum protein intake does differ from individual to individual. I find that my body type is very efficient and don't need to take in crazy amounts of protein. A less efficient body type (ecto) may have much greater needs per lb than I do. One thing I know for sure is if I overdo the protein, it's just more calories and I have hard time keeping fat down. When I diet down protein intake may be slightly higher to achieve the macro-nutrient balance I require. I used to go much higher during a cut but since have increased my fat intake ratio from 10% to 20%.
    High levels of protein will leave behind large amounts of nitrogen waste which then the kidneys must eliminate. If ever on a high protein diet it's advisable to drinks lots of H2O to help this process go smoother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffquads View Post
    High levels of protein will leave behind large amounts of nitrogen waste which then the kidneys must eliminate. If ever on a high protein diet it's advisable to drinks lots of H2O to help this process go smoother.
    Oh absolutely, that's the key when you have excess protein in dieting situations to balance out the diet the water intake has to go up. I take in 5 litres a day minumum but it can go a lot higher when my protein intake goes up or it is warmer weather and further still if I am taking some thermogenic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    My guess is that the people in the 1st study had already eaten a decent protein meal sometime before there training therefore didn't need much more protein after.

    I think this is a very interesting topic, although its not a lot of evidence its more than what I can find on anything contradicting it, a lot of the stuff we follow seems to be based on well-that-seems-to-make-sense logic rather than scientific studies.

    Its funny cause as for routines everyone follows a different routine and respects other peoples choices but when it comes to diet god forbid you don't eat 6 times a day.

    One thing I find very interesting is if you speak to any nutritionist or go to any health site you will get that magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, well I dont eat many of them so how have I not wound up with a deficiency, after doing some digging I found out that a lot of the nutrients that you supposedly only get from vegetables are found in meat anyway.

    I have never come across anything so misleading in life than the information we get on diet.
    So from this we can guess that you are a supporter of an all meat diet?

    I am sure your a$$ hole hates you right about now.
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    The more active you are, the more protein you probably should intake. Most average active people only need about 0.6g/lb of lean body weight. On the high end I would say only need to go 0.8-1.0g/lb bw, but that does not guarantee extra muscle especially when you can up calories from fat/carbs.
    I do not agree in this study. I have tried this and it did not work for me. Sure I was able to maintain and stay a bit lean, but I wanted to grow. I increased my protein intake to 1G per LB. and I saw great results.

    Skip the protein shakes and eat real foods….as the additional vitamins, minerals, and essential fats also play a role in building more muscle (and burning fat too). This is also an advantage to knowing you need less protein than originally believed…because you can focus on quality of the source (pastured eggs, grass fed meats) rather than quantity. Which leads to more natural vitamins, minerals and essential fats (including less Omega 6s, more Omega 3s and even some others like CLA proven to help burn fat/build muscle).
    Great advice. Most of us know this but some of the younger guys need to listen to this advice.

    Seems that whether you eat in 2-3 bigger meals (and/or pulse 1 large meal), or 6 smaller meals…..it won’t matter for muscle building. In the long run, the results are the same as long as the total amount of protein is kept constant.
    I understand this statement, however, in my opinion 6 smaller meals is better for your metabolism along with burning fat.

    Overall good reading and makes you really wonder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyIOSOS View Post
    I understand this statement, however, in my opinion 6 smaller meals is better for your metabolism along with burning fat.
    Not necessarily true, I think might also depend on body type as an endo I tend to do better with 4 or 5 meals. When in a prep maybe 6 would be better, hard to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyIOSOS View Post
    I understand this statement, however, in my opinion 6 smaller meals is better for your metabolism along with burning fat.
    there are no studies that show any evidence of that
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    Some experts recommend eating smaller meals throughout the day, known as grazing. "Grazing helps normalize blood sugar levels rather than producing three large spikes, which is what happens eating three meals a day," says Nick Flynn, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.
    It is a popular practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyIOSOS View Post
    It is a popular practice.
    oh no doubt, but so was using leeches a while back, and many other things that had no real scientific backing (I can look for some funny ones ). the practice of CKDs to maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle loss also has no scientific data backing up that belief, yet its quite popular.

    In my feeling, well balanced meals with low glycemic index carbs shouldn't raise insulin significantly more in 3 meals than 6 small meals. And is raising insulin a small amount bad? I think not given that it is among the most anabolic chemicals in the human body.

    The only way I have found 6 meals to be helpful is in overcoming hunger when clipping calories to a ridiculously low level. At least with a meal every 3 hours, the hunger never gets as high. In bulking oddly it seems far easier with 3 meals, because trying to eat 3 1500 calorie meals is hard, but trying to eat 6 750 is murder because you never are hungry at all thru the day, and often the next meal is coming before the last is significantly digested
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    Voyageurs used to work ridiculously hard and were known to be very muscular and fit. They ate either 8-10 pounds of meat a day or 2-5 pounds of pemmican. Personally I work very hard physically at work and in the gym. I eat a lot. Without enough protein I grow noticeably weaker at work and in the gym. I lose size too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    there are no studies that show any evidence of that
    He mentioned it was in his opinion. Mine as well, screw studies.

    From 17-26 I tried 3 square and then from 27ish until now (36) I've done 5-6 a day and this has been without a doubt overall better in every aspect for me than when I was younger. The only POSSIBLE downer is time consumption.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
    He mentioned it was in his opinion. Mine as well, screw studies.

    From 17-26 I tried 3 square and then from 27ish until now (36) I've done 5-6 a day and this has been without a doubt overall better in every aspect for me than when I was younger. The only POSSIBLE downer is time consumption.
    I never did well with more meals, I would have a hard time off season eating disciplined and the extra meals just made me gain more fat. I have had much more success with 4 larger meals. I believe this may be better for endo types but I too have not seen studies. It works way better for me so that's all I need to know. I believe USPLabs is releasing some studies that will back up the 4 meal plan for fat loss but I have not seen it yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
    He mentioned it was in his opinion. Mine as well, screw studies.

    From 17-26 I tried 3 square and then from 27ish until now (36) I've done 5-6 a day and this has been without a doubt overall better in every aspect for me than when I was younger. The only POSSIBLE downer is time consumption.
    And what were the total calories of the various regimens? Total food intake over time is what is most important. If by adding more meals you added more calories then you have multiple variables changing and you cannot conclude that one change was more effective than the other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardknock View Post
    He mentioned it was in his opinion. Mine as well, screw studies.

    From 17-26 I tried 3 square and then from 27ish until now (36) I've done 5-6 a day and this has been without a doubt overall better in every aspect for me than when I was younger. The only POSSIBLE downer is time consumption.
    And I'm sure other parts of your training, mental state, etc were different over each of those decades as well, even just your mental maturity. Nice to dismiss science and all , but no scientific studies that removed other variables or included a large enough group to minimize effect of variation have shown any significant difference.
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    In the human body, in nutrition, in training, hardly anything is absolute.

    There are several points regarding the human body and its responses to nutrition and exercise that are just pointless to argue. This thread is full of them.
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    i tend to grow off rice and oatmeal. if my carbs arent there i cant push any weight around. ive played with protein levels but they dont seem to make any size or strength differences for me.
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    if your goal is to build muscle then obviously protein synthesis is important but tbh I think the majority of us consume more than we need, the fact is you can only synthesis about 20g per meal anyway so having bucket loads is no good.
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    Ill also add that maybe copious amounts of protein can be a bad thing?? cant be good for the liver..
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    I would personally find it very difficult to not eat at least 1gm per lb of protein. If you eat four meal that would be less than 50gm at each meal for anyone under 200lb. I guess if you were to eat a ton of oatmeal, rice, and sweet potatoes you may not get there. But I can't imagine eating that many carbs unless you were ecto or seriously bulking. Keep in mind that high quantities of rice and potatoes also have a decent amount of protein. And although not a perfect amino acid profile, yes these gms do "count"
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumbles12 View Post
    if your goal is to build muscle then obviously protein synthesis is important but tbh I think the majority of us consume more than we need, the fact is you can only synthesis about 20g per meal anyway so having bucket loads is no good.
    So much BS with this statement. There is zero evidence that suggests any of these maximum usage statements that are erroneously purported.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumbles12
    if your goal is to build muscle then obviously protein synthesis is important but tbh I think the majority of us consume more than we need, the fact is you can only synthesis about 20g per meal anyway so having bucket loads is no good.
    Ohhh...is that so? So out of the 220 g I eat in 3 meals I'm only using 60 of it? Damn...looks like a lot of people are doing it all wrong...glad you're here to give us all the "facts".
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