T Nation

Amount Of Protein For An Athlete


My strength coach handed out manuals for us to use for summer conditioning and I cam across something interesting and contradicts everything I have heard before:

Building lean mass is not just a matter of lifting heavier weights and eating more protein. Muscle is actually ~22% protein and >70% water. The remainder consists of fuels, phospholipids, mineral salts, enzymes etc. Furthermore, the typical American diet provides 2-3 times the required amount of protein. Athletes need ?1 g of protein per pound body weight per day even during intense training ? so a 300 lb athlete needs ?300 g [~10 oz] daily protein intake if it?s obtained from balanced, high-quality sources at regular intervals

Is this true, or is it just one of those things that certain people believe. I ate close to 350 g of protein a day and gained around 13 pounds this semester (not all good). Whats the deal?


IMO 1 gram per lb of body weight is good. More aint going to hurt but its great unless you are doing AAS etc. or beneficial during dieting to up it a bit and drop the carbs.


No no no, you've got it all wrong.

A Belgian study recommends only 100gr of meat (not protein, meat) a day. And the guy is a freaking professor, so he must be right...

But seriously, he recommends 300 grams and you get upset because you eat 350?

And the "not so good" gains you've got, probably didn't have much to do with the proteine. How many cals do you get?


I honestly don't understand the question. Are you concerned that you overdosed on protein?

How much do you weigh?

How does this contradict everything you heard before?

What did you hear?

Your manual is right, most athletes do need to eat that much and that is something that shouldn't be difficult or even need any supplements unless you are over 200-220lbs. Many bodybuilders eat more protein than that. What specifically is the conflict?


You consumed 350g's of protein a day last semester and only gained 12lbs to which all of it wasn't lean (to be expected)? So I'm guessing 1/4-1/2 was fat. Ummmmmmmm....!


the question being that I read alot of eating 1.5 g of body weight in protein, but this is says that to eat no more than your body weight. If i want to put on about 8 pounds during the summer should I keep eating like I have (or toned down a bit) or just shoot for fewer g of protein and more carbs and keep the same cals? Just want an opinion on this for an athlete.

There were some fat gains with it being about 1/3 but it was all in the waist. went up 2 1/2 inches in my thighs though (seems unlikely so it could have been measured in different places) I did gain about an inch in my waist tho. This was on about 55-6000 cals. at a weight of about now 264.


I am going to be honest here when I say that I am worried that there seems to be a lack of critical thinking skills from many who post on this board lately. Science has not pin pointed the EXACT number of grams of protein that allow optimal gains for every athlete or bodybuilder on the planet. That means most of what is written is based on educated guesses using what we do know from the experiences of athletes, medical findings in ill patients, and general observation. That leads me to ask you, "why would you think that eating slightly more than 1gr of protein per pound of body weight would be harmful or negative simply because that manual said to eat 1gr?"

I don't even count specific gr of protein. If I had to estimate, I would think I at least get that much and more without really trying just from total caloric intake when gaining.


I was/am hitting around 1g per lb of LBM per day and I went up 20lbs since January. How each person gains is different as all hell. Some can gain with 1g some need more. I just cant fathom how this person ate so much for a semester, took in that many cals and that much protein and only gained 12lbs (1/3 being fat). Either he is an upper elite trainer and its difficult for him to gain, the fact he asked this question leads me to believe that is a no, he was "in season" or he did something incredibly wrong taining wise.

If you're going to be playing your sport during the summer you're going to need your carbs, period. You're going to have to find what you expend on a daily basis and go from there. To find out what works for YOU start off at 1g and go at it for a month and see the results you're getting. If its not what you are looking for make the necessary adjustments i.e. add more protein, remove some carbs or fats. Only YOU know what works for you based on the results you're seeing.


Gains are not stictly based on the amount of protein you eat, but your overall calorie intake. If you eat 350g of protein (which is only 1400 calories by the way) what else are you eating? You are probably consuming another 1500-2000 calories. Are they clean? I would say no if you gained that much fat. If you really are worried about the exact quantity of macronutrients you eat, then you need to look at the entire picture.


We have no idea how much fat he gained. He claims only one inch gained on his waist and waist measurements are variable unless you have done them many times before. They are also reliant on when you last ate, took a shit, or ate beans.


Dude, you'd have better luck finding the Holy Grail. Seriously, the human body is a highly varied machine. You need to figure out what works for you. Sometimes that takes 1 to 2 years (rarely), other times 5 to 6 years, and sometimes more. You just have to go by trial and error.


And how much water he drank, if he was taking creatine, alcohol intake (college student).....