T Nation

How Much is Too Much Protein?


#1

I always here about how some lifters to build mass will eat insane amounts of protein 2g + of protein per pound and of course there are always horror stories of lifters having organ failures due to eating such high amounts all the time. How much is too much when trying to build mass and gain weight? I am 74" and 150 pounds and am trying to get to 175 as my first goal. Should I eat for my goal weight or should I keep my protein intake between say 150g-200g? Side note: Doc says I make too much insulin.

All and any help is appreciated.


#2

There is no hard number and under 200g is very safe anyway

Something more reliable is the sweating, often with bad smell, that occurs when you’re in excess of proteins. Your body just has to get used to dietary changes so dont do huge jumps

I find it hard to go over 150-200g per day anyway, unless going hard with whey and such powders. Eating your food is much better for your assimilation


#3

2 grams per lb is I think well beyond the point of diminishing returns, and depending on goal likely past the point of any further returns.

With regard to absorption of proteins supplied as whole proteins (as opposed to for example di and tri peptides) the figures I recall seeing for measured absorption were 10-12 grams per hour maximum, as average for the subjects without any great variation between subjects. Still, obviously, a bigger person likely absorbs more than a smaller one.

At the 12 gram/hour figure, then maximum possible absorption would be 288 g. Plausibly for male lifters on average, somewhat more for the size reason.

In practice, for male lifters I generally find 300 g/day to be a reasonable useful maximum.

What would happen to the rest? Bacterial metabolism. Some of the energy would be absorbed by the body however as short chain fatty acids.

Your 200 g figure is absolutely fine.


#4

So the danger of excess protein consumption is hyperammonemia if you can’t convert enough nitrogen into urea and excrete it. The general formula is (91.025mg Nitrogen * kg bodyweight * hours)^(3/4). This only counts excess nitrogen that isn’t being used though.

So for a 150lb person that works out to 42.92g of Nitrogen per day. Each gram of Nitrogen represents 6.25g of protein on average so that’s 268.25g protein over requirements. Maximum substrate utilization is roughly 1.8g/kg bodyweight so that would be 122.47g protein as the requirement level. So as long as you’re eating less than 390.72g of protein per day as a natural trainee then you’re perfectly safe. For comparison, that’s roughly 3.19lbs of sirloin steak.

Obviously if you’re using steroids then your substrate utilization will rise and that will increase your maximum protein tolerance.

In short, quit worrying about it. For a lifter of your size you should be eating at least 123g protein in order to get enough amino acids to build new muscle tissue, additionally if you’re eating four meals a day you can maximize muscle protein synthesis at 43g per meal which works out to 172g of protein per day.


#5

So say I am eating more than 4 meals a day, should I try and stick with 43g per meal or im assuming it depends on what time of day the meals are consumed?


#6

[quote]Mxdamien wrote:
So say I am eating more than 4 meals a day, should I try and stick with 43g per meal or im assuming it depends on what time of day the meals are consumed?[/quote]

You can split the protein intake how you please. What matters most is total caloric amount and total protein amount at the end of the day. How you feel regarding how you split it up is another story, I believe.


#7

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
How you feel regarding how you split it up is another story, I believe. [/quote]

^this. Some people make themselves crazy thinking that they need to divide their total daily # into exactly the same amount of protein at each feeding. If it’s easier to have a larger amount at your evening meal vs those during the day (possibly you’re at work, school…), then take that route without any hesitation.

S


#8

43g would be the amount that maximizes mTOR activation and muscle protein synthesis. More is fine. In most cases less is fine too, it’s just not optimal. (it gets more complicated since insulin also activates mTOR so mixed meals may not require as much Leucine) The most important variable is your total protein intake, intake per meal is a secondary variable. How much should you care? Well that depends on how obsessed you are about it. Getting your daily protein intake will take you about 80% of the way, how much do you want that other 20%?


#9

[quote]blue9steel wrote:
So the danger of excess protein consumption is hyperammonemia if you can’t convert enough nitrogen into urea and excrete it. The general formula is (91.025mg Nitrogen * kg bodyweight * hours)^(3/4). This only counts excess nitrogen that isn’t being used though.

So for a 150lb person that works out to 42.92g of Nitrogen per day. Each gram of Nitrogen represents 6.25g of protein on average so that’s 268.25g protein over requirements. Maximum substrate utilization is roughly 1.8g/kg bodyweight so that would be 122.47g protein as the requirement level. So as long as you’re eating less than 390.72g of protein per day as a natural trainee then you’re perfectly safe. For comparison, that’s roughly 3.19lbs of sirloin steak.

Obviously if you’re using steroids then your substrate utilization will rise and that will increase your maximum protein tolerance.

In short, quit worrying about it. For a lifter of your size you should be eating at least 123g protein in order to get enough amino acids to build new muscle tissue, additionally if you’re eating four meals a day you can maximize muscle protein synthesis at 43g per meal which works out to 172g of protein per day.

[/quote]

I’m 150lb per the example. So around those 123g protein would be an ideal amount for general health, or is mainly for muscle building? I find I go above 123g easily, and I get a bit weird out when other people say they get 70g a day, which I sometimes gulp down in one go.

What if you eat 2 meals a day, what would be a reasonable amount to share the protein? I usually eat lighter during the day and a heavy meal at night, I feel better this way.


#10

[quote]JonSupps wrote:

[quote]blue9steel wrote:
So the danger of excess protein consumption is hyperammonemia if you can’t convert enough nitrogen into urea and excrete it. The general formula is (91.025mg Nitrogen * kg bodyweight * hours)^(3/4). This only counts excess nitrogen that isn’t being used though.

So for a 150lb person that works out to 42.92g of Nitrogen per day. Each gram of Nitrogen represents 6.25g of protein on average so that’s 268.25g protein over requirements. Maximum substrate utilization is roughly 1.8g/kg bodyweight so that would be 122.47g protein as the requirement level. So as long as you’re eating less than 390.72g of protein per day as a natural trainee then you’re perfectly safe. For comparison, that’s roughly 3.19lbs of sirloin steak.

Obviously if you’re using steroids then your substrate utilization will rise and that will increase your maximum protein tolerance.

In short, quit worrying about it. For a lifter of your size you should be eating at least 123g protein in order to get enough amino acids to build new muscle tissue, additionally if you’re eating four meals a day you can maximize muscle protein synthesis at 43g per meal which works out to 172g of protein per day.

[/quote]

I’m 150lb per the example. So around those 123g protein would be an ideal amount for general health, or is mainly for muscle building? I find I go above 123g easily, and I get a bit weird out when other people say they get 70g a day, which I sometimes gulp down in one go.

What if you eat 2 meals a day, what would be a reasonable amount to share the protein? I usually eat lighter during the day and a heavy meal at night, I feel better this way.
[/quote]

Did you read any of the responses to the OP? This was just answered multiple times and ways.


#11

[quote]JonSupps wrote:

[quote]quit worrying about it.
[/quote]

I’m 150lb per the example. So around those 123g protein would be an ideal amount for general health, or is mainly for muscle building? I find I go above 123g easily, and I get a bit weird out when other people say they get 70g a day, which I sometimes gulp down in one go.

What if you eat 2 meals a day, what would be a reasonable amount to share the protein? I usually eat lighter during the day and a heavy meal at night, I feel better this way.
[/quote]

Dude
As long as you are not drinking 40grams of whey every 3 hours on top of regular food, just dont stress it…