Man, you know…I really don’t know where to start. There’s so much going on I really couldn’t without writing a novel and to be perfectly honest…well, I don’t really feel like writing that much right now lol. Sounds like a cop out I know, but what you basically just did is ask a question that makes about a million things in my brain go pop! at once.
You can look up Dr. Peter Lemon, who was one of the great names in nutrition research and did studies on protein intake years ago, largely fundamental to our nutrition. And lets be honest, I am not talking about 3 grams per lb of bodyweight here. Peter Lemon suggested between .8-1.4 g per lb of bodyweight if memory serves me, which is almost spot on the typical “1 gram per pound” recommendation most people give to new weight lifters.
The biological reason is as follows: You require protein not just for muscle, but for the creation of almost everything–immune antibodies (protein), T cells, B cells, enzymes for every biological reaction you have (all made of protein), tendons, ligaments, stomach lining, brain cells, everything. So in order to provide excess protein that is available to use for muscle synthesis, you need MORE protein on top of that which is required to maintain your body’s current structures and carry on biological functions. If you do not give the raw building blocks to build with, building will be slow at best, or stagnate and drop at worst.
If you increase the stress on a system, you must increase fuel requirements. Carbs cannot be used as structural building blocks for enzymes because the enzymes are made of proteins.
Ultimately, we need also keep in mind the difference between “required” in the “required for normal daily function and to avoid deficiency” manner of speaking with the “optimal” as in, “optimal to increase performance OVER daily function” manner of speaking. Most studies deal with deficiency because that is clinical–that is where many nutrition syndromes and diseases come from, not to mention the grant money for solving or ameliorating disease is a lot more than for studying athletes :).
What you said in essence explicitly stated that you were laughing at those who take protein supplements. It was a blanket statement and a poor one because, in practical terms, while there may be a few people getting big on low protein intake they are the absolute exception to the general rule that big strong people eat more protein than .6 grams per lb of body weight and certainly a damn sight more than the RDA of 60g. Success leaves clues–if 90% of all great athletes does “x” then it suggests “x” is a trait very very closely tied to success, regardless if a few of the 10% leftover don’t do “x” and are successful as well. Same goes for bodybuilders and power athletes.
However, further and more importantly there are a number of studies that indicate specific KINDS of protein–i.e. the “specialized proteins” you said you make fun of–are more effective at inducing anabolism post workout or are more quickly absorbed into the blood stream, or are better at staving off catabolism, than other kinds of proteins.
And no, these are all peer reviewed studies I am speaking of, not “supplement ad campaigns”.
In addition, there is absolutely ZERO, and I mean ZERO scientific evidence for “they produce lots of residue”… I don’t even know what you are speaking of here, because outside of some pseudo new-age infomercial nonsense there is no term for what you are saying here.
All the best