How much Protein do you really need?

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    How much Protein do you really need?


    I strength train and bodybuild, lately I've noticed taking 250grams of protein has no significant effect on my recovery to say 150g

    I only see a difference in more sleep, js this theory take as much protein as you can BS?

    Can any of you share your opinion, thanks

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    Well, this is the never ending question to ask and one that has the singular, beginning answer of: it depends.

    Several rules of thumb range from 1 pound per bodyweight, to about 40% of your daily caloric intake. One thing that you did not mention what was any goals you might have on track. Do you want to gain mass, lose fat, maintain what you've got?

    But, numerous factors come into play: how often you train, how hard you train, how often you rest, what forms of protein do you eat and when, what does the rest of your diet look like (fats and carbs, etc.)

    Other areas to consider: your age, your current weight, other methods of physical activity
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    17
    17% bodyfat
    183 pounds
    6ft
    Train 5x a week plus HIIT sessions
    Goal is slowly add mass as lean as possible
    Training for 13 months
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    "Research indeed exists showing beneficial effects of protein intakes beyond 1 g/lb. It's not a vast body of literature, but it exists nonetheless. And the kicker is, these amounts (ranging from 2.3-2.7 g/kg depending on the study) were seen in both deficit & surplus conditions. Heck, even Stuart Phillips, known for being super-conservative, acknowledged the ultility of 1.8-2.7 g/kg for athletes in a deficit in a recent review paper. As a general rule, protein demands are higher for lean, trained athletes in an energy deficit."[/b]


    ^There's my quote, which I recently modified to include the mentioning of benefit from consuming 3.0 g/kg in this paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23645387


    Wonderpug is correct that this large amount was compared with suboptimal intake. However, I don't see the strong argument against going as high as 3.0 g/kg. If anyone wants to present one, then great; I just don't think it presents any safety risks (or other detriments) that warrant any particular caution. Additionally, 3.0 is close enough to 2.7 g/kg, which has been demonstrated to be effective (I'll get to that).


    Now, Let's take a look at where I got the 2.3-2.7 kg figures.


    Mettler et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927027) compared 1.0 g/kg with 2.3 g/kg in lean athletic subjects in an energy deficit, and the latter outperformed the former for guarding against LBM loss. However - and this is the big point - 2.3 g/kg was still insufficient for completely preserving LBM. Notably, the subjects trained an average of 334 minutes per week (resistance training + cardio). They lost less LBM consuming 2.3 g/kg than the group consuming 1.0g/kg. Keep in mind that it's not like the subjects were starving; they consumed slightly more than 2000 kcal throughout the trial.


    Along these lines, Maestu et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300017) saw better LBM preservation than Mettler et al did, and intakes ranged 2.3-2.6 g/kg.


    Next up, we have Hoffman et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23035701), who sought to examine the effect of phosphatidic acid (PA) supplementation, but also ended up comparing different protein intakes, 2.1 g/kg in the control & 2.6 g/kg in the treatment group. The latter outperformed the former, and my hunch is that it could have been due to the higher protein intake rather than the PA specifically. It's notable that these results were seen in caloric maintenance conditions.


    Willoughby et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988909) examined the effect of a protein & amino acid supplement & ended up observing the treatment group with an intake of ~2.7 g/kg outperform the control group, whose intake was ~2.2 g/kg. Notably, this occurred under caloric surplus conditions.


    All research has its limitations, and the aforementioned can be criticized for having the typical shortcomings of a small subject number &/or short duration.


    A paper by Phillips & Van Loon (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425) mentions the following: "To optimize the ratio of fat-to-lean tissue mass loss during hypoenergetic periods, athletes are advised to [...] increase their protein intake to ~20–30% of their energy intake or ~1.8–2.7 g/kg/day." I'm not saying that the recommendations of some of the top protein researchers should be taken as gospel, but it's worth noting that their recommendations indeed exceed ~0.8 g/lb for certain scenarios. It's not just something I personally made up because I'm a bro who likes BBing.


    I thus stand by the points I made in "The Quote" - the latest version of which I'll simply reiterate here:
    ______________________________ ___________


    [i]Research indeed exists showing beneficial effects of protein intakes beyond 1 g/lb. It's not a vast body of literature, but it exists nonetheless. And the kicker is, these amounts (ranging from 2.3-2.7 g/kg depending on the study) were seen in both deficit & surplus conditions. Heck, one of the most prolific protein researchers Stuart Phillips, known for being conservative, acknowledged the ultility of 1.8-2.7 g/kg for athletes in a deficit in a recent review paper. In a more recent paper, Phillips even pushes the upper end to 3.0 g/kg.


    As a general rule, protein demands are higher for lean, trained athletes in an energy deficit. You also have to consider the limitations of the research. Just because a certain amount of protein can prevent negative nitrogen balance does not mean this is an accurate reflection of muscle preservation (let alone an indicator of optimal intake for gain). N-bal is notorious for overestimating muscle protein status. There's even research showing positive N-balance concurrent with LBM loss. Lol, there's research showing a prevention of negative N-balance during endstage starvation as a survival defense response.


    Another confounder is that protein needs in the literature are expressed in terms of total body mass. This is sort of a necessary evil when discussing the literature, which does not express protein needs as g/kg LBM. So, when mentioning that protein needs are lower for eucaloric & hypercalorc conditions as opposed to hypocaloric conditions in lean/athletic subjects, this is in reference to *proportional* differences. ABSOLUTE needs can be quite similar among those with the same LBM. Also keep in mind that the optimal protein requirements of folks on ergogenic supplements like creatine (or AAS) have simply not been investigated, much less systematically investigated for the purpose of establishing dose-response relationships. There in all likelihood is a higher ceiling of protein dosing effectiveness in these individuals, as well as a lower threshold of protein dosing for muscle retention. Assuming that the effective protein dosage ceiling is the same in natties & enhanced athletes is foolish. Protein requirements for off-season & pre-contest bodybuilders (& other athletes) under varying degrees of deficit & surplus is still open to investigation, particularly in the context of rigorous, periodized training programs.


    You also have to realize that the figures that get spit up in study outcomes are expressed as means (averages). This means that a mixed bag of responses occurred, some substantially higher or lower than the reported mean value. If you really want to rigidly latch on to some mean value and believe that it unquestionably applies to you, then you're making quite the leap of faith.
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    Eric Helms of 3dmj:


    Hey folks! So I've been in New Zealand since August 2012, a year prior to that I started an extensive lit review on protein. Primarily on hypocaloric, resistance training individuals, who are not obese, with resistance training experience. There's ~8-9 total studies out there so far that look at these conditions (depending on inclusion criteria) and 6 if we're talking studies that report LBM and bodyfat (some just give bodyweight and NBAL, etc.).


    First part of my masters (which I submit this week literally) was this systematic review. Alan was actually one of the few I trusted to give it a look over in it's very initial stages, and now it's in the final stages of review at IJSNEM, it's been through 2 rounds of revisions, updates etc., and will be in press soon. The review is as systematic and non-narrative as you can get considering the limited data available and I was able to present recommendations relative to LBM vs weight which is important. A huge issue with available data is not only the methodology of nitrogen balance as Alan pointed out but also that 90% of the studies looking at protein intake give us intakes as g/unit of TOTAL bodyweight and were done on overweight and obese populations. This drives the perception of the "right" amount of protein down as the optimal intake is likely relative to LBM.


    So the review is enlightening, puts a bit more structure and hard evidence to the discussion, when it comes out on pubmed you can believe I'll be spamming it via social media


    Also I finished my own study on July 29th of this year, I recently (today I **** you not) finished analyzing the data, I couldn't report what was going on during because I was still blinded.
    Before I get into it let me put my research, and truly all research in perspective: my study at best will only carve out a small piece of the puzzle, add context and create more questions than we began with. It's not the end to the discussion.


    Let me start with the good stuff about my study:
    Double Blinded (diet plans were modified with supplement powder that researchers and participants were not aware of the content of)
    Cross Over
    Analyzed using magnitude based inferences vs P values
    Participants were taught to track, weigh, and measure food accurately and had communication with a registered dietician throughout the study to make sure any mishaps/slip ups/food exchanges etc kept the diets in line with the experimental design
    We measured strength, anthropometrics and athlete specific psychological changes


    So, my biases won't effect the results, we can be very sure of the compliance of the participants, individual effects can be analyzed and discussed (mean changes can mask individual results), and small effects won't be "no effect" and results won't be inappropriately labeled in a binary way (two flaws of p values). These statistical aspects are critical when discerning small changes that may matter over time. And finally, we have data on a number of relevant variables


    Next, let me point out the the downsides/limitations:
    MRI, DEXA, hydrostatic weighing and ultra sound ALL fell through due to broken equipment, the inability to fix equipment, equipment not arriving, and having a grant turned down. The realities of research hit hard. So that left with me with only anthropometry to measure changes in fat mass and lean mass. Even though some of the best anthropometrists (ISAK level 4) are here at AUT, you just can't get a reliable measure of LBM from it. You can get a reliable measure of bodyweight change and skinfold (fat mass) change though, highly reliable in fact, but not muscle or LBM.
    The final limitation is the length. Crossovers need wash outs at least twice the length of the intervention, of course the interventions are separate so they take twice as long as parallel group designs. So although the time length intervention was only 2 weeks on each diet, that was the most I could manage as I was getting ethics approval from Sep-Oct, recruiting from October all the way through June, and collecting data from Feburary to July, and my Masters thesis is due...well...now pretty much lol.


    So all that said, what did I do? I compared an isocaloric, 40% caloric deficit (same as Walberg, Pasiakos, and Mettler), matched carbohydrate (walberg found performance changes when protein was modified by reducing carbs, Mettler used fat and avoided this) diet, of 2.8g/kg protein with a low fat intake to a 1.6g/kg protein with a moderate fat intake for 2 weeks in lean (13-14% bf average), resistance trained (1 year min), adult males. We tested full body maximal strength before and after, anthropometry, and athlete specific psychological stress.


    To put it simply, changes in anthropometry were almost exactly the same. Changes in strength were as well. However, the group on the lower protein intake reported higher levels of symptoms and signs for athlete related stress, high number of sources of athlete related stress, greater total mood disturbance, greater fatigue and greater dissatisfaction with the diet.


    I specifically analyzed the data with carb sources as a covariate to make sure this was not related to the large amount maltodextrin powder that comprised the 1.6g/kg groups carb intake (the 2.8g/kg group had protein powder), and the fact that not only total mood disturbance, but also specifically fatigue (which is unrelated to satiety or hunger) increased indicates this was not just due to proteins satiating effect.


    When people report stress it typically precedes or accompanies measurable physiological changes. Had the study been longer small differences in LBM changes would have become more and more detectable, if this had been a 2 month vs 2 week study would they have showed greater LBM loss in the lower protein group which might have caused the stress? Or, if we had a reliable measure of LBM would that have discerned these hard to measure changes?


    Don't know


    But what we can say is that in the context of a 40% caloric deficit, the 2.8g/kg protein, low fat diet was less stressful, less fatiguing, caused less diet stress and is therefore likely more sustainable. That said, I think probably an approach where you use a 20-30% deficit would be even better, this would allow you to not have such a low fat intake and might improve performance measures.


    I'll be posting my Masters after the external reviewers approve it and ask for revisions, it will have the systematic review, double blind cross over study, and also a chapter on what it all means for bodybuilders during contest prep (which is from an excerpt of another review I hope to publish). The masters will eventually be open access on scholarly commons. I'm also planning on trying to publish the study.
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    Without beating a dead horse i've already pointed out that the studies that promote in excess.of 1.8g.kg are horribly flawed. They compare very low protein intakes (below studied amounts) with very high protein amounts thus giving the false impression that 3g.lb is more effective.

    Its not.
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    I've personally see good results with 1.25 x LBM - 1.5 x LBM. I've went from 160 to 250 during an extended bulk period. I never eat under 1 x LBM though. It can be difficult to get this many protein calories in, but thankfully I have my Protean on hand.
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    Im usually at 1.5-2g per lb of body weight. Buying those big tubs of Protean comes in handy
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    Quote Originally Posted by laneanders View Post
    I've personally see good results with 1.25 x LBM - 1.5 x LBM. I've went from 160 to 250 during an extended bulk period. I never eat under 1 x LBM though. It can be difficult to get this many protein calories in, but thankfully I have my Protean on hand.

    Of course if you eat more calories you're going to gain weight, protein or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post

    Of course if you eat more calories you're going to gain weight, protein or not.
    Yeah but he uses protean......
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech View Post
    Yeah but he uses protean......
    These minions are terrible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by laneanders View Post
    I've personally see good results with 1.25 x LBM - 1.5 x LBM. I've went from 160 to 250 during an extended bulk period. I never eat under 1 x LBM though. It can be difficult to get this many protein calories in, but thankfully I have my Protean on hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by dkgreene88 View Post
    Im usually at 1.5-2g per lb of body weight. Buying those big tubs of Protean comes in handy
    Have you guys tried Protean?!?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    Have you guys tried Protean?!?!
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Spaniard again
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    Have you guys tried Protean?!?!
    When I first saw this recommended a long time ago, I literally just thought people couldn't spell protein lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post

    These minions are terrible.
    I agree.

    And, I still remember when I was correcting them on what their product did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post

    Have you guys tried Protean?!?!
    I don't think they have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Spaniard again
    Right back at ya buddy!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    When I first saw this recommended a long time ago, I literally just thought people couldn't spell protein lol
    I thought it was you weirdos across the pond with your flavours etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    I agree.

    And, I still remember when I was correcting them on what their product did.


    I don't think they have.
    They should! Then they can recommend it repeatedly in incredibly bothersome and obvious ways!
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    Considering its only 20g of protein per 34g scoop, there are better alternatives. Although it does have other things in it, I don't think the reps actually know this.
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    I will tell you one thing, it is delicious lol... I have used it before and I was satisfied. The shilling however, is becoming off putting...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    I will tell you one thing, it is delicious lol... I have used it before and I was satisfied. The shilling however, is becoming off putting...
    It was very delicious, I liked the VMS.

    Although, for reasons jiigzz mentioned, I currently use other alternatives.

    I won't buy iForce anymore because of them, I can get products that serve similar purposes and not support the minions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    It was very delicious, I liked the VMS.

    Although, for reasons jiigzz mentioned, I currently use other alternatives.

    I won't buy iForce anymore because of them, I can get products that serve similar purposes and not support the minions.
    I really wish I could import protein here. Currently I can only use ON and Dymatize lol.
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    Currently using steak/chicken/eggs.
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    Chicken and milk have been my staples as of this week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricroc View Post
    Chicken and milk have been my staples as of this week.
    Same lol
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    Oohh they negged me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Oohh they negged me
    LOL

    I've been creeping the nutrition forums, but I haven't helped a soul. I just come in for lulz.
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    I always like the "how much protein" posts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Oohh they negged me
    The minions??
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolt10 View Post
    LOL

    I've been creeping the nutrition forums, but I haven't helped a soul. I just come in for lulz.
    this forum will surely do that

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    The minions??
    Yeah lol.

    I've been watching some of your vids lately Jim, what kind of training do you do? Looks intense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post

    this forum will surely do that

    Yeah lol.

    I've been watching some of your vids lately Jim, what kind of training do you do? Looks intense.
    Wow, I didn't know people actually negged....


    I use a conjugate rotation for my Strongman + Powerlifting training, the powerlifting carries over pretty well to the strongman events (+my wife competes APF with me). I'm looking to qualify for nats next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Oohh they negged me
    welcome to "That" Forum
    lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post
    welcome to "That" Forum
    lol


    I got negged at BB just for being a rep in the nutrition forum lol, I wasn't even product suggesting but I got lit up like crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    Wow, I didn't know people actually negged....


    I use a conjugate rotation for my Strongman + Powerlifting training, the powerlifting carries over pretty well to the strongman events (+my wife competes APF with me). I'm looking to qualify for nats next year.
    There was a time when lots of people negged glad to see that's gone away. It was incredibly annoying
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
    There was a time when lots of people negged glad to see that's gone away. It was incredibly annoying
    Negged
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricroc View Post
    I always like the "how much protein" posts.
    How much do you take a day?
  

  
 

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