How much protein do YOU consume?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2009 5:48 AM GMT
    I'd like to ask the successful muscle-builders on this site (and there are many of you!) which formula you use to calculate what your daily protein intake should be for muscle growth. I've seen many different formulas advocated, and I can't decide which one I should be following.

    For example, I've seen some people on this site recommend multiplying your weight in kg by a number between 1.5 and 1.8. That method is also advocated here. I weigh 185 lbs, which is 84 kg. Multiply 84 by 1.8 and you get 151.2 grams of protein per day.

    A second method I've seen, advocated by both Manuel Villacorta here on this site and Nancy Clark, is to consume up to .9 grams of protein per pound bodyweight, or 1.98 per kg. For me, that computes to 166.5 grams of protein per day.

    A third method, advocated here, is to multiply your LEAN body mass in kg by 2.75. My bodyfat percentage is 19%; my lean body mass is 68kg. 68 * 2.75 = 187 grams of protein per day.

    But that is just the bare minimum, according to Bodybuilding.com and Muscle & Fitness, both of whom say you should consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, possibly as much as 2. For me, that would mean consuming between 185 and 370 grams of protein per day!

    That's four different methods, and I'm sure there are more. Very confusing! Hence, this informal survey.

    So, if you've built a muscular body, which method do YOU use to calculate your protein intake?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2009 6:50 AM GMT
    I don't bother counting calories or measuring food. I eat 3 - 4 small meals per day. And snack in between. With each meal, I try to have a protein and a carb. Here's what I ate today.

    morning -- natural peanut butter & jelly sandwich
    mid morning snack -- banana and a bowl of cereal (no milk)
    lunch -- chicken breast and rice
    mid afternoon snack -- protein drink
    pre-workout -- Powerade and amino acid pills, run, then gym
    late evening -- post-workout meal replacement shake
    dinner -- chicken breast and rice
    later on -- probably yogurt

    The point is, don't get so caught up in these magical formulas for protein consumption. I could probably shovel down some more chicken breasts or maybe a can of tuna or two, but I'd probably get sick from overeating. I just don't have that sort of appetite.

    Just eat right and eat as much as your body can handle. If you consume more protein than your body can process, it's just going to be converted to fat anyways.
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    Jan 29, 2009 7:08 AM GMT
    Hi xrichx, thanks for your reply. I'm hoping others will reply to my OP, but your post raises another question for me. I see that you consume both a protein shake and a meal replacement shake on a given day. These products usually contain a plentiful supply of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and they heavily promote that fact. So my question is, if you're taking two of these shakes already, plus all the natural protein sources you mentioned (which are also BCAA-rich), why do you take additional amino acid pills? Isn't that redundant? You could just have some more protein drink...
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    Jan 29, 2009 7:29 AM GMT
    Protein drink before a run doesn't quite agree with my stomach. icon_lol.gif

    Besides, for an intensive activity such as running, I need to consume more carbs than protein. But the reason I take the pills is to maintain the "carbs + protein at every meal/snack" rule that I've set for myself.

    Maybe it's all in my head, but I do get a better quality run when I take the amino acid pills with my carb drink, rather than the carb drink alone.

    I recall reading somewhere that it's better to consume both carbs and protein with each meal. It's supposed to digest better or something like that. The ratio of carbs to protein will depend on your nutritional goals.

    Nutrition is much like exercise.. You have to try different things and find out what works best for you. That's why I think those protein consumption formulas should be taken lightly.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 29, 2009 7:44 AM GMT
    apparently anything above 2.0 grams per LB of body weight is excessive. therefore. since the calculation of kg to lbs is about 2.2 id say aim for 90%, i like that 0.9 grams to 1 lb bodyweight.

    my apologies for not having the reference available, if you're super curious, im sure i can pull it out of some journal. or if you're REAL bored

    scholar.google.com

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    I take in 1 gram per body pound. I eat 6 meals (protein each meal) a day which includes 3 protein shakes.
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    Jan 29, 2009 3:54 PM GMT
    The x grams per pound of weight is pure nonsense. It's like expecting BMI to actually be a reasonable means to determine bodyfat. Your daily protein requirements will be based upon how much activity you do and what kind of activity you do; obviously, a runner won't need as much protein as a power lifter.

    When I can afford it, I eat as much as 400g of protein a day, which is also when I gain the most weight. Right now I'm pulling about 150g of protein and maintaining my weight around 215 lbs.
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    Jan 29, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Your kidneys are not going to be very happy with you...

    kidney%2Bmonster..bmp

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    JrdnS saidYour kidneys are not going to be very happy with you...


    See, now that's exactly what I am worried about. The last thing I want to do is mess with my kidneys. I once read a particularly vivid description of what it's like to have a kidney stone, and it terrified me.

    So what formula do YOU use?
  • D972

    Posts: 125

    Jan 29, 2009 10:46 PM GMT
    Well I'm a hard gainer, but I found from experimenting that xrichx's eating schedule works best for me.

    My eating schedule is quite similar on days I work out... when I don't work out, I omit the protien shake(s) as those serve just as supplement protien and carbs for quick energy .

    I live by his rule: 1 carb + 1 protein per meal.

    I have tried 1 protein by itself and I gained weight, but not lean mass.

    I also drink A LOT of water because I don't want to get backed up kidney wise...

    i consume around 170 grams on days I work out, on days i don't workout, 130 ... sometimes more or less. I weigh 170lbs now and get as big as 173 sometimes. So I'd say, 1gram per pound maybe more depends on how often you workout and do cardio.

    Depends on how you want to look and body type.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2009 12:44 AM GMT
    Does anybody else experience serious cognitive dissonance with these ratios that mix units from unfriendly measurement systems?

    Anyway, I do count up the kilocalories and grams of macronutrients for a few days, once or twice a year, to see how I'm doing. Usually, according to the magazines, I need to eat a lot more and a lot more protein.

    The most that I can seem to cram in, eating all day, more or less, is about 1.5 g protein per kg body weight.

    I guess that's why I don't look like some of the buff guys on here. But really, I can't imagine how to eat more than that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2009 6:24 AM GMT
    I've only become in tune to what I am hungry for and what I know will satisfy my needs (emotional or physiological) best.

    However, my goals are much different than yours. I go for health, not for size. Due to heart defects - I cannot afford physically to gain weight at all.

    and...

    "Formula" is for babies with mothers afraid to breast feed.
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    Jan 30, 2009 7:16 AM GMT
    Shoot for about 200g+

    Usually in the form of

    half a gallon of milk
    2 Scoops whey protein
    3 Eggs
    2 Protein bars
    2 Servings of meat (120/150g) or 1 meat and 3 more eggs

    I'm a really hard gainer...But progress is being made
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2009 7:22 AM GMT
    JrdnS saidI've only become in tune to what I am hungry for and what I know will satisfy my needs (emotional or physiological) best.

    However, my goals are much different than yours. I go for health, not for size. Due to heart defects - I cannot afford physically to gain weight at all.

    and...

    "Formula" is for babies with mothers afraid to breast feed.


    I was using "formula" as a synonym for "method". No need to get snarky. As you say, our goals are different. I go for looks (size and definition) AND health (strength, stability, flexibility, endurance, etc). Nonetheless, I appreciate your feedback. Sorry to hear about your heart problem. icon_sad.gif
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 30, 2009 8:43 AM GMT
    flex89 saidThe x grams per pound of weight is pure nonsense. It's like expecting BMI to actually be a reasonable means to determine bodyfat. Your daily protein requirements will be based upon how much activity you do and what kind of activity you do; obviously, a runner won't need as much protein as a power lifter.

    When I can afford it, I eat as much as 400g of protein a day, which is also when I gain the most weight. Right now I'm pulling about 150g of protein and maintaining my weight around 215 lbs.


    Although excessive protein intake remains a health concern in individuals with pre-existing renal disease, the literature lacks significant research demonstrating a link between protein intake and the initiation or progression of renal disease in healthy individuals. More importantly, evidence suggests that protein-induced changes in renal function are likely a normal adaptative mechanism well within the functional limits of a healthy kidney. Without question, long-term studies are needed to clarify the scant evidence currently available regarding this relationship. At present, there is not sufficient proof to warrant public health directives aimed at restricting dietary protein intake in healthy adults for the purpose of preserving renal function.


    study also has some information about having 1.4g/kg/day - 1.9g/kg/day are not bad. but no evidence was found for or against anything in excess of 2.0g/kg/day
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2009 8:54 AM GMT
    Yeah, 400 is -extremely- unhealthy. Your body can't possibly process all that protein, not to mention at a certain point that will turn to fat. It's like sandpaper on your kidneys too, it's hard to filter. Be sure to drink lots of water as well, but more importantly you should probably take a lot less. i usually go with what Caspervann said, 90% of my body weight a day and I do fine, though i normally do 100% just in case I miscalculated.

    don't take this the wrong way, I'm not criticizing you, i'm just worried for your health.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 30, 2009 9:00 AM GMT
    i gotta know where you people are getting this info. 400grams. 200+grams.
    you realize that protein is readily absorbed into your blood. thats a good thing. however, that presents the problem. because if its not used, its broken down into tiny little pieces. pieces that can actually present serious medical issues. im still searching for studies done that go in excess of 2.0grams/kg, but that's considered a "high protein diet"

    i dunno how much i can take it into account, but my old biology professor stated that excess protein (cuz low carb diets were the starting fad) can result in excess ketone levels which will cross the blood brain barrier and wreck havoc on your neural network. renal failure is starting to look like its a problem as well, but they've only been able to perform those experiments on animals.

    but 400 grams. seriously? dude. come on. i think your bodyweight in lbs and just convert that number to grams is a bit excessive.
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    Jan 30, 2009 9:15 AM GMT
    That study was conducted by our good friends at PETA ( therefore i consider it unreliable)

    basically says that high protein/calcium foods aka milk which claim to promote bone health and calcium deposition in bone don't because excess protien not required for structural or created an Amino acid pool for enzyme production is de-aminated to create energy but in the interm stages acid residues which require calcium be broken down from bone and deposited in the blood to maintain a pH balance.

    Keytones are only a problem in the absence of carbohydrates because they result from the inefficient catabolism of fatty acid residues. If your trying to gain weight and consuming adequate carbohydrate they don't come about physiology. Plus they don't wreak havoc they give you a headache and make it hard to concentrate...which is easily reversible with a spoon of sugar/ glucose drink
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 30, 2009 9:22 AM GMT
    gotcha. but wouldn't an excessive rise in ketone production (fatty* acid breakdown) in combination with lack of carbohydrates (low carb) result in a highly unfavorable reaction much more sever than a mild headache? not to mention the fact that if you were to continue on a quest of 400 grams of protein a day, that would more than make up a significant increase of ketones?
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 30, 2009 9:26 AM GMT
    by the excess in protein intake, its been shown to help some people when they lose vast amounts of weight, but im still unable to find any sort of research done with anything over 30% of your caloric intake due to protein.
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    Jan 30, 2009 9:31 AM GMT
    caspervann said

    but 400 grams. seriously? dude. come on. i think your bodyweight in lbs and just convert that number to grams is a bit excessive.


    Your last sentence seems to be saying that eating one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day is excessive. Is that what you meant to say?
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Jan 30, 2009 9:32 AM GMT
    yesh. i stumble on my words sometimes.
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    Jan 30, 2009 9:59 AM GMT
    caspervann saidgotcha. but wouldn't an excessive rise in ketone production (fatty* acid breakdown) in combination with lack of carbohydrates (low carb) result in a highly unfavorable reaction much more sever than a mild headache? not to mention the fact that if you were to continue on a quest of 400 grams of protein a day, that would more than make up a significant increase of ketones?


    The unfavorable reaction is the point.... Beta oxidation of a fatty acid results in 9kCal while metabolism to keytones yields less. I'm not sure of the exact number but a significant proportion of the keytones are breathed/peed/sweated out. You break down more fat faster.

    keytones don't come from protein, they come from breaking down body fat.

    Eat more protein....More energy from protein...less loss of body fat...and in fact less keytones



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
    theatrengym said
    caspervann said

    but 400 grams. seriously? dude. come on. i think your bodyweight in lbs and just convert that number to grams is a bit excessive.


    Your last sentence seems to be saying that eating one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day is excessive. Is that what you meant to say?


    caspervann saidyesh. i stumble on my words sometimes.


    So you did mean to say that? That seems to contradict what you wrote earlier in the thread: "therefore. since the calculation of kg to lbs is about 2.2 id say aim for 90%, i like that 0.9 grams to 1 lb bodyweight."
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    Jan 30, 2009 7:24 PM GMT
    rotabilis said

    A second method I've seen, advocated by both Manuel Villacorta here on this site and Nancy Clark, is to consume up to .9 grams of protein per pound bodyweight, or 1.98 per kg. For me, that computes to 166.5 grams of protein per day.



    I can only say that through the Nutrition for You program that I went through as part of the weight loss challenge, they had particularly calculated for me to eat 98g of protein a day, and I was about 184 lbs at the beginning, so that would come to somewhere around 0.5g per lb. for me.