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Protein 101: How Much Do We Need?


Did anyone see this on MSN? Same old recommendations - 10-15% of total calories and .4 gms per pound of bodyweight. What's the deal!?



A bagillion


That's sort of a bare minimum I guess. I believe its been demonstrated through numerous studies that athletes and bodybuilders need more for optimal results--1 g per lb of lean body mass or more, depending on who you ask.


when your pee smells like amnonia eat less. i eat like 400 grams


Well thats why you're awesome!


I'm way more awesome.

Here's what I don't get: I've seen some "experts", including some authors on here, advocate up to 2g per pound of bodyweight, but then if I say I'm a 270 pound man eating around 550g a day, they act like I'm out of my fucking mind.

Maybe my math is off?


Even though you went to Penn and played football your basic math seems to be up to par even though you're 10g's off.


Off by 10 large? You make that kind of math mistake and you end up sleeping with the fishes.


I was out the other day and was chatting with a very fresh nutrition grad. She was telling everyone that the most you should eat is about 0.8g per KG of body weight. I was going to tell her that I eat over 4 times that but I just didnt have they energy to argue that night.


All that protein sucked the energy right out of you.

If you were only eating .8g/KG of your body weight, you would have had the energy needed to argue your point. (jk)

Protein is the one nutrient that I have to really try hard to get enough of.

Ironically, carbs are the nutrient that I have to try hard not to over eat.


Hey cut me some slack, that's long addition! I had to carry numbers and everything...


That would mean that I only need 87g per day. I eat almost 5 times that much.


You probably saved her from having a heart attack too.


i aint seen any research indicating that anything over 1g/lb is useful. You may have cause to up this level if your on the juice but even dorian yates only had 1.5/lb.


I read once that the 50g recommendation is for normal people. Read as: 8-5 workers that sit in a chair in front of a computer all day and do very little calorie expendature.

Now if you don't consider yourself normal, eat more protein.


At least for me, some of the benefit of more protein is, you can add calories and not add carbs, or try to add more fat.


Exactly. At my caloric intake of 7,000/day, my 550g of protein is only taking up 2,200 calories of it.

I really don't feel the need to add any more carbs or fat than I'm already getting from my other 4,800 calories worth of them.

I know what the research says, but my real-life experience has shown this level of protein intake, at my current level of lean body mass, to be optimal for my goals.

Plus, all my blood work is a-okay. No liver or kidney problems on the radar, so I'll continue to do what works for me as long as it's not hurting me.

Just my theory.


It's an interesting topic which is why I've devoted an entire section of The Anabolic Index to it.

Berardi has made some excellent strides in this area, which is largely what I build on. Also, there are data showing that higher protein intakes result in greater muscle gains, but I've never seen them referenced -I build off of these as well.


"Your wrong."


Where did the "10-15%" number for protein calories come from? I've read it elsewhere, and it always seems to derive from some sort of need-based calculation. I've seen the same thing with fat.

It's almost as though researchers decided the body can only handle so much fat and so much protein, therefore the rest must be carbs. It just doesn't make good sense to me that the percentages and bodily effects of two macronutrients would be scrutinized so heavily while the other is merely used as backfill.

Or am I missing something about the way the traditional distribution of the macronutrients is decided?