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  1. #1
    Registered User jayceeh's Avatar
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    Daily Protein Intake Requirements

    Hey guys,
    Have been doing a lot of research recently and have been looking around on several sites as I am interested in finding out what my daily protein requirements are. Every site says something different- some say to determine intake based on macros i.e. approx 20-35% of calories should come from protein, while others suggest consuming protein based on your weight i.e. 1g of protein per kg... Which method is better and more accurate? both methods for me give drastically different results- if i consume based on macros I end up consuming 2.5-3g of protein per kg of weight and this seems to much when compared to recommendations of approx 1.5g/kg of body weight when determining protein requirements based on body weight... :/ :S That also leads to the question of how much protein is too much? if i consume based on macros am i actually consuming too much protein based on my low body weight (as i am trying to gain weight my calorie requirements are high thus the macro method would mean high protein intake - possibly too high for my body weight)? does this (too much protein) cause any harm?
    I want to start training to gain muscle/mass so any recommendations on how much protein i need would be much appreciated - preferably with links or some sort of scientific 'evidence' back up to the recommendations.
    Thanks heaps!
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    0.6-0.8g/lb is likely to be adequate in most situations

    http://mennohenselmans.com/the-myth-...-bodybuilders/ - well referenced article
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    .8g/lb
    I think the science links are in the stickies.
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    This is what I go by:

    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    I always hesitate to boil recommendations down to soundbites. But based on the current evidence, 1.2-1.8 g/kg (divide by 2.2 for pounds) is likely to be appropriate for those in maintenance or surplus conditions. Hypocaloric conditions - especially in lean/trained subjects - is likely to warrant approximately 1.8-2.7 g/kg. Keep in mind that the higher range won't hurt either goal, and in a limited set of studies has been shown to potentially help. Take into consideration your individual status, goals, & circumstances, and estimate needs from there. Good enough?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    This is what I go by:
    Actually, if you bothered to read that thread you would know that, after debating the issue, Alan modified his position as follows:

    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    Note that I edited out "the current recommendations" from my list since it's too subjective. I instead opted to simply list 1.8 g/kg.
    Originally Posted by alan aragon View Post
    If I may push towards a temporary resolution here, is it fair to say that we agree on the following:

    1) No controlled comparisons of protein intake have shown significant ergogenic benefit in regards to either muscle gain or retention at intakes greater than 1.8 g/kg.

    2) There are studies that have dosed protein above 1.8 g/kg, but have (with debatable/scant exception) used insufficient protein for comparison.

    3) Being vehement about an upper limit of 1.8 g/kg is hasty since this dose has not been compared with a higher dose (i.e., in the 2.2-2.7 ballpark) in lean/athletic subjects undergoing resistance training in a deficit.

    4) There are inherent limitations with the current literature's expression of protein per unit of gross weight vs per unit of lean mass.

    5) Not all training populations or sport situations have received sufficient investigation to warrant vehemence towards 1.8 g/kg as an upper limit of effectiveness.

    6) Figures that get spit up in study outcomes are expressed as means (averages). This means that a mixed bag of responses occurred, some substantially higher or lower than the reported mean value. If you really want to rigidly latch on to some mean value and believe that it unquestionably applies to you, then you're making quite the leap of faith.



    OP: To learn more about the relevant research, please click here and in summary:

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1992) observed no differences in whole body protein synthesis or indexes of lean body mass in strength athletes consuming either 0.64g/lb or 1.10g/lb over a 2 week period. Protein oxidation did increase in the high protein group, indicating a nutrient overload.

    Walberg et al. (1988) found that 0.73g/lb was sufficient to maintain positive nitrogen balance in cutting weightlifters over a 7 day time period.

    Tarnopolsky et al. (1988) found that only 0.37g/lb was required to maintain positive nitrogen balance in elite bodybuilders (over 5 years of experience, possible previous use of androgens) over a 10 day period. 0.45g/lb was sufficient to maintain lean body mass in bodybuilders over a 2 week period. The authors suggested that 0.55g/lb was sufficient for bodybuilders.

    Lemon et al. (1992) found no differences in muscle mass or strength gains in novice bodybuilders consuming either 0.61g/lb or 1.19g/lb over a 4 week period. Based on nitrogen balance data, the authors recommended 0.75g/lb.

    Hoffman et al. (2006) found no differences in body composition, strength or resting hormonal concentrations in strength athletes consuming either 0.77g/lb or >0.91g/lb over a 3 month period.


    Also see:

    Effect of protein intake on strength, body composition and endocrine changes in strength/power athletes. Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Falvo MJ, Faigenbaum AD. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006 Dec 13;3:12-8.

    Macronutrient content of a hypoenergy diet affects nitrogen retention and muscle function in weight lifters. Walberg JL, Leidy MK, Sturgill DJ, Hinkle DE, Ritchey SJ, Sebolt DR. Int J Sports Med. 1988 Aug;9(4):261-6.

    Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. Lemon PW, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDougall JD, Atkinson SA. J Appl Physiol. 1992 Aug;73(2):767-75.

    Influence of protein intake and training status on nitrogen balance and lean body mass. Tarnopolsky MA, MacDougall JD, Atkinson SA. J Appl Physiol. 1988 Jan;64(1):187-93.

    Dietary protein for athletes: From requirements to optimum adaptation. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38.

    Protein and amino acid metabolism during and after exercise and the effects of nutrition. Rennie MJ, Tipton KD. Annu Rev Nutr. 2000;20:457-83.

    Hartman, J. W., Moore, D. R., & Phillips, S. M. (2006). Resistance training reduces whole-body protein turnover and improves net protein retention in untrained young males. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 31, 557–564.

    Moore, D. R., Del Bel, N. C., Nizi, K. I., Hartman, J. W., Tang, J. E., Armstrong, D. et al. (2007). Resistance training reduces fasted- and fed-state leucine turnover and increases dietary nitrogen retention in previously untrained young men. Journal of Nutrition, 137, 985–991.

    Effects of exercise on dietary protein requirements. Lemon PW. Int J Sport Nutr. 1998 Dec;8(4):426-47.

    Effects of high-calorie supplements on body composition and muscular strength following resistance training. Rozenek R, Ward P, Long S, Garhammer J. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2002 Sep;42(3):340-7.

    Increased protein maintains nitrogen balance during exercise-induced energy deficit. Pikosky MA, Smith TJ, Grediagin A, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Byerley L, Glickman EL, Young AJ. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Mar;40(3):505-12.

    Dietary carbohydrate-to-fat ratio: influence on whole-body nitrogen retention, substrate utilization, and hormone response in healthy male subjects. McCargar LJ, Clandinin MT, Belcastro AN, Walker K. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jun;49(6):1169-78.

    Macronutrient Intakes as Determinants of Dietary Protein and Amino Acid Adequacy. Millward, DJ. J. Nutr. June 1, 2004 vol. 134 no. 6 1588S-1596S.
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    Surely someone is working on research which compares 1.8g/kg to say 2.2g/kg? As this seems the most logical step based on points 2 & 3 by AA.
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Actually, if you bothered to read that thread you would know that, after debating the issue, Alan modified his position as follows:
    Actually, I did read the thread.

    My understanding is this: Even though there is no hard science proving the higher intakes, Alan still recommends higher intakes for lean/trained individuals while cutting.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by HealingHands8 View Post
    Surely someone is working on research which compares 1.8g/kg to say 2.2g/kg? As this seems the most logical step based on points 2 & 3 by AA.
    They have. No difference in strength or body composition. Helms et al is the latest I believe, and it was 1.8g/kg vs 2.8g/kg.
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    Correct me if I'm wrong here but doesn't this say that there are some benefits of going higher in protein for lean/trained in individuals while in caloric deficit?

    Originally Posted by Quelly View Post
    So all that said, what did I do? I compared an isocaloric, 40% caloric deficit (same as Walberg, Pasiakos, and Mettler), matched carbohydrate (walberg found performance changes when protein was modified by reducing carbs, Mettler used fat and avoided this) diet, of 2.8g/kg protein with a low fat intake to a 1.6g/kg protein with a moderate fat intake for 2 weeks in lean (13-14% bf average), resistance trained (1 year min), adult males. We tested full body maximal strength before and after, anthropometry, and athlete specific psychological stress.

    To put it simply, changes in anthropometry were almost exactly the same. Changes in strength were as well. However, the group on the lower protein intake reported higher levels of symptoms and signs for athlete related stress, high number of sources of athlete related stress, greater total mood disturbance, greater fatigue and greater dissatisfaction with the diet.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here but doesn't this say that there are some benefits of going higher in protein for lean/trained in individuals while in caloric deficit?
    "To put it simply, changes in anthropometry were almost exactly the same. Changes in strength were as well. "

    The mood and dissatisfaction with diet, well, they were on a 40% caloric restricted diet, so that's no surprise. Protein is quiet satiating, and eating 2.8g/kg compared with 1.6g/kg can go quite a way to helping with satiety and therefore making the diet less painful.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by germaine07 View Post
    "To put it simply, changes in anthropometry were almost exactly the same. Changes in strength were as well. "
    Obviously I saw that.

    The mood and dissatisfaction with diet...
    and less stress and more energy. Seems like there are quite some benefits of higher intakes in some situations. Which was my point in the first place.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    and less stress and more energy. Seems like there are quite some benefits of higher intakes in some situations. Which was my point in the first place.
    Two points: That one study was done on folks consuming acutely insufficient energy (40% below TDEE with some folks consuming under BMR) with ~25% of at least protein content from supplements. Also, there's vastly more evidence supporting the benefits of a lower protein intake, especially when combined with higher fat intake and lower carb intake, on subjective and objective markers.



    Food for thought: what would the results be like if the calorie deficit was rational (at most 20%) and the food sources where whole (steak, for example) rather than, in part, processed fast food (protein powders)?
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    Those are good points.

    So what it boils down to in my opinion is: 1.8 g/kg is the upper limit of what has been proven to work for muscle gain / retention. Going higher may have other benefits in some situations.
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    I'd say after .8g/lb (which is in the safe zone) to eat completely off of personal preference.

    WP, are their studies done on high protein intakes? Layne Norton said in a recent video that no research has been done on intakes above 250 grams, but i find that hard to believe.
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    I would shot for .08 and 35% of my daily caloric intake
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    So what it boils down to in my opinion is: 1.8 g/kg is the upper limit of what has been proven to work for muscle gain / retention. Going higher may have other benefits in some situations.
    Low amounts might have greater benefit for some. Higher amounts might be preferred by others.
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Low amounts might have greater benefit for some. Higher amounts might be preferred by others.
    Who are you referring to by lower end being beneficial? Do you mean people who just prefer 1.8g/kg for it to be beneficial for?
    I think iv'e heard you mention ketogenic diets need less protein than others.
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    Originally Posted by germaine07 View Post
    They have. No difference in strength or body composition. Helms et al is the latest I believe, and it was 1.8g/kg vs 2.8g/kg.
    Wow, even after Eric himself explained the huge limitations of his study, you just go with that and run with it.

    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    Actually, if you bothered to read that thread you would know that, after debating the issue, Alan modified his position as follows:
    Since you've decided to included that second quote on top of the update on Alan's recommendations, how come you don't bold his third, fifth and sixth points, as well, then?

    Originally Posted by HealingHands8 View Post
    Surely someone is working on research which compares 1.8g/kg to say 2.2g/kg? As this seems the most logical step based on points 2 & 3 by AA.
    I'm not sure that would be a smart way of spending money. 1.8 g/kg vs. 2.2 g/kg isn't really that big of a difference, and with the costs involved I definitely wouldn't approve of such a study. You have to go with a bigger difference, and then if that brings different results, you start zooming in more.
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