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If You Only Had 80g of Protein?


My cousin has a limit of 80g of protein daily allowed by his doctor. He has IGA nephropathy which is a degenerative kidney disorder. Anyways what would you guys do diet wise, goals wise if you were him. He gains muscle easily and does'nt get fat too easy, if he did'nt have this hinderance he could be pretty damn jacked, in fact when he was about 17 he was around 5'10" 190 and 12-14%bf and carried it fuckin amazing. Anyways he gets bummed about it and shit, and says he can't get big again (he's 175 now) because of his protein limit. I told him just get your 80g and eat more carbs and fats and shit, especially fats, and see what happens and he just goes "no, I need the protein man, it won't work..."

Any suggestions?


If I were him, I'd just eat more protein anyway.

Maybe that's why you shouldn't take medical advice from an internet forum, but that's what I'd do, personally.


He'll be on dialysis, or have a transplant in less than half his already given time. So I don't think thats a good idea.


He can probably maintain a pretty decent physique, if his genetics are prone to that.

As long as lifting isn't going to have a negative impact on his condition.

Anyway, I guess the idea is to figure out how to maximize the use of protein for muscle synthesis, instead of repair.


If I were him I'd probably try and minimize the strain on his kidneys to keep the nephron degeneration to a minimum.

Since I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, I really have no idea how to do that. I'm thinking a protein powder with all the necessary enzymes for digestion included would be a good source, but I definitely think he should talk to a doctor or dietician to see what would be easiest on his kidneys.

Meanwhile if you're in the market for a black market kidney, PM me, I'll hook you up.


Might take you up on that kidney cap, I'll check with my cousin.

I basically thought that just spread it out as much as possible, ie. 5g an hour, or 10g every 2, or something...


Your body makes protein on its own. If his genetics are more prone to gaining more muscle anyway, this doesn't have to be as much of a set back as you seem to believe. His main concern would then be his overall caloric intake and making sure to stay beneath his limit.


In my relatively uneducated advice, 80g isnt that much and would be easily doable with real food. I would suggest all of it come from real food except from a PWO drink like Surge.

If hes got good genetics (which he does, from your description of him) just eat healthy carbs and a whole lotta healthy fats, and he'll be fine.


Nah, take half of it after his workout, and the rest spread out through the day.


I call schenanigans.


Is his doctor also limiting intake of other foods/drink that can make his condition worse? Like sodas?


Note to newbies: This thread is not saying that eating more than 80g of protein per day is dangerous! Do not read more into it than what it is, which is simply people offering opinions about what can be done to offset the effect of a diet with a very severe restriction on an important macronutrient.


I really have nothing to say other than I hope that everything works out the best for your cousin, and in his situation, his health should be his number one priority, not 15 pounds of muscle.

Regardless, if he's really that worried about it, he should probably load up his fat intake, and make sure he eats plenty of fruits and veggies. I prefer Organic stuff, but in the end, that's up to your cousin.

Best of luck.


Id say small servings of slow digested protein spread through the day like 4 of 20 or so. Meats and or slow digesting protein. Casien Blends like Metabolic Drive, Beef, etc..

Then like above worry about total K/cal intake.

Hope the best,


Then you may have a lot to learn. I am interested now...you didn't know that your body made the proteins that it uses to build more body structures and tissues? Was that the "schenanigans"? Were you unaware that his overall caloric intake (along with activity level) will be the largest deciding factor on whether he makes gains? Is that where the "schenanigans" were?

This guy's main concern is his health. If, however, he chooses to continue lifting (something his doctor may not even recommend), his progress may be slowed but there is a chance that it doesn't have to stop.


I know this doesn't relate to the protein, but I just finished a drug use criteria thing for work on Omacor, the prescription fish oil. There were a few studies using it for IgA nephropathy, and it looks like 4 grams a day (4 capsules) slows disease progression. You may want to let your cousin know to ask his doctor for a prescription possibly, or maybe even try the Flameout that Biotest sells. You can get the abstracts on pubmed (just type in omacor IgA). Here's a couple of the articles I reviewed:

Donadio, JV, et al., A Controlled Trial of Fish Oil in IgA Nephropathy. The New England Journal of Medicine 1994;331:1194-1199.

Donadio, JV JR., et al., A Randomized Trial of High-Dose Compared with Low-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Severe IgA Nephropathy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2001;12:791-799

Hope that helps.


Sucks sorry to hear about that. Sounds as if athletics is pretty important to this guy but if it was me, my long-term health would be my biggest concern.

So, get him to get into something like yoga or cycling. Make sure the guy doesnt eat too much protein you really dont need more than 70 grams anyway.

But dont let him be a dumbass like the guy above that said to just eat protein anyway, get him to drink more water if that helps and keep that blood pressure down.

He's going to have to come to terms with this and just get over it and move onto other interests. Mabey go geocaching or get into something geeky would be cool - works for me.


He's 19 and blood pressure meds, and thanks for the fish oil advice, he is already taking salmon oil caps, like you stated. I told him just to eat clean, lift consistently and make the protein count, and as previously stated, I said start taking tablespoons of oils here and there, olive, flax, safflower etc...anymore suggestions?


Maybe keep his lifting volume/intensity a little lower than normal, since he wont have as much protein as he wants to repair his muscles.

What did his doc say about BCAA's?


I'd say that he should probably spread out his intake as much as possible throughout the day to increase absorbtion. Also I think I read one time that Arginine helps your body to synthesize portein, but don't quote me on that


I apparently didn't know, and as soon as you show me, I'll go replace my chicken and protein powder with butter, vegetable oil, and Cool-Aid.