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View Full Version : Noob here! Help me understand protein intake



DjArcadian
12-16-2010, 09:11 AM
Here's what I DO understand. I know that if I'm weight training I should consume 1 gram of protein for every 1 pound of lean mass I have. I'm 190 lbs with about 20% bodyfat. That leads me to believe I need about 150 grams of protein a day.

Now, what I'm not fully understanding is how much of that protein should be consumed immediately pre and post workout and how often I should consume protein throughout the rest of the day. I only eat 3 meals a day which would make each meal 50 grams of protein. The body can only absorb so much protein per hour so I'm wondering if consuming all that protein in only 3 meals is detrimental. I would break up my consumption into more meals but my schedule doesn't really allow for that.

So what's the recommend schedule for protein intake? Is it wasteful to consume too much in a single meal? Any advice or information is welcomed.

Dan Fanelli
12-16-2010, 09:17 AM
Just get it all in. It's not going to matter much how you do it. And you can afford to go higher than 150g.

r2473
12-16-2010, 12:26 PM
..........

Behemoth
12-16-2010, 01:02 PM
A lot of those questions are heavily debated.

150 should be your bare minimum. Unless you're trying to lose weight, shoot for more than that and if its in 3-4 meals thats fine. If you can do 6 then do 6. If not don't stress it. People worry about these little things, they're really pretty unimportant.

Behemoth
12-16-2010, 01:07 PM
40g minimum preworkout 40g minimum post workout. I shoot for 55/55.

RichMcGuire
12-16-2010, 03:01 PM
A lot of those questions are heavily debated.

150 should be your bare minimum. Unless you're trying to lose weight, shoot for more than that and if its in 3-4 meals thats fine. If you can do 6 then do 6. If not don't stress it. People worry about these little things, they're really pretty unimportant.

This is good advice.

Codeguru
12-17-2010, 02:18 AM
A lot of those questions are heavily debated.

150 should be your bare minimum. Unless you're trying to lose weight, shoot for more than that and if its in 3-4 meals thats fine. If you can do 6 then do 6. If not don't stress it. People worry about these little things, they're really pretty unimportant.

That's what always confused me when I started, people eating 200-300g of protein and calling it a diet, heh. I guess it's different when you already have like 40-50 pounds of muscle packed on, your maintaining calorie count can go a lot higher. Being fat for so long seems to have given me a natural distrust of bulking diets...

Codeguru

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 06:17 AM
Well a lot of times when people are "cutting" they'll up their protein intake, to preserve muscle mass.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 06:23 AM
Well a lot of times when people are "cutting" they'll up their protein intake, to preserve muscle mass.

Implying that they eat less protein than can sustain their muscle mass when not dieting?

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 08:13 AM
When you have a high amount of calories/carbs, you can get away with less protein, yes.

RichMcGuire
12-17-2010, 08:24 AM
When you have a high amount of calories/carbs, you can get away with less protein, yes.

+1 :)

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 10:05 AM
When you have a high amount of calories/carbs, you can get away with less protein, yes.

That's true to the extent that a hypercaloric diet isn't typically in danger of inducing catabolism even with a poorer macronutrient ratio, but really most people do not "jack up their protein" come diet time. Most lower it along with their other 2 macros.

DjArcadian
12-17-2010, 11:37 AM
That's true to the extent that a hypercaloric diet isn't typically in danger of inducing catabolism even with a poorer macronutrient ratio, but really most people do not "jack up their protein" come diet time. Most lower it along with their other 2 macros.

I read it to mean that he maintains a high protein/calories ratio. Not sure if he means he actually eats MORE grams of protein than he would otherwise when bulking. I'll let him explain his comments though.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Really, this is petty.

My point was this - "well a lot of times when people are 'cutting' they'll up their protein intake, to preserve muscle mass" is misleading.

You don't preserve muscle by jacking up your protein unless you were never eating enough of it. You only need so much. Catabolisms going to happen due to your deficit not whether your protein allotment is 2g/lb rather than 1.5g/lb. There are many who actually jack up their carbs at the expense of lowering protein on a diet (provided protein is still sufficient) as carbs are better at preserving muscle beyond your basal protein needs. my diet coach last summer wnbf pro alberto nunez coached me in this manner dropping my protein to about 1.1g/lb and carbs at about 1.5g/lb until later when we started carb cycling.

Off Road
12-17-2010, 12:29 PM
Interesting...Is that so the body has an adequate supply of carbs that it won't rob muscle?

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 12:56 PM
Interesting...Is that so the body has an adequate supply of carbs that it won't rob muscle?

When your muscles are glycogenated they're indefinetly safer.

Ever see somebody get jacked on a ketogenic bulking diet? Dance with the shoes that brought you and keep your anabolic nutrients present as long as possible.

Off Road
12-17-2010, 02:47 PM
Cool...

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 03:21 PM
I read it to mean that he maintains a high protein/calories ratio. Not sure if he means he actually eats MORE grams of protein than he would otherwise when bulking. I'll let him explain his comments though.

Im no expert on this, and I no longer believe in "bulking" or "cutting" in the traditional sense. But the way I see it, is that when you are taking in excess calories, you can "get away" with less protein. You still need sufficient amounts, and it doesn't hurt to take in extra either. But when you are in a calorie deficit and trying to preserve muscle, you'll need to make sure you are AT LEAST hitting your minimum needs, and in this case you might as well take in extra just in case. In addition, protein is very filling which is an added benefit of increasing protein amounts while "cutting".


Im not sure about what the other poster said about carbs being better at maintaining muscle than protein. Maybe in certain instances, but to me, it seems counterproductive to increase carbs when trying to lose fat. Carbs and fat should be decreased, and protein should be constant or increased.


And as I said, I dont really beleive in "bulking" or "cutting" in the traditional sense, so we may be comparing apples and oranges here.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 03:45 PM
Im not sure about what the other poster said about carbs being better at maintaining muscle than protein. Maybe in certain instances, but to me, it seems counterproductive to increase carbs when trying to lose fat. Carbs and fat should be decreased, and protein should be constant or increased.



That would be me, Behemoth, the ones you've been having this debate with...

When I said increase I may have mislead you. I did not mean increase carbs above what I used to gain mass. I meant increase carbs above the amount that I had been dieting on because I started working with my coach about 1/3 of the way through my diet last year.

And really it's common sense. Which would be more beneficial to build muscle - 550p/150c/100f or 350p/350c/100f ? The second obviously.

Retaining muscle is simply what you did to build muscle except with less calories. Cut out the unnecessary excess nurtients until it cuts into your basal needs. I need 220g protein and 65g fat, above that they're pretty pointless. Carbs are much better utilized by the body once I've met those other two needs (220p/65f). It's at that point youre generally best off starting to remove carbs. Not because you don't need them or can't utilize their benefits (you can) but because you need to cut your energy intake.

You don't start lifting light weights when you want to shed bodyfat you lift how you built it... Same goes for diet.

Obviously you can lose weight other ways... that's simply about the deficit. but if you want to retain it, keep the carbs as long as you can and still lose weight. Period.

BilltheButcher
12-17-2010, 04:00 PM
See if you can get to 6 smaller meals a day, it can be done. Go to www.fitday.com to track your macros (Protein, Fat, Carbs) and then post your macros for a week. From that macro information a lot of smarter, experienced guys in here can give you specific answers and advice. You can also list the specific foods you are eating - this can make a big difference in your goals.

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 05:34 PM
@behemoth. You are talking about losing weight and I am more specifically talking about losing fat. There are similarities and differences. And the only reason the second option is better is that 550g of protein would be tough to take in.

In your case increasing carbs was beneficial probably because you had them too low. You could probably have just used refeeds as well. Either way, contest prep is different than just normal body comp

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 06:09 PM
@behemoth. You are talking about losing weight and I am more specifically talking about losing fat. There are similarities and differences. And the only reason the second option is better is that 550g of protein would be tough to take in.

In your case increasing carbs was beneficial probably because you had them too low. You could probably have just used refeeds as well. Either way, contest prep is different than just normal body comp

It was contest prep. I am specifically talking about losing fat while preserving muscle. 550g is an assinine waste of protein. Carbs are far better utilized at preserving muscle at that kind of intake.

Increasing the carbs actually indeed slowed my weightloss, but I never would have been able to make later reductions without becoming extremely catabolic. I was using redeeds and have every other time id dieted before in the prior 7 or 8 years. Normal 8-10% bf diets are a cakewalk compared contest prep, your 1995 issue of flex magazine you're pulling your information any idiot can get there without catabolism.

(From my phone ill edit for better clarity at home this was in a hurry)

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Ya, Im not really debating anything here with you. We are talking about different scenarios, and your examples were too extreme to make comparisons. Contest prep is a different situation than and average joe starting out in the 12-20% range.

In regards to your extreme example. Try a more reasonable example. Say someone is currently maintaining or even slightly bulking with 200g P/ 300g C/ 75g F/ ~2700KCALS.... If they want to lose fat, they can easily just swith it to 300g P/ 200g C/ 75g F..... Their weight would stay somewhat the same, maybe a slight loss, but they would lose some BF. They could also up fat a bit, and up the protein further if they are losing too much weight.

The only point I was trying to make is that for NORMAL people, your theoretical required amount of protein will be higher the lower your carb and total calorie intake is. And Vice Versa, the more carbs you are eating and the more calories you are eating, the less protein you will need. But higher carbs is far from optimal for losing BF, so protein goes up as you cut out carbs.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 07:19 PM
Dan Fanelli
Ya, Im not really debating anything here with you. We are talking about different scenarios, and your examples were too extreme to make comparisons. Contest prep is a different situation than and average joe starting out in the 12-20% range.



This is hardly a debate in my eyes.

Contest prep is different for that reason that everything needs to be spot on to preserve muscle. Why would anyone want to diet and lose muscle? Why would anyone not look too and learn from diets that are most optimal for preserving muscle while losing fat (contest prep)? If you want to just lose weight quick, thats fine. Here a good diet for that -- eat 2 milkbones and a can of spaghettios per day.


In regards to your extreme example. Try a more reasonable example. Say someone is currently maintaining or even slightly bulking with 200g P/ 300g C/ 75g F/ ~2700KCALS.... If they want to lose fat, they can easily just swith it to 300g P/ 200g C/ 75g F..... Their weight would stay somewhat the same, maybe a slight loss, but they would lose some BF. They could also up fat a bit, and up the protein further if they are losing too much weight.



That would work for a change of about 0.2% bodyfat at best.



The only point I was trying to make is that for NORMAL people, your theoretical required amount of protein will be higher the lower your carb and total calorie intake is. And Vice Versa, the more carbs you are eating and the more calories you are eating, the less protein you will need. But higher carbs is far from optimal for losing BF, so protein goes up as you cut out carbs.

No. It's not. You body needs X protein. Beyond X protein it will use extra protein simply for extra energy. Carbs are better utilized for extra energy as well as maintaining metabolism.

The best scenario for losing fat is being able to do so at the highest intake of carbs one can get away with (while still ingesting their basal required amount of protein and fat). If one can meet their needs for protein and fat and lose weight consuming 400g of carbs, that is, with absolutely 0 question about it their best bet. If they can't lose weight with 400g of carbs it's because they're still ingesting too much energy. Then need to then lower their carbs.

Let me ask you something, what purpose does extra protein provide beyond your basal necessary requirement for it?

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 07:29 PM
Carbs are not essential in any way. Eating more protein than is required will serve as energy and satiety.

And you are still talking about WEIGHT loss and im talking about muscle gain and fat loss..

Im sorry but I disagree with you on just about everything you've said. I dont want to debate this though. It doesn't matter to me. I dont think you are wrong, I just think you aren't right. I'll respectively disagree with you and lets just leave it at that.

For anyone interested though, check out the past few episodes of "Bodyrx" on Itunes. Im not in 100% agreement with what they are saying but, they are much closer than the mainstream.

Also this article,

http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-nutrition/to-bulk-or-to-cut-that-is-the-question-or-is-it/

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 07:40 PM
And you are still talking about WEIGHT loss and im talking about muscle gain and fat loss..


How many times do I have to say "preserving muscle while losing fat". You've obvioulsy heard nothing I've said yet.

Unholy
12-17-2010, 07:48 PM
Many times in caloric deficit carbs will me more protein sparing than protein itself!

I can tell you that anything over 1g/lb of body weight on both cut and bulk is a waste for a natural athlete.

Dr Joe klemczewski actually did an experiment where he kept his carbs fairly high and ate only 80g of protein a day while training heavy and his body composition didn't change for months.

Your body can get more out of carbs than it can out of protein after a certain point. Gluconeogenisis is a much less efficient way of getting energy for your body than burning striaght carbs.

I am 4 weeks deep into my contest prep right now and my macros have been 55/400/200 fat/carbs/protein I am 195lbs and I can tell you the benefit of higher protein is nothing compared to keeping my carbs as high as possible for as long as possible.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 07:49 PM
From your article --

"My preference is to set protein intake as constant "

"Our target is 3760 kcal. Protein is a constant and set at 1.5 g/lb which totals to 322 g (1.5 x 215) per day."
This is the athletes basal need for protein, he is now keeping it constant

"After these two values are set, itís simply a case of adding enough carbohydrate and additional fat and/or protein to hit the total."
Exactly, beyond setting his necessary allotment for his first two macros (his fat and his protein) the rest is filler. I think the wording of that sentence alone is enough show you that beyond those first two requirements, its filler and it looks like this author agrees carbs come first

"To hit 1410 kcal, youíd need approximately 350 g (1410/4) of carbohydrate. However, there are no set rules for carbohydrate intake, and you could just as easily split the remaining 1400 kcal between fat and carbohydrate, which we will do for this example.

Our guy will be taking in 238 g carbohydrate and an extra 50 g of fat."

Like I said, the most carbs the individual can get away with. While I don't agree with adding more fat here, he certainly didn't add more protein than his basal needs

Any other articles up your sleeve?

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 07:52 PM
I am 4 weeks deep into my contest prep right now

So start loggin here again dbag! :)

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 07:55 PM
"After these two values are set, itís simply a case of adding enough carbohydrate and additional fat and/or protein to hit the total."


Dude I dont know what you are trying to prove, but you are still talking about contest prep and im talking about normal everyday living. There is a big difference. And I dont care if carbs can be used more "efficiently" for fuel. That has nothing to do with fat loss.

The point is, the risks of excess protein are less than the risks of excess carbs. Protein is essential, carbs are not.

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 08:06 PM
"After these two values are set, itís simply a case of adding enough carbohydrate and additional fat and/or protein to hit the total."


Dude I dont know what you are trying to prove, but you are still talking about contest prep and im talking about normal everyday living. There is a big difference. And I dont care if carbs can be used more "efficiently" for fuel. That has nothing to do with fat loss.

The point is, the risks of excess protein are less than the risks of excess carbs. Protein is essential, carbs are not.

I'm not sure why you think that protein is somehow more necessary for everyday life than contest prep lol.

I think we're both tired of this. Our minds are sets. Others can draw their own conclusions.

Call it a draw. :)

Behemoth
12-17-2010, 10:53 PM
So start loggin here again dbag! :)

and update your sig. that shhh is old news

Dan Fanelli
12-17-2010, 11:13 PM
Call it a draw. :)

:) agreed.