“There’s Lots Of Conflicting Talk With Misleading Advice About A Lack Of Protein In The Diet And How Much Protein Is Too Much!”
Do you experience low energy, moodiness and inability to handle stress? So, do you know how much protein you need or are you confused?
Does the amount of protein you need depends on your weight, age and health?
Everyone talks about daily protein intake for muscle growth…
What about protein intake for your specific goals?
How much protein do you need for what?
How much to build muscle?
How much to improve body composition?
How much to improve performance?
How much to enhance recovery?
How much for health and to live?
And how much protein is too much?
How much protein improves body composition and performance related goals?
And with that question in mind…
It’s important to understand protein intake not based on a need. Why?
Because you want your protein intake based from an optimization standpoint, right?
There’s wide variation in dietary protein intake which your body is able to utilize.
Protein is used by your body to stabilize blood sugar…
Do you experience exhausting highs and lows in mood?
Fluctuations in energy between spikes and surges?
What about the increased thermic effects of eating?
What macronutrient has the highest thermogenic effect?
All macronutrients require metabolic processing for digestion, absorption, storage, oxidation.
Thermic effect of protein is significantly higher than carbohydrates and fat…
In fact, protein requires 25-30% of the energy it provides for digestion, absorption, assimilation.
While carbs only require 6-8% and fat requires 2-3%.
That means that eating protein is actually thermogenic.
And the result can be a higher metabolic rate.
This means greater fat loss when dieting and less fat gain during hypercaloric diets.
What about increased Glucagon?
Protein consumption increases plasma concentrations of the hormone glucagon.
Glucagon is responsible for antagonizing the effects of insulin in adipose tissue.
This process is used for greater fat mobilization.
Glucagon decreases amount of enzymes responsible for making, storing fat in adipose, liver cells.
This is used for greater fat loss during dieting and less fat gain during overfeeding.
Protein and amino-acid supplementation has been shown to increase the IGF-1.
IGF-1 is an anabolic hormone related to muscle growth…
The advantage of protein is muscle growth when building.
And muscle sparing when dieting…
Reduction in cardiovascular risk?
Several studies show increasing percentage of protein in the diet (from 11% to 23%)…
While decreasing percentage of carbohydrate (from 63% to 48%)…
Lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.
And increases in HDL cholesterol concentrations.
Improved fat-loss results?
Research from Layman and colleagues shows reducing carbohydrate ratio from 3.5 – 1 to 1.4…
Increases body fat loss…
This spares muscle mass, reduces triglyceride concentrations and improves satiety.
And improves blood glucose management.
Increased protein turnover?
All tissues of the body including muscle go through a regular program of turnover.
It’s a battle between protein breakdown and protein synthesis…
This process governs muscle protein turnover.
You may need to increase protein turnover rates. Why?
Because in order to improve your muscle quality.
Some would argue a high protein diet does this…
Increasing protein synthesis and protein breakdown via high protein helps get rid of old muscle.
The process happens more quickly and builds up new more functional muscle to take its place.
There is supposed to be a positive nitrogen status…
This means more protein is entering than is leaving the body.
High protein diets are designed to cause a strong positive protein status.
And when this increased protein availability is combined with exercise…
This increases the body’s anabolic efficiency and muscle growth process may be accelerated.
Increased auxiliary nutrients?
Listen, although benefits mentioned above are related specifically to protein and amino acids…
It’s important to recognize we don’t just eat protein and amino acids.
We eat real food…
High protein diets often provide auxiliary nutrients!
Could this improve performance and/or muscle growth?
Nutrients are important, right?
Short list includes: creatine, branched chain amino acids, conjugated linoleic acids…
And other important nutrients…
But more research is needed to backup this theory.
The key is the need to get most of your protein from real foods…
Don’t rely on supplements alone.
So, looking over this list of benefits…
Is it clear an increase in protein would be advantageous for most people’s training goals?
So how much protein do you need to build muscle?
Protein per pound of body weight…
Average healthy adult male with goal to build muscle and maintain muscle while losing fat…
Increase of strength or improve sports performance…
Suggested protein intake of 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
How much protein do you need after a workout?
In one study, 48 men used a protein intake of zero, 10, 20, or 40 grams immediately after a strength workout.
The 20-gram and 40-gram doses more effectively stimulated muscle protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is a process which helps promote muscle repair and growth after exercise.
How many grams of protein should you eat to lose weight?
Experts suggest consuming between 0.5 grams and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of your body weight.
That’s 70 grams to 140 grams a day for a 140-pound woman.
More on the high end if you’re very active…
And on the low end if you’re trying to lose weight.
How much protein can you take in a day?
Whether you need to use more than a single scoop or less will depend on how much protein you need in a day.
Rice University, average, moderately active adult needs about 0.4 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
That means a range of 60 to 90 grams daily for a 150-pound person.
Most official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake!
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Equivalent to 0.36 grams per pound.
This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8).
Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you’re under stress…
Recovering from an illness…
If you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Let’s take a look at protein intake using a randomized-controlled trial..
The protein distribution pattern does not affect anabolic response…
Lean body mass…
Muscle strength or function over 8 weeks in older adults.
Background: In this recent acute metabolic study, there was no differences in anabolic response to differing patterns of dietary protein intake.
To confirm this in a chronic study…
To determine effects of protein distribution pattern on functional outcomes and protein kinetics.
Study of older adults over 8 weeks.
Methods: Determine chronic effects of protein intake pattern at 1.1 g protein/kg/day in mixed meals on lean body mass (LBM)…
The functional outcomes…
Including whole body protein kinetics and muscle protein fractional synthesis rate (MPS).
This was over 8-week respective dietary intervention…
Fourteen older subjects were randomly divided into either EVEN or UNEVEN group.
The UNEVEN group (n = 7) consumed the majority of dietary protein with dinner…
(UNEVEN, 15/20/65%; breakfast, lunch, dinner)…
The EVEN group (n = 7) consumed dietary protein evenly throughout the day (EVEN: 33/33/33%).
Results: No significant differences in LBM…
Muscle strength and other functional outcomes between EVEN and UNEVEN before and after 8-week intervention.
Consistent with these functional outcomes.
We did not find significant differences in the 20-h integrated whole body protein kinetics…
The net protein balance (NB), protein synthesis (PS) and breakdown (PB) above basal states and MPS between EVEN and UNEVEN intake patterns.
Conclusions: Over 8-week intervention period, protein intake distribution pattern in mixed meals does not play an important role in determining anabolic response, muscle strength or functional outcomes.
This trial is registered at https://ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT02787889.