T Nation

Protein Fetish?

I find many people of this forum consume mind-boggling amounts of protein… Scientific research (an article here on T-mag; forgot the name) points that 0.8-1.0g/lb is all the body can really absorb towards muscle growth and that all the remainder is converted into sugars (unless you’re on drugs)… The question is: why oh why do so many people on here eat ~2g/lb, almost 3x that amount? I mean, it’s not like eating 3 freaking pounds of beef every day is appetizing. If I have to eat ungodly amounts of no-fat cottage cheese, extra lean ground beef, skinless chicken breast, and similar, I’d at least like to hear a damn good reason for it.

Harkonnen, Here’s a little secret I’d like to share with you:
Most of us who eat 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound
of BW don’t do so because we think it will make our
muscles bigger. We do so because we believe it will help
keep our waistlines smaller!!!

Many of us are carb intolerant, and choose to derive a large
portion of our Kcals from protein.


A) Protein is satisfying. (It keeps us from being hungry
all the time.)

B.) Protein will help spare our muscles in absentia of
large amounts of carbs.

C.) Protein has the largest thermic response of any macro

D.) You can only eat so much fat - for me, no more than 125
grams per day.

In conclusion: Eating a higher percentage of Kcals from
protein as opposed to from carbs, or from too much fat, has
helped me maintain a lower BF!

the only time i approach 2 grams/lb is when on androgens. other wise its really more like minimum 1gram/lb to 1.5 grams/pound. Protein shakes and food are expensive for me at this point in time in my life. Thank God that i’m able to sustain my current needs. People have to look at their training goals and their body adjustments. There is no use if the extra protein is being converted to fat or they are not training enough. But i always will believe that a protein gram is better thena a suger or fat gram. laters pk

Well, science says one thing, my body says another. I can remember being stuck at 180 when I used to eat .5 grams of protein a day. Then being stuck at 195 at 1 gram. I have bumped to 2g protein and while I want to puke a lot of the day, Im at 216 now(w Ma-10 and androdiol-4 usage). – Maintaining at 11% body fat. my 2 cents

I remember reading the thing about needing less than a gram per pound of bodyweight at T-mag, BUT that was one guy’s writings (Tom Icledon, I think.) He seems to be very outnumbered by those who think you need more to build and maintain muscle. Experience and trial and error have taught me I need more as well. But I only go up to 2.0 when on an androgen.

Thank you all for your replies. Very enlightening.

I have read the same study results in other sources (various mags and a book I have at home). My body agrees with the research. I eat between 0.8-1.0g/lb of protein and have made tremendous and consistent gains in LBM. When I go higher than this I don’t feel well or train well. Nor has consuming above this threshold resulted in an increased rate of the accumulation of LBM. Lastly, it also starts to move my bf% up. But I think one of the key elements that should be factored in here is the TYPE of protein and WHEN it is ingested. Consuming (fast digesting)Whey protein within the post-workout anabolic window is key. It is my belief that if this is not done consistently, then more (viz., more than .8 - 1 g/lb) protein will need to be ingested to make good gains in lean mass accumulation. I truly believe that most people do eat too much protein. They read the hype but have not actually compared the differing levels on themselves over an extended period (of course the exception would be those who utilze the excess protein as a substitute for carbs).

Harkonnen(cool name!) here’s my 2 cents,

I agree with you, I think most people will make good gains with 1.6-1.8g/kg BUT like everything else, it will vary from people to people.

First, remember, a study made with 30 males between 20-22 will not and can not look at the huge diversity of human specie. Second, don’t forget this study was geared for mass gains so it doesn’t cover dieting(a reality we all live sometimes) and androgens usage both are times when you’ll want to increase your protein consumption. Third, there are diets that have shown some success with higher protein consumption(like Poliquin’s diet) while other’s have shown success with less protein (T-dawg at 1.4-1.8g/kg).

Hope this helps,


Also, even within a given individual, protein needs will vary depending on one’s current goal(s). I find that lower levels work fine for maintenance, but higher levels are needed when making a change - either up or down - in bodyweight. So I eat about 1g/lb when maintaining, and go up as needed (to 2-3g/lb on occasion) when bulking or dieting.

I don’t know how good of a reason this is, but I actually crave protein more than any other food and could live off eggs, beef, grilled salmon, chicken, cottage cheese etc etc… if I had to. That and the fact that I am very carb-intolerant.