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  1. #1
    Registered User MennoHenselmans's Avatar
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    Protein Needs of Bodybuilders <1 g/lb

    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle. This already includes a very safe mark-up. There hasn’t been any recorded advantage of consuming more than 0.64g/lb. The only exceptions to this rule could be individuals with extraordinarily high anabolic hormone levels.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session. The magnitude of this effect is unclear.

    Full article: http://mennohenselmans.com/the-myth-...-bodybuilders/
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  2. #2
    Registered User 180degreechange's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say this article really set in stone what I understood as sufficient protein per day. Helps me relax quite a bit when I run out of protein powder, or am out of town. I'm no longer worried that my "muscles are going to start breaking down" if I don't get at least 1/g lbs in today or my muscles not going to grow as effectively. Really goes to show how much the supplement industry has programmed into our minds how much protein we should consume.

    With that being said, I still consume excess protein when it's convenient for me.
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  3. #3
    Closed for Reno RugbyTank's Avatar
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    I just try to hit at least 150g of protein/ day anything after that is fail-safe

    I've read lots of big name BBer's who are non-scientists just regurgitating the 1g/lb rule

    If anything the maximum should be 1g/lean muscle mass

    But any macro-nutrient can be trained for more efficient or effective use, that being said That would have to take a long period to induce of consistent Diet Macros + Constant training regime.

    Reading more articles and studies are our best weapon , the body is a complexity hard to pin-point how the entire mechanism truly works unless put in a true study of at least 1-2years , imo but those studies are hard to find (let alone reproduce in real world).
    Seek truth and reason
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  4. #4
    Registered User JPL79's Avatar
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    It's hard to know who to believe. Seems that in 2012, there's still no absolute proof either way on what a bodybuilder actually needs.

    BB's like Ronnie Coleman consumed 600 grams of protein a day when competing.
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  5. #5
    Registered User MennoHenselmans's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JPL79 View Post
    It's hard to know who to believe. .
    Think for yourself.
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  6. #6
    Registered User bodymassfast's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the fact whether you use roids or not. I am a natural bodybuilder, eat less than 1 lbs of protein per lbs bodyweight and gained 50 lbs. in 5 months.
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  7. #7
    Registered User JPL79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MennoHenselmans View Post
    Think for yourself.
    I do. What I'm saying is that there's no absolute definitive way to find out exactly what the ideal amount is for any given person.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Huug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bodymassfast View Post
    I think it depends on the fact whether you use roids or not. I am a natural bodybuilder, eat less than 1 lbs of protein per lbs bodyweight and gained 50 lbs. in 5 months.
    Pics or it didn't happen
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  9. #9
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    will read later
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  10. #10
    Registered User ajm422's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the 0.82 g/lb LBM vs. 1.00 g/lb LBM is splitting hairs. One gram is easier to remember and easier to calculate. I think most well-read bodybuilders know that there's no real benefit in going over that mark, but the thing is we have to eat something. Protein has positive effects regarding the thermic effect of food and satiety. Also, it's tasty and tough to overeat. Carbs and fat are much less filling (in my experience) and though they certainly have a place in the diet, there's nothing wrong with cutting back in favor of protein.

    Eating beyond 1.0 g/lb LBM may not have any effect in terms of LBM-sparing and muscle building, but it's still a good thing to do.
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  11. #11
    ayyyyy lmao barbdwyer's Avatar
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    so what kind of macro ratios are we talking here? I cycle calories with IF, therefore I have workout days and non workout days.

    Keeping protein at a consistent 190g per day on all days

    Non workout days are 2200 calories which comes up to basically 35% so assuming fat needs to be at 10-20%, carbs should be 45-55%?

    Workout days I will probably eat 2800 calories, mainly because I'm still trying to shed on further past 9-10% BF where I am currently down to 6 or 7 for summer.
    That is a 27% protein, plus a 20% fat leaves 53% carbs, give or take.

    The carbs consistently being over 50% of caloric intake seems like it could possibly be more hurt than help, but then again, the power of insulin and leptin could help more. A little background on me is 3 days heavy compounds, as workout days. Non workout days consist of speed/agility for sports and calisthenics.
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  12. #12
    ayyyyy lmao barbdwyer's Avatar
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    bump...
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  13. #13
    Registered User rand18m's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MennoHenselmans View Post
    Take Home Messages
    • There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle. This already includes a very safe mark-up. There hasn’t been any recorded advantage of consuming more than 0.64g/lb. The only exceptions to this rule could be individuals with extraordinarily high anabolic hormone levels.
    • Optimal protein intake decreases with training age, because your body becomes more efficient at preventing protein breakdown resulting from training and less protein is needed for the increasingly smaller amount of muscle that is built after each training session. The magnitude of this effect is unclear.

    Full article: http://mennohenselmans.com/the-myth-...-bodybuilders/
    This is not even a meta-analysis, much less a peer reviewed article. Having said that the more knowledgeable on this forum don't necessarily disagree with his conclusions, at least most of them. The reason for giving a 1g/lb/bw recommendation within this forum to beginners, and that's who is asking, is to insure sufficiency and keep the math simple. What the author of the opinion article didn't emphasize is that the .82g/lb/bw is the most needed for mps, but not an upper tolerable limit.

    Also there is plenty of evidence that he isn't entirely correct, (but now we're splitting hairs, which he was doing as well) and as a matter of fact he is in disagreement with groups such as the JISSN as an example. There is evidence that depending on the activity level and age, up to 2.2g/kg/bw is needed and guess what, that is 1g/lb/bw. (.82/lb is 1.8/kg) So to ask someone to dial in their intake to .82g/lb/bw as compared to 2.2g/kg/bw is just silliness. Not to mention the data on protein content across food groups is varied at best, I doubt that anyone could consistently eat right at any of these metrics and if they think they are, in reality they are only close. Therefore it's much simpler to suggest the 1 gram. Personally I look at their weight and give suggestions of a range that usually runs from 1.4-2.0g/kg/bw. (for instance, 200lb or 91kg would be 125-180 gram protein) It's easier for them to think in a range where some days your intake is more than others but still sufficient.
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
    13S3A BlueFenix13S's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JPL79 View Post
    It's hard to know who to believe. Seems that in 2012, there's still no absolute proof either way on what a bodybuilder actually needs.

    BB's like Ronnie Coleman consumed 600 grams of protein a day when competing.
    You can thank bodybuilding magazines for the misinformation telling folks they need 300+ grams of protein per day. Just read one article saying I needed 80g of protein post-workout

    Originally Posted by ajm422 View Post
    In my opinion, the 0.82 g/lb LBM vs. 1.00 g/lb LBM is splitting hairs. One gram is easier to remember and easier to calculate. I think most well-read bodybuilders know that there's no real benefit in going over that mark, but the thing is we have to eat something. Protein has positive effects regarding the thermic effect of food and satiety. Also, it's tasty and tough to overeat. Carbs and fat are much less filling (in my experience) and though they certainly have a place in the diet, there's nothing wrong with cutting back in favor of protein.

    Eating beyond 1.0 g/lb LBM may not have any effect in terms of LBM-sparing and muscle building, but it's still a good thing to do.
    Agreed. Very good response.

    Originally Posted by rand18m View Post
    This is not even a meta-analysis, much less a peer reviewed article.
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  16. #16
    13S3A BlueFenix13S's Avatar
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    I should add that when testosterone is increased, whether naturally or through anabolics, protein turnover is increased, therefore necessitating a higher protein intake. The higher ends of protein intake in bb magazines are geared toward "assisted" lifters. 1g per pound for simplicity, at least 50-60g of fat, and the rest really doesn't matter.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Alv's Avatar
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    How about this study?
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056...99607043350101

    10 weeks taking 600mg of testosterone enanthate and consuming 1.5g/Kg of protein, they gained 13.4lbs of LBM.
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  18. #18
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    Hmm so Layne Norton is wrong when he advocates 1g/lb protein. And from everything I have heard, your body becomes less efficient at processing protein as you get older.

    Skeptical hippo.
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  19. #19
    Registered User MennoHenselmans's Avatar
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    Just noticed this thread was still alive and someone bumped it.

    Originally Posted by ajm422 View Post
    In my opinion, the 0.82 g/lb LBM vs. 1.00 g/lb LBM is splitting hairs. One gram is easier to remember and easier to calculate.
    I honestly cannot fathom anyone would seriously argue this. You have to make the calculation only once. That extra protein can amount to an extra meal. You'd rather eat excessive protein for the rest of your life to save yourself the cost of picking up a calculator?

    Originally Posted by barbdwyer View Post
    so what kind of macro ratios are we talking here?
    Basing protein intake on a macro ratio is nonsense. Protein intake should be based on body mass.

    Originally Posted by rand18m View Post
    This is not even a meta-analysis, much less a peer reviewed article.
    Meta-analysis does not mean what you think it means and there is no point in peer reviewing an interpretation, only a study. I have published in a peer-reviewed journal. I know how it works.

    Originally Posted by rand18m View Post
    There is evidence that depending on the activity level and age, up to 2.2g/kg/bw is needed and guess what, that is 1g/lb/bw.
    Reference?

    Originally Posted by warbird00 View Post
    And from everything I have heard, your body becomes less efficient at processing protein as you get older.
    You're confusing chronological and training age (as in, experience). Training experience improves protein metabolism efficiency, so it decreases protein needs.
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  20. #20
    Registered User ajm422's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MennoHenselmans View Post
    Just noticed this thread was still alive and someone bumped it.


    I honestly cannot fathom anyone would seriously argue this. You have to make the calculation only once. That extra protein can amount to an extra meal. You'd rather eat excessive protein for the rest of your life to save yourself the cost of picking up a calculator?

    I'm not saying it's a difficult calculation. I'm a neuroscientist - I do math for a living. But rules of thumb are guidelines, and it helps to have round numbers. But that wasn't even my point. You're splitting hairs here. The difference between 0.82 g/lb and 1.00 g/lb for me (170lbs, 15% body fat) is roughly 25 whopping grams of protein. That's a big cup of yogurt or a small slice of fish. I don't think that's such a burden. I think the best policy is a range of healthy values. Say "get around 1 g/LBM protein per day." You declaring 0.82 g/LBM optimal and anything over that evil (0.18g/LBM, really?) is counterproductive.

    Basing protein intake on a macro ratio is nonsense. Protein intake should be based on body mass.

    Agreed

    Meta-analysis does not mean what you think it means and there is no point in peer reviewing an interpretation, only a study. I have published in a peer-reviewed journal. I know how it works.

    I thought your entry was pretty good, if a little adversarial. There are bigger battles to fight here.

    Reference?


    You're confusing chronological and training age (as in, experience). Training experience improves protein metabolism efficiency, so it decreases protein needs.
    I think this thread is making a mountain out of a molehill. I know this is the Advanced Nutrition section 'n all, but the difference between 0.82 g/LBM and 1.00 g/LBM is fairly trivial for most people. If you're a bodybuilder in hard financial times, and your 1 g/LBM is a huge line item on your monthly budget, then I guess sure, cut back on your protein expenditures and don't sweat it. Otherwise, just aim for around 1 g/LBM and enjoy yourself. Let's instead talk about meal frequency myths, overestimated calorie burns during workouts, carbs after 6PM, and all the other pervasive bodybuilding untruths.
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    @ajm422
    Fair enough. At 200 lbs the difference is considerable for me, as I like to eat as little protein as necessary. I have no issues with satiety and I don't like the taste of most protein sources, at least not the ones that are easy to prepare or affordable, so it all depends on the individual. The point of my article wasn't just to debunk the 1 g/lb guideline though. If anything, that's one of the lower recommendations I see around. I think the stickies here recommend amounts up to 1.75, for example.
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    Originally Posted by MennoHenselmans View Post
    @ajm422
    Fair enough. At 200 lbs the difference is considerable for me, as I like to eat as little protein as necessary. I have no issues with satiety and I don't like the taste of most protein sources, at least not the ones that are easy to prepare or affordable, so it all depends on the individual. The point of my article wasn't just to debunk the 1 g/lb guideline though. If anything, that's one of the lower recommendations I see around. I think the stickies here recommend amounts up to 1.75, for example.
    Yeah, people can get crazy with their protein. Some do it because of bro-lore, and some do it because they like lots of meat (me) and we have to eat something. There's no harm in shifting your calories over to protein rather than carbs if you want. There are incremental benefits to doing so thanks to the thermic effect of food, but they're mostly negligible.

    I wonder if you've heard about this study: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/1/47.long. Healthy volunteers ate low- mid- and high-protein overfeeding diets for 12 weeks and the authors tracked weight and fat gain. They assert that the proportion of protein in the diet had no effect on body fat gain (similar increases in all groups) and that weight increased twice as much in the mid- and high-protein diets than it did in the low-protein one. Interestingly, LBM did increase significantly in mid- and high-protein groups, along with resting energy expenditure (hooray for thermic effect of food!). They conclude that calories and calories alone account for the increase in fat, whereas the higher protein diets accounted for increases in LBM and resting energy expenditure.

    The high protein group only consumed 25% of their calories from protein (less than what is prescribed on here). For bodybuilders, this study is basically irrelevant thanks to the line: "All food was provided and participants resided in a metabolic unit for 10 to 12 weeks with no prescribed or regular exercise program." Given the established work in nutrient partitioning and resistance training, it's safe to speculate that the results would have been far different if the participants had been exercising.

    Not exactly related, but I found it interesting anyway. It seems if you like to overeat and sit around all day, it might help to add some protein to your diet. You'll gain the same amount of body fat, but you'll also put on some lean body mass in the process.
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    Yeah, several people brought that study up. I went into great detail before, but it was in Dutch, so here's the summary:

    If you look at the participant non-compliance and drop-out reasons (e.g. drug use, most of them minorities) and the fact anyone who volunteers in such a study (being locked up for months) cannot feasibly have a life let alone a job, not to mention their ridiculous lean mass gains absent training (including many women) or a good diet (cafeteria food), it's clear these participants were starved, so I don't think that study can tell us much that is relevant to bodybuilders.
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    there will never be a definitive answer for protein "needs" because we are all different
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    Originally Posted by bballer_13_13 View Post
    there will never be a definitive answer for protein "needs" because we are all different
    I don't think you understand how statistics work. Most physiological characteristics of humans are normally distributed with a small standard deviation (/variance) compared to the mean. That means people really aren't that 'unique', physiologically at least. The fact intakes fail to result in significant differences and that 2 standard deviations are then added to that value means less than 0.025% of people will need more protein than 1.8 g/lb.
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    I have based my protein intake on Lyle McDonald's 'The Protein Book'. I found it to be full of actual research (some directly relevant, some not so much), unbiased, and ended up with a much better understanding of how protein behaves in the body.
    All I'm saying is, educate yourself to the best of your ability, formulate an opinion that can be defended with sound research, and that's really all that any of us can do. Like most people are saying in this thread, the jury is out on exactly how much PRO is needed. It's up to us to fill in the blanks to the best of our ability.

    For the record, I consume 1.2g/lb of LBM. Sometimes more if I am confronted with a beautiful steak.
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    Originally Posted by ajm422 View Post
    I think this thread is making a mountain out of a molehill. I know this is the Advanced Nutrition section 'n all, but the difference between 0.82 g/LBM and 1.00 g/LBM is fairly trivial for most people. If you're a bodybuilder in hard financial times, and your 1 g/LBM is a huge line item on your monthly budget, then I guess sure, cut back on your protein expenditures and don't sweat it. Otherwise, just aim for around 1 g/LBM and enjoy yourself. Let's instead talk about meal frequency myths, overestimated calorie burns during workouts, carbs after 6PM, and all the other pervasive bodybuilding untruths.
    carbs after 6pm! are you suicidal bro?
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    Originally Posted by bballer_13_13 View Post
    there will never be a definitive answer for protein "needs" because we are all different
    but there is a definitive answer for everyone as individuals! It's called work it out for yourself

    If you (as I did) worked out carefully over time that you could still build/maintain muscle and/or lose fat by consuming 20-40 grams less protein per day think how much money you would save on whey!? (or food).

    You're right in that there isn't just some formula everyone can follow.
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    why does everyone stress so much over protein intake? I've been through so many threads on this subject and every single person has a different answer.

    your not going to die if you eat 2x/1.5x the amount over your body-weight or vice versa, i generally consume 200g or around, somtimes more somtimes less, depends whats in the fridge. if i see a huge steak and burgers in the fridge i am going to eat them reguardless if they contain over 200grams of protien


    the thing with bodybuilding is, everyone has got a different answer for everything. The science behind bodybuilding seems to change every week! one day everyone believes in that then the next day something else
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    Because bodybuilders have increased lean body mass and burn extra calories working out, they require more protein than people who are sedentary.
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