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Seriously... How Much Protein Is Enough If You Want to Build Muscle?

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  • Seriously... How Much Protein Is Enough If You Want to Build Muscle?

    Hey guys,

    I've recently started a workout plan, and have given up a lot of processed foods and am eating lots of protein. I've been eating a lot of:

    -sprouted bread
    -edamade
    -greek yogurt
    -almond butter
    -tuna

    I always read that you should have 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. But then I heard from a dietitian that you need 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight. She then said that eating too much protein can cause kidney problems.

    So what's the best option here? I like my workout (HIIT with strength training) and feel fuller with eating more protein, but now I'm worried about damaging my kidneys.

    Thanks in advance

    Raza
    My favorite articles:

  • #2
    In a caloric surplus you don't need as much as if your caloric restricted. When restricting calories lean mass is better maintained eating 1.5g/kg of total weight or .7-1g/lb of lean mass. In a caloric surplus people have put on muscle with as little as 1g/kg, but I prefer higher myself just because I eat a lot of meat and eggs. There is no evidence of excess protein damaging kidneys in an otherwise healthy individual....so my advice would be to eat as much of it as you like.

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    • #3
      Agree with Neckhammer. Also, lose the bread and the soybeans. That ain't food.
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #4
        came here to say what neckhammer and richmahogany said. but they done already said it.

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        • #5
          What everyone said.
          Re. protein amounts. Some people (Robb Wolf) say 1g. per lb. of body mass. Others recommend 1g. per lb of lean body mass. Ultimately you might want to play around with that and figure what works for you.

          Ah, and that talk about too much protein causing kidney problems is simply not true, even more so if a person has healthy functioning kidney(s).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rimam1 View Post
            She then said that eating too much protein can cause kidney problems.
            Your dietician does not understand logic. I would run from her faster than if you were being chased by a pack of wolves.

            Decades ago, a study came out that showed IF YOU HAD ALREADY DAMAGED KIDNEYS, you cannot eat a high protein diet because protein is processed in the kidneys. Marketing whores perverted that into "Protein damages kidneys" and unintelligent doctors and dieticians perpetuated the myth.

            Mark Sisson wrote about it a long time ago in minor detail.

            One of the most common critiques links higher protein diets to impaired kidney function. Recent research suggests, however, that people without prior or developing kidney or liver impairment do not experience any kidney or liver issues with a higher protein intake (1.3 g/kg/day). People most at risk for this kind of kidney stress include those who have a personal or family history of kidney or liver problems or those who have high blood pressure or diabetes. (Because developing kidney and liver problems don’t always have obvious symptoms, it’s important for your doctor to know your protein intake exceeds conventional recommendations.) People with liver or kidney problems, doctors warn, are less able to process and excrete the waste products (mostly nitrogen left over from amino acid breakdown) that are produced when the body metabolizes protein.

            I would repeat here that it’s important that you feed your body the “cleanest” protein you can. Animal products, meat and fish in particular, are the most protein-rich options, and they contain vital omega-3s. However, they also can carry the heaviest “toxic” burden of our modern food supply. These toxins are powerful and plentiful enough over time to put a strain on anyone’s body – including liver and kidneys. Choose organic, grass-fed meat and poultry whenever possible, and go for wild instead of farmed fish.

            Read more: Dear Mark: Pondering Protein | Mark's Daily Apple
            He goes into heavy detail here:

            If we want to exonerate or condemn protein, we must study its effects on healthy kidneys. We have to see if it creates problems rather than potentially worsens them. And, according to the exhaustive analysis of Martin et al, there exists no evidence that protein intake negatively influences renal health in otherwise healthy, active individuals. There is some evidence that already impaired renal function might worsen with increased protein, but the experts, as is their wont, can’t resist applying the same recommendations to everyone, regardless of renal health. The result is a nutrition teacher sowing misinformation across the student body in an introductory course, i.e. one that is intended to establish foundational knowledge that the students will carry on through life as a cornerstone of their thinking.

            Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prote...#ixzz2EIL6WcQE

            Hope this helps.
            Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 12-06-2012, 10:42 AM.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the replies guys.

              I've been reading a lot more about Paleo lately and it just makes sense. There's been years of social programming that I'm starting to reassess.

              RichMahogony's statement about bread and soybeans not being food is really interesting. I was looking at the protein, fiber, and sugar content of both and thought that they were "safe" to eat. But again, this forum is starting to challenge my past assumptions about food and nutrition.

              At the end of the day, ChacoTacos signature really resonates with me. I'll keep researching and reading.
              My favorite articles:

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              • #8
                I just read this article that helps clear up my questions about edamame and sprouted bread. Not the worst, but definitely not primal:

                Is Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple
                My favorite articles:

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                • #9
                  I still think we're missing the mark on kidneys and protein. Kidneys remove the excess uric acid from the blood stream after a meal is digested. Creating excess uric acid just means you need to piss more that day to break even. But if your nephrons are damaged, you cannot filter properly and end up dumping electrolytes as well as being less able to remove all that uric acid. But all that excess uric acid shouldn't make the kidney disease worse, it's just sitting there because the kidney already is broken. So people with kidney disease should avoid excess protein because of the danger of too much uric acid. That's my understanding, at least.
                  Crohn's, doing SCD

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                  • #10
                    I try to keep my protein to 70 grams or less per day to spare my kidney.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rimam1 View Post
                      -sprouted bread
                      -edamade
                      -greek yogurt
                      -almond butter
                      -tuna
                      There's only one thing on this list I'd consider having much protein. I bolded it for you. The rest has a little to less than none. Edamame is probably better for growing breasts than muscles. That's the one that has less than none.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        Dumb list! I'd probably cap protein at around 3 pounds of real meat - just because it displaces other foods at that point!
                        Crohn's, doing SCD

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                        • #13
                          Has anyone actually increased protein consumption and noticed better gains in the gym? I tend to think the protein recommendations are higher than they need to be. I moved from 70g-100g to 150g+ a day and noticed no difference .. actually felt more sluggish. If you are so concerned it is best to try different amounts over a few months and see how you look and feel. For me increasing protein was not beneficial but for others it may. Some people might find increasing carbs over protein will give them a better workout and therefor increase their fitness or muscle gains over more protein. There are plenty of ripped guys taking in no more than 100g a day. I do not believe you need to be a big time animal eater to be in good shape and have great health.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by statikcat View Post
                            Has anyone actually increased protein consumption and noticed better gains in the gym? I tend to think the protein recommendations are higher than they need to be. I moved from 70g-100g to 150g+ a day and noticed no difference .. actually felt more sluggish. If you are so concerned it is best to try different amounts over a few months and see how you look and feel. For me increasing protein was not beneficial but for others it may. Some people might find increasing carbs over protein will give them a better workout and therefor increase their fitness or muscle gains over more protein. There are plenty of ripped guys taking in no more than 100g a day. I do not believe you need to be a big time animal eater to be in good shape and have great health.
                            I've noticed feeling stronger, having an easier time increasing my weights in the gym, after eating more protein. I don't know if it's the protein or just eating more food in general. I chose to eat more protein foods because it seemed easier to just eat the same foods but purchase bigger cans of canned chicken and fish and thus eat a larger portion. I found this to be a challenge, though. There's only so much meat you can eat before you can't eat anything more.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by statikcat View Post
                              Has anyone actually increased protein consumption and noticed better gains in the gym? I tend to think the protein recommendations are higher than they need to be.
                              totally agree. there is a dead animal in just about every meal i eat. i worry not about the grams of protein. i'm also not a high level strength athlete or bodybuilder, just a dude.

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