T Nation

Protein Intake


i weigh around 185-190 lbs at 5'11ish age 16
my current intake of protein is at around 250grams a day
some my lifts are going up well, my squat increasing the fastest. yet on a number of exercises, ex the bench press, is going slower then normal increasing maybe evry two weeks.
my question is: can this rate of growth be kept up on that many grams? my family is in a bad situation and cant really afford more food then that. i susupect some of the slower growth on some exercises could be because of that, but its just something i cant change. Am i gonna stagnant soon?


You might want to post details of your other nutritional intake (how much fat, how many carbohydrates and from what sources, overall calories, in how many meals, etc.), and details on how you work out. Your post is too vague, it could be anything from under-eating to deficient training or it could just be the fact that chest is a weak spot for you! Impossible to know w/o more info.


peer reviewed research has proven that a 175lbs male can gain muscle with as little as 75gr of protein as day as long as enough total calories are taken in. so i would not worry at all with the massive amount of protein you are taking in.


1.25 grams per pound is "massive" now?

What is bigger that massive, because I smoke that figure.


Decades of practical experience has proven otherwise.


haha i think after massive comes MASSIVE...or massiver?

also, I would like to read this peer reviewed article. does this sample consist of weight training individuals? was it written in 1960?

and not to nitpick but as a researcher ive learned to be VERY careful when using any form of the word "prove" especially "proven". most research "suggests" and every study can be done a little bit better which can yield different results.

to the op, without knowing how many calories a day you are taking in, its hard to say what you should be doing. 250g of protein might be ok but not if thats the only food you eat in a day. if necessary, find cheap protein sources, get a job, or get girls to buy you cheese burgers like professor X did. go to buffets, go get a double cheese burger from mcdonalds (dollar menus are awesome). get tuna. eat children.


You will stagnate all the time no matter what you do. It's called reached intermediate from beginner. Then your gains will come weekly or every couple weeks instead of 2-3 times per week.

In any case I think 250grams is enough for you right now.


proven what? i am going to make an assumption based upon every time i have posted something like this. you are using the bodybuilder mentality that muscle is protein so more protein equals more muscle. and if one dont take in 2+gr/lbs of bodyweight you cant/wont gain muscle.

notice how in my post i stated you can gain muscle with as little as .43gr/lbs of bodyweight. i did not state that is the maximal amount you need. huge difference.

i also find it funny that people use the experience card when what is a research study anyways. in this case a control environment was used to show a cause and effect. the person ate much less [protein] than nearly all bodybuilders would say you need as a minimum and they still gained muscle. according to that experience it is a fact. and the great thing about research is its usually done with multiple people. and when it gets peer reviewed at times it is done again with multiple people. therefore, their experience says you dont need that much protein. and i will add this part as if i dont you will say eat like a twig and you will be a twig. as long as total calories are enough you will gain muscle.

did everyone around here know that soy protein was a common supplement the early part of last century. and we hopefully have all seen the massive strongmen of the past. they were huge [mostly] without steroids and with supplementing with something many bodybuilders i know would say doesnt do shit for you other than raise estrogen and give you bitch tit. but human experience, as in the populace that was big 50-100 years ago says otherwise. so who is right?

i am not trying to post a who is right or who is wrong topic. i was just pointing out that food is more important than one macronutrient for this kid. its like missing the forest cause one tree is not to your liking.

now i have made several assumptions. and this was not an attack on any one person here. and yes i did quote something. it was just as a general response to a forum not any one person. that is why i only posted one sentence directly towards who i quoted and clarified that i am making an assumption.


i thought it was gi-hugic! lol

well people gained muscle mass during the research so i would assume that they weight trained. but i have been wrong about other things in the past. i found it a few years ago on pubmed.org. i think it was from the late 90's. and even if it was from the 60's does that means something like we have evolved so much in 50 years that our genetic structure has turned us into a different species so muscle gain results are invalid???

im stretching here. im making a point. like i see in many debates i have been in. one side goes to an extreme about something that can be as little as 1% or less of the population to say they are right. i prefer to talk about things in forums like this that have to do with like 50+% of the population. as we are not in a forum of the worlds elite of anything i dont see why extremes are relevant other then for neat and trivial info to know for no other purpose than knowing.

fair enough. i agree. but if i were to dismiss every bit of research just cause it doesnt fit what i believe in, then what good is the research? or maybe i am wrong? i can think what i want to think. but research is going to involve more people than just myself, using tighter controls than what i can do. and if its peer reviewed its likely been repeated which is going to be far more accurate then my opinion.

as i need to have something to base my knowledge off of, im going to stick to research as part of it. and the neat thing is when i read up on great coaches and trainers and their athletes, like lifters from the eastern block over the past 50 years i see that they coaches/trainers are scientists. they believe in science. they followed it, learned from it, applied it, proved it. their experience shows that science is correct. so why cant i read the science, or the results that they got and garner knowledge on a topic? do i have to set up a lab and reproduce all their results to get respect from others? at times in debates in forums and IRL it seems that way. it seems that the results of one meathead override the results of someone that has trained hundreds.

and no i am not pointing fingers at anyone in particular here. im tired of past debates in forums. just pointing out the flaws of logic and reasoning i have seen in forums over the years. learning from my experiences, which are different than others experiences.

ohh, and to the person i quoted, ill see if i can find anything that shows what i stated in my original post in this thread. so please bear with me while i go looking.


wow, im not sure if i can find that exact research i read years ago. but i was browsing around and found these:

a quote from that link:
"protein requirements for sedentary and strength athletes were found to be 0.69 and 1.4 g·kg-1·day-1 respectively."
to translate i will use my bodyweight of 210, 1.4g/kg = 138grams (rounded up) = 0.64gr/lbs

yes one could say that this quote references strength athletes and bodybuilders are not strength athletes but mass builders. man i hope not. that is splitting hairs something wicked. but i guess we will cross that bridge if we need to.

i do like this quote as well:
"It has been suggested that strength training athletes with greater experience become more efficient at protein utilization"
and i wonder if it is true.......

as you read more of that link you see several times they reference high protein amounts at 1.5-2.2gr/kg of bodyweight. which is about half what you will find in bodybuilding mags. why does research say one thing and bodybuilding mags another.......

now we also do see that the higher protein intake shows an increase in strength and mass and i was never doubting that at all. my statement was to show that it is not a requirement for an increase at the levels he was taking. as the OPs levels on protein intake are even higher then the high amounts used in the several research studies and the participants were gaining strength and mass at lower levels i would not be concerned. basically, what i stated still holds true according to that research.

and to reference a comment earlier from another poster. his experience says otherwise. this first link which shows experience from potentially hundreds of people shows that i am right. the good thing is, it also shows that higher protein can increase results, so you are partially right if you looked at it from a maximal or optimal protein intake to garner results in comparison to a minimal protein intake to garner results. and to restate, i was showing a potential minimal intake to garner gains and not a maximal or optimal level.

here is another quote i like:
"In a recent review Milward summarized this issue by stating that "NB studies need to be conducted in individuals in energy balance, because if energy requirements are underestimated then protein requirements will be overestimated, and vice versa [34]." The rationale is that a decrease in energy intake causes an individual to increase the utilization of stored amino acids for fuel [23]"

notice how it shows that if you eat less overall calories more amino acids will be used for fuel. meaning you will need to eat more protein. this kind of goes along with my original post that stated as long as you eat enough total calories/food you dont need so much protein.

and to continue with this line of thinking:
"According to their calculations a 90 kg man (approximately 200 pounds) with moderate physical activity, consuming 2700 kcal per day (30 kcal/kg) would need 123 grams of protein daily to achieve zero nitrogen balance. Increasing these calories to 4000 (45 kcal/kg) would lower his needs to approximately 80 grams daily. "

see. more total calories, less protein needs.

and another quote:
"In fact Tarnopolsky et al. [13] found that protein synthesis increased from low (0.8 g/kg) to moderate (1.4 g/kg) intakes. While there was an 8.6% increase from moderate to high (2.4) protein intakes, these results did not reach significance. The authors suggested that this non significant trend appears to support the suggestion that the real protein requirements of athletes were closer to the 1.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight daily."

protein synthesis at 1.4g/kg or 0.64gr/lbs. yep, that low. and increasing protein intake by 58% only saw an increase in gains by 8.6%. talk about point of diminishing returns. make me think that most bodybuilding mags are using maximal protein levels and not optimal protein levels.

and to bring up BB zines you need to bring up the fact that many if not all pros use vitamin S which we know changes ones body enough to that the results are not common. add in the fact they are genetically on the end of the spectrum to the other 99+% of the human population you have to wonder how well their diet and workouts will work for us lower humans, lol.

here is another link and i will keep the comments much shorter:

on thing to notice is how groups were seeing an increase in muscle mass with better timing of protein intake not just an increase in protein intake. and that supplementation post exercise was between 10-25gr.

i bring this up as the first link also mentioned quality of protein and timing as a reason for variance in research results.

and one quote from that link:
"In their review of dietary protein intake in humans, Bilsborough and Mann30 state that an 80kg individual could deaminate up to 301 grams of protein per day. At the levels previously cited7,9,11 as eliciting maximal rates of protein synthesis, amounts greater than 300gm per day would be absolutely unnecessary."

that would someone taking in 1.5gr/lbs of bodyweight of protein a day. they showed it to be unnecessary. and many BB 'zines i have read with no backing of science will state you need(!) 2+gr/lbs of bodyweight to gain mass. oops. someone is wrong here.


i wasnt very clear with my question abd it became to wordy.
my question is if anyone has gotten long term gains with 1.25 grams per bodyweight? i juts feel like im gonna stagnant before my family gets in a better postion.


You will be fine. Move on.


My ambition is handicapped by my laziness - Charles Bukowski

lets , leave it at this: you do the minimum and i'll do the maximum. see ya on stage.


cliff notes from my posts:
you can gain muscle with half that amount of protein as long as you get enough total calories.


and that comment is exactly why i clarified that i was not stating take the minimum to garner results. i also stated that you do not need the maximal to garner results. and i will state now that if you want optimal results, use the optimal level. of which some of the links you asked for stated he is fine at his level now and even a bit less for optimal mass gains.

and i also stated that posting things about extremes was a bad way to debate and not relevant, which you then did. good going.

and now that we know the facts...



Okay so rather than eating 300-350 grams of protein every day, in your opinion asooneyeonig I should only bother taking in 200 or less... effectively leaving me with almost 3000 calories to fill up with carbohydrates and fat in order for me to gain bodyweight. And you really think doing that would have me trekking along just the same as I am now?

You don't think I might just... oh I dunno... lose my momentum in the gym and become a fatass?

Besides the fact that you're assuming "muscle gain" is an exact measurable phenomenon... just because someone "gains muscle" does not necessarily mean what they were doing is OPTIMAL for gaining THE MOST MUSCLE POSSIBLE in the SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME POSSIBLE. The study you referenced had several interesting findings in it, but nowhere in it did I see a group of intermediate bodybuilders training on a full routine 6 days a week and eating 350 grams of protein every day... now that's a study I would like to read.

As others have probably mentioned, eating a high protein intake is not really easy, and if it wasn't at all necessary something tells me it wouldn't be practiced by EVERY SINGLE SUCCESSFUL BODYBUILDER ON THE PLANET. But I'm sure you think that's just a conspiracy created by the muscle magazines....

P.S. We would all love to see pictures of your highly knowledgeable physique in action.


no thats not what i am saying. and why is it everytime i post up the science to answer this type of question every damn meathead bodybuilder loses all reading comprehension and completely misunderstands what i said and the science behind it.

so i ask you directly then. where did i state you should not eat as much protein in your example above? good luck with that BTW.

depends. how many calories are you burning a day? how many are you eating in a day? what is your macronutrient ratio like?

again, did i say never eat that much protein? anywhere did i say it wont give you more gains? can you show us all where i did that please.

to help speed this up. one of my posts actually does show how more protein can equal more muscle gain. ohh wait. the sad part is, that what you guys are trying to say i did not say. and yet i did.

remember the OP asked if eating less protein will stall out his gains. i showed evidence that eating less protein as long as eating enough total calories will still allow for muscle gain. and i showed that protein requirements for athletes and bodybuilders are less than what most bodybuilders think. there was even a part in there about quality of protein and timing of protein helping as well. if you really read it you can see that with high quality protein, taken at the right time one can gain muscle with half as much as he is taking. add in that he is taking in enough calories to fuel his body and recovery in a timely manner and he will gain. which what he wanted to know.

now if you are on steroids then heck ya you can take in more protein and use it for what you want/need it for. but with vitamin S in the equation, like most bodybuilders that step on stage, you are changing your normal endocrine levels so you take yourself out of the same variables as the rest of the world that can use the research i posted.


by eating less protein? i would like to see the evidence that says you will as well. as that is just silly to think it will.

do you even know how the body gains bodyfat? i'll help. a fast increase in blood sugar levels causes an increase in insulin. the body can use that blood sugar to refuel the muscles after a workout lowering the need for insulin. so as long as you dont use fast carbs, table sugar, you wont gain much fat if at all while eating a lot.

here is some information from an NSCA Coach of the Year, Robert Dos Remedios. a man far more educated then i and more experienced. here is what he has to say about nutrition from an article posted on this site:

"For mass gain, eat! You have to have a calorie surplus if you want to gain mass. Also, you need to train your behind off! From my experience, most folks just don't understand what training hard really means."

that my fav in that article. nothing about copious amounts of protein. he just says eat enough and work out hard enough. kind of like what i stated and part of the research i posted says.

and it just gets better:
"I've had no problem maintaining muscle mass and strength and power on a vegan diet. While I'm no longer an athlete, I do like to think that I train pretty hard every day. A typical day for me looks something like this: bowl of oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, post-workout soy protein shake, Clif bar, two soy meat sandwiches and one-fourth cup of nuts for lunch, couple of pieces of fruit, huge salad with at least two to three types of beans, couple of cups of pasta with marinara sauce, fruit, pea-rice protein shake for dessert."

wow! its not chocked full of copious amounts of protein. so to clarify i am NOT saying dont eat more protein. i was answering a question from the OP. you can eat less and gain muscle as long as you eat enough and work out hard enough. simple.

to finish off i will again quote the highly educated man and state i agree whole heartily with the statement:
"I have athletes who survive on Mac and cheese, ramen noodles, and Kool-aid. They don't have any money to buy any supplements including a multi-vitamin, and they only get a few hours of sleep each night.

These same kids get bigger, stronger, faster, and leaner every single time we test, year in and year out, like clockwork. Now, I'm not saying that nutrition and rest aren't important. I'm just saying that I think, in general, they might be a bit overblown."

now i know this is a forum and anyone can post whatever they want. but if you ask for proof from me i will ask for the same with you. i have posted my proof. from peer reviewed research and from a highly respect trainer. can you guys that are challenging this info do the same? if not then your physique does not matter. it may even be spectacular. but this isnt a brotelligence based forum. it is a beginners forum. and we can all give advice to questions asked.

i went so far as to offer proof of my statements. if you want to challenge it or show that i am wrong, then please by all means show me with proof, i.e. peer reviewed research, how and where i am wrong. lets keep it simple and learn the art of debate. it will minimize a lot of bashing and trolling and actually help people out like they wanted in the first place.


Hey asooneyeonig,

Why don't you tell them more about how direct ab work is retarded..


Not sure I follow here...

So the hundreds of thousands of spectacular physiques that have been created over the last handful of decades by eating protein in excess of 1g/lbs don't count as proof, but the word of one trainer does?

Dante prescribes a high protein diet and makes monsters out of people... Does he count as proof if your trainer does? He is fairly respected.