3.4 g Protein

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
In G N Booklet he references a study where a test group were consuming 3.4g protein per kg of bod weight. I generally work off 1g per kg, works out at 100 or so a day. That’s pretty manageable to do across 3 meals and using protein powder etc. Has anyone used a higher proportion closer to 3g?
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
3g/kg would be me on occasion because I can eat a lot of meat (eg ridiculously huge steaks, whole chickens etc) but that's a real lot of protein to maintain over the medium to long term. My usual protein target is around 2g/kg and that's very doable albeit with daily whey supplementation. I certainly support protein consumption above RDA but anywhere from 1.5g/kg up is probably optimal. I would add that my own experience is difference to the study. I consistently lean out on high protein, in fact it's my first preference method for weight loss. Upping protein and lowering fat and carbs results in comfortable reduction in body fat with minimal discomfort. I usually achieve this by drinking a double protein shake about 20 minutes before each meal, then eating to fill. For the first week I manage to down the protein shake and eat more or less normally. But then my gluttony gives up and I find myself eating minimally beyond the protein shake and often just the protein shake will do.
 
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Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
In G N Booklet he references a study where a test group were consuming 3.4g protein per kg of bod weight. I generally work off 1g per kg, works out at 100 or so a day. That’s pretty manageable to do across 3 meals and using protein powder etc. Has anyone used a higher proportion closer to 3g?
Leangains method asks for 50% to 60% calories from protein. This is 3-4 grams per kilogram or it can be even more.

One of the arguments of the book is that protein is actually inefficient as an energy source, so for people who need a calorie deficit (the target of the book) this inefficiency is actually beneficial.

The only way to reach such high levels I can think of is by lean meat and shakes.
 
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kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
A high protein diet (3.4 g/kg/d) combined with a heavy resistance training program improves body composition in healthy trained men and women – a follow-up investigation
3.4 g/kg/d

As you know, this is a huge amount of protein to consume in a day for the HP, High Protein Group. To consume that much protein in a day, without supplementation, you'd probably need to be on the Carnivore Diet.

Snowman

I am going to kick the Carnivore Diet over to him. This is his turf.

Breaking It Down

For the sake of breaking it down, let's say an individual weighed 77 kg/around 170 lbs.
I generally work off 1g per kg, works out at 100 or so a day.
That would mean that...

1) You would need to consume 261 gram of protein per day.

2) Amount per meal/serving

a) If you broke it down into 3 meals per day, the would mean you'd need to consume around 14.5 oz of meat per meal. That example based on the fact that an oz of meat is contains roughly 6 gram of protein.


That would means around 87 gram of protein would need to be consumed per meal.

That is going to fill up someone who weight 77 kg. I question if after consuming that 14.5 gram of meat that you'd want anything else.

Secondly, research (Drs Norton and Layman) determined that approximately 2.5 to 4.5 gram of Leucine (amino acid) is required per meal/serving to trigger mTOR (Mammalian Target of Rapamycin), that maintains and promotes anabolic muscle growth.

Approximately, 5 to 6 oz of meat is needed per meal to obtain the right amount of Leucine. Meats contain around 8% Leucine.


b) If you broke it down into 6 meals per day, that would mean you'd need to consume around 7.25 oz of meat per meal. That example based on the fact that an oz of meat is contains roughly 6 gram of protein.

That would meal every meal/serving of the 6 meals per day would need to average around 43.5 gram of protein per serving.

Again, if we use meat, that would mean you'd need to consume 7.25 oz per serving.

Research (Norton) has determined that Muscle Protein Synthesis is best accomplished when meals are spaced every 4 - 6 hours; the "Refractory Period", rather the dogma of meals/serving every three hours.

Body Composition

I suspect (meaning an educated guess) is that the decrease in fat mass with the High Protein Group was in part due to the limitation of carbohydrate intake, which triggers insulin release, which blocks "Fat Burning".

Gram of Protein Per Kilo, Per Day

As the research noted in the article, there are a multitude studies with different recommendations.

Anywhere from 1.2 to 2.0 gram per kilo of body weight. I have pretty much tried them all.

Based on my experience, I believe that around 1.6 to 1.8 g/kg/d is effective for most under the following conditions.

1) 3 - 4 Meals Per Day with at least 4 hours between meals.

2) 30 Gram Per Meal Minimum, with possibly up to 50 gram per meal. 50 gram of meats or dairy would provide you with around 4.0 gram of Leucine per meal.

Research (Norton/Layman) determined older individual's need over 3.0 gram of Leucine to trigger the same anabolic effect as someone younger who needs a minimum of 2.5 grams of Leucine per meal/serving.

I generally work off 1g per kg, works out at 100 or so a day.hat’s pretty manageable to do across 3 meals and using protein powder etc.
1 g/kg/d

Yes, that breaks down to let's say 34 gram of protein per meal, which is manageable, especially when you supplement it with protein powder.

However, the focus needs to be on ensuring the protein that you are consuming contain enough Leucine.

Doing The Math

1
) Whey Protein: 10% Leucine

If you consume 30 gram of whey, that means you obtain around 3.0 gram of Leucine.

2) Casein Protein Power, Meats, and Dairy: 8% Leucine

If you consume 30 gram of the above, that means you obtain around 2.4 gram of Leucine.

Has anyone used a higher proportion closer to 3g?
Yes

I once was on a diet where I used over 4 g/kg/d recommended by a friend, consuming right at 400 gram of protein a day.

As you know, the only way to consume that amount is with a protein supplement. I didn't really get anything out of it

However, I did learn the ultra high protein is a diuretic. On an ultra high protein diet (as with a low carbohydrate diet, like Keto), you need to consume copious amount of sodium along with potassium.
 
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kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
One of the arguments of the book is that protein is actually inefficient as an energy source, so for people who need a calorie deficit (the target of the book) this inefficiency is actually beneficial.
Protein Digestion

Yes, it take more effort to digest protein.

Satiation

Protein also kills you appetite. You can go without eating for longer period of time because you aren't hungry.

Fat provide of he satiety effect, behind protein.

Carbohydrates, specifically high glycemic food trigger hunger. You become glucose dependent, you're hungry every few hours.

Whoever, said that you can just eat on Lay's Potato Chip wasn't kidding.
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
These were the results related to body composition:

There were significant time by group (p ≤ 0.05) changes in body weight (change: +1.3 ± 1.3 kg NP, −0.1 ± 2.5 HP), fat mass (change: −0.3 ± 2.2 kg NP, −1.7 ± 2.3 HP), and % body fat (change: −0.7 ± 2.8 NP, −2.4 ± 2.9 HP). The NP group gained significantly more body weight than the HP group; however, the HP group experienced a greater decrease in fat mass and % body fat​

So the high protein gained 1.6 kg of lean mass and lost 1.7 kg of fat. The normal protein gained 1.6 kg of lean mass and lost 0.3 kg of fat.

It's interesting that the high protein group lost more weight even if they were consuming more calories. They behaved as if they were in a calorie deficit. This would support the idea that protein is inefficient as energy source.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
In G N Booklet he references a study where a test group were consuming 3.4g protein per kg of bod weight. I generally work off 1g per kg, works out at 100 or so a day. That’s pretty manageable to do across 3 meals and using protein powder etc. Has anyone used a higher proportion closer to 3g?
My diet is pretty free of carbohydrate, and the last time I calculated my protein intake it was around 2.5 grams/kilo of protein. My macros are essentially just a balance between fat and protein, and an increase in one tends to displace the other. If I increase my protein intake significantly, I tend to drop my fat intake, and over the course of a day or two I start to crave fat.
I guess what I'm saying is, for me, eating 2.5 grams/kilo of protein is easy for me, on a carnivore diet. However, eating 3 grams/kilo or more would require a certain amount of willpower and determination, because I would be eating well past satiation, and limiting the fat that I would be craving.

Leangains method asks for 50% to 60% calories from protein. This is 3-4 grams per kilogram or it can be even more.
In my experience, once you get past 40-50% calories from protein (I'm probably around 40/60 protein:fat), protein just doesn't seem very appetizing anymore.
Even on a diet free of carbs, I would have to eat fairly lean meat in order to get to 60% of my calories from protein.
It's worth noting that I maintain very normal blood glucose levels, indicating that a decent chunk of the protein that I eat gets converted to glucose. The difference between eating glucose vs. getting glucose from protein (amino acids, technically) is that there's little to no insulin response from the protein-derived glucose.

Body Composition

I suspect (meaning an educated guess) is that the decrease in fat mass with the High Protein Group was in part due to the limitation of carbohydrate intake, which triggers insulin release, which blocks "Fat Burning".
I agree with this. At some point, you would have to start swapping carbs with meat, which is generally going to promote fat loss due to the effects on insulin.

Based on my experience, I believe that around 1.6 to 1.8 g/kg/d is effective for most under the following conditions.

1) 3 - 4 Meals Per Day with at least 4 hours between meals.

2) 30 Gram Per Meal Minimum, with possibly up to 50 gram per meal. 50 gram of meats or dairy would provide you with around 4.0 gram of Leucine per meal.
I agree that this makes a lot of sense for most folks.

It's interesting that the high protein group lost more weight even if they were consuming more calories. They behaved as if they were in a calorie deficit. This would support the idea that protein is inefficient as energy source.
There has been talk in some circles for a while of dropping the calories per gram of protein down, from 4 to 3.4, since that better reflects the actual usable energy in a gram of protein.
I was listening to an interview with a protein researcher (it may have been Anthony Jay, but don’t quote me on that), and he mentioned that one of the main reasons people dropped out of high protein studies is that they would get too hot. It’s not clear if this is due to an up-regulation of metabolism, or just the metabolic effect of having to process that much protein (since many chemical reaction generate heat). In the study we're discussing, the dropout rate between NP and HP groups was the same, and most people didn't cite a reason for dropping out, so I don't know how relevant it is to this discussion. Point being, protein is an inefficient fuel, which may or may not be a useful thing, depending on goals.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
It's interesting that the high protein group lost more weight even if they were consuming more calories. They behaved as if they were in a calorie deficit. This would support the idea that protein is inefficient as energy source.
Research Review: A calorie isn't a calorie | Precision Nutrition

Protein takes the most energy to digest (20-30% of total calories in protein eaten go to digesting it). Next is carbohydrates (5-10%) and then fats (0-3%). Thus, if you eat 100 calories from protein, your body uses 20-30 of those calories to digest and absorb the protein.
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
It’s important to note the context of 3g/kg protein:
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It’s for “superior athletes” and for a brief period of extreme training stress.
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
And yet I've seen articles that say we don't need nearly as much protein as the muscle mags say. Some articles say 50+ grams is fine. Others say .5g per lbs. Of body weight. I just eat. If I feel like two steaks I eat them. If I feel like another shake, I drink it. If I don't I don't. Over the long haul context I'm sure it works itself out. I'm not dead yet and still have more muscle and can go on for quite awhile compared to most.
 

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
For most of 2019. I've been following the guidelines of the Vertical Diet which recommends 0.8 to 1.2 g per lb of bodyweight. 0.8 when gaining weight, 1.0 when maintaining weight, and 1.2 when losing weight.

Regards,

Eric
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
And yet I've seen articles that say we don't need nearly as much protein as the muscle mags say. Some articles say 50+ grams is fine. Others say .5g per lbs. Of body weight. I just eat. If I feel like two steaks I eat them. If I feel like another shake, I drink it. If I don't I don't. Over the long haul context I'm sure it works itself out. I'm not dead yet and still have more muscle and can go on for quite awhile compared to most.
I can't find it but I read an article on bodybuilders from the developing world who often can't afford to eat much protein (commonly one meal per day with meat or eggs) yet are pretty bloody huge. And of course in many Asian and African populations people don't eat much meat anyway and often don't consume dairy at all yet you see some pretty big people wandering around so the picture seems more complicated than simply correlating muscle mass and dietary protein at a particular point in time. Does anyone know of a study into, say, the difference between eating 90g and 190g of protein daily?
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I'm not a nutrition expert but just sharing some sources I like.

The myth of 1 g/lb: Optimal protein intake for bodybuilders

I like Menno Henselmen's material since he relies on science. He has a bodybuilder's slant on things but let's face it, on average, bodybuilders know a lot more about nutrition relative to body composition than general strength trainees.

Bottom line of that article: There is a cut-off point at exactly 1.6g/kg/d beyond which no further benefits for muscle growth or strength development are seen.

That said, age and other factors may play in. Here's another article with good info from one of my favorite information sources:

7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake - Barbell Medicine
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
And yet I've seen articles that say we don't need nearly as much protein as the muscle mags say. Some articles say 50+ grams is fine. Others say .5g per lbs. Of body weight.
50 Grams Nor Is .5 Gram per Pound

There is a lot of misinformation out there that continues to be perpetuated.

Neither 50 gram per day nor .5 gram per pound works over time.

There is multiple of research that demonstrates the the need for more protein, especially as you age.

I've posted some of the research on this. I also posted a great video podcasts with Dr Keith Baar (PhD Exericise), Dr Donald Layman (Nutritionist), Dr Gabrielle Lyon, DO on mTOR; the need for specific amount of protein per meal that need to be consumed to maintain and/or increase muscle mass.

I just eat. If I feel like two steaks I eat them. If I feel like another shake, I drink it. If I don't I don't.
That Amounts To Guessing

As I have stated multiple times on his site, guessing is never a good.

When writing a check, do you just simply guess at how much money you have in the bank and then write the check?

Do you and your doctor guess about your blood cholesterol levels?

Over the long haul context I'm sure it works itself out.
It all works out.

It definitely all works out.

Unfortunately, it often doesn't workout the way you want.

Planning

The key to ensuring success in any venture is planning.

As the saying goes, "No one plan to fail, he fail to plan.

It is like taking trip. You get a map. See where you want to go then plan your route; rather than just driving around it works out and you find where you need to be.
 
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HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
So.....don't listen to your body folks. Get your calculators and your spread sheets out because if you don't consume exactly x amount of whatever you will die.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Bottom line of that article: There is a cut-off point at exactly 1.6g/kg/d beyond which no further benefits for muscle growth or strength development are seen.
1.6 g/kg/d

This reinforces the information that I posted based on my cross referencing multiple research articles.

Gram of Protein Per Kilo, Per Day

As the research noted in the article, there are a multitude studies with different recommendations.

Anywhere from 1.2 to 2.0 gram per kilo of body weight. I have pretty much tried them all.

Based on my experience, I believe that around 1.6 to 1.8 g/kg/d is effective for most under the following conditions.

1) 3 - 4 Meals Per Day with at least 4 hours between meals.

2) 30 Gram Per Meal Minimum, with possibly up to 50 gram per meal. 50 gram of meats or dairy would provide you with around 4.0 gram of Leucine per meal.

Research (Norton/Layman) determined older individual's need over 3.0 gram of Leucine to trigger the same anabolic effect as someone younger who needs a minimum of 2.5 grams of Leucine per meal/serving.
Here's another article with good info from one of my favorite information sources:

7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake - Barbell Medicine
Jordan Feigenbaum, overall does a nice job on this. Reinforcing some of the information that I presented.

Correction

However, since I am anal, let me make one correction in this article.

"...whey protein (the KING of all proteins) has ~3g of leucine per 20g serving..."

Yes, whey is the "The King of all proteins". It is "The Anabolic Protein". That due to it high Leucine content and quick digestion rate.

However, the majority of Whey Proteins do NOT contain 3 gram of Leucine.

The composition of Whey Protein is approximately 10%; it can be as high as 12%.

Based on that information, 20 gram of Whey Protein yields 2.0 gram of Leucine (20 grams X 10%).

At the highest, 20 gram of Whey Protein may contain 2.4 gram of Leucine.

The Problem

The problem with this misinformation is that for someone who monitors their Leucine intake, will under dose themselves; not triggering mTOR.

There is a certain dosage of Leucine per serving is mandated to turn on mTOR, the anabolic switch.

30 Grams of Whey

Approximately 30 gram of Whey Protein needs to be consume to obtain 3.0 gram of Leucine; not 20 gram of Whey.

Read The Label

Most Whey Protein containers provide a break down in the amount each Amino Acid.

The standard serving on most Whey Protein labels is 25 grams.

If you look at the amount of Leucine on the label, you usually see that 25 gram of Leucine yields right at 2.5 gram of Leucine.
 
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Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
So.....don't listen to your body folks. Get your calculators and your spread sheets out because if you don't consume exactly x amount of whatever you will die.
Perhaps you exaggerate a little? :)

Not just in diet, but in many fields of endeavor, _sometimes_ a big difference in input is required to create a big change in output. I weigh a bit under 70 kg, and I'd be surprised if I got as much as 50 grams of protein in a typical day. To anyone who says that 30-40 grams of protein per day isn't enough, I reply that I am doing just fine by most measures. A bit wacky, an odd sense of humor, problems with authority, and other undesirable character traits not withstanding :), I'm healthier and stronger than the average person at my station in life.

My suspicion is that increasing my protein a little isn't going to change my life much, and that if I wanted to add muscle to my frame, I'd have to eat very differently. That's my theory, and I have no problem with people telling me that, to bulk up, I need to triple or quadruple the amount of protein I take in. That's not going to happen, but I'm willing to buy into it as a theory.

Input's relation to output is a highly variable thing in all sorts of endeavors. My personal example is practicing for a musician: I practice just enough to make slow progress on all the instruments I play. To make more serious progress, I would need to practice a whole lot more - a little more practice isn't going to make me much better than the amount I do now (as I know from lots of personal experience, having been at this learning to play musical instruments thing for a long time). I made great progress playing the piano one summer when I sat at the keyboard for 2-3 hours a day, every day, for 4 months. Now, I have neither the time nor the patience to do that. No doubt, year over year, I continue to improve - everyone who knows me would tell you that and I'm proud of my progress - but it's slow, steady going, and I'll be the first to say that, all other things being equal, I could do better. But all other things aren't equal.

Therefore I conclude that what's "enough" is very much going to be in the eye of the beholder. What you put in will determine what you get out, but we don't all want the same thing. It's all good, the research is interesting and useful. But a life is a whole lot more than just diet macros.

Just my opinion; your mileage may vary.

-S-
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
The RDA for protein is 0.8g/kg of LEAN body mass. Not total body weight. That works out to around 50g for many, but not all people. Patients with kidney disease who must follow a low protein diet have built muscle on 0.6g/kg.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
The 1.6 number that @Anna C quoted and the 2g from Zatsiorsky are very close to ideal for me. I know the amount of protein needed increases with age.

On my last major gaining cycle I was hitting minimum 160g per day over 4 meals, often closer to 200/day with presumably a bunch of that wasted.

Going out on a limb I'd say maintaining that could be done with a lot less, maybe 1 - 1.25 g/kilo. Still a fair amount of protein, but 30g per meal is a lot easier to hit w/out supplementation than 40+.
 
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