Daily protein requirments

  1. Daily protein requirments

    So my question is would it be better to get 100g of protein a day or 200g on off days? I know it would be better to get 200g a day because I weigh 200lbs. I'm a powerlifter too so idk if that makes a difference but I'd just like to know which way would be better for a powerlifter since I can't afford high protein every day. Please only answer the question I don't care about none related answers

  2. Also I train three times a week so if I took it on off days I would take them the day before training day and I'm also just maintaining weight while increasing strength I'm not trying to gain weight

  3. AnabolicMinds Site Rep
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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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  4. AnabolicMinds Site Rep
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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.
    Anabolic Minds Site Rep

  5. Thanks for the reply, that's a lot of info and kinda confusing I'm gonna have to read it a few times over haha but regardless thanks for ur input.

  6. How much do you weigh? It's usually best to just stick with the same amount everyday rather than switching up between workout and non workout days.
    Black Lion Research Rep

  7. That research is very misleading. It compared low protein (below recommended amounts) with intakes exceeding normal amounts just to draw the conclusion that 2+g per kg are warrented. They are not. Had they compared 1.8g per kg with amounts in excess of this, like research before this, they would have found that at intakes of above 1.8g are wasteful.

    The 1.8g per kg bw (.8g per pound) has been measured using isotrope tracer methods and other protein measurement methods and amounts above this showed an increase in excretion.

    Stick with 1.8g per KG
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  8. Quote Originally Posted by nicksox15 View Post
    How much do you weigh? It's usually best to just stick with the same amount everyday rather than switching up between workout and non workout days.
    I weigh 195 and I'm a powerlifter and want to maintain weight but I can't afford to eat 200g a day so that's why I wanted to know what's better less protein everyday or high protein on off days

  9. Quote Originally Posted by SoupNaziNazi View Post
    I weigh 195 and I'm a powerlifter and want to maintain weight but I can't afford to eat 200g a day so that's why I wanted to know what's better less protein everyday or high protein on off days
    Try calculating weekly amounts vs daily....
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  10. I too had some queries and I found the satisfying answers. Thanx for the help.


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