View Full Version : Does prote´n intake differ from person to person?

03-23-2011, 03:22 AM

I've always read that a 'bodybuilder' needs around 1,5 or even more grams of prote´n/kg or pound of bodyweight or whatever..and i've always tried to get to that goal, but it isn't always possible to get there if you're a student and live at home..so most of the days i don't get to that amount and most of the time not even close to that..yet my muscles keep growing rather well..i suppose it could even be faster when i would reach that goal, but i can't really complain for now.

On the other hand i always live with some kind of "fear" that i'm not eating enought prote´n and that i will lose muscle mass..even tho' it's not happening right now. So my question was if this 1,5gram "rule" really is a GENERAL rule that applies to everyone in the sport/bodybuilding rule or if it's possible that there are exceptions..

Sorry if it's a stupid question but i just keep breaking my head over it and i would like to get some clarity from experienced people..my bodytype is a mesomorph btw, i don't know if that changes ALOT?

Thanks for the help anyways!

Daniel Roberts
03-23-2011, 03:55 AM
It varies and if you care to go through the literature about 1g per 1lb of bodyweight (2g/kg) is a safe level with which to cover your protein requirements - it'd be impossible to give a specific intake to every individual.

Some might point out to studies suggesting that as you become more advanced you may need less protein than what you needed to get to that level . However, for the most part the subjects were holding a weight/performance level i.e. no progression. Which makes sense as it relates to the body's process of accommodation i.e. needing to commit fewer resources to a task if the task becomes familiar and no novel stresses are imposed.

I've trained and trained with individuals who routinely consume less than 1.5g/kg (as you do) and with seemingly no -ve effects on their performance.
It should be noted however that these guys were your classic mesomorph sport billy, good at all sports type athletes. Nor were they training with size as their goal which means they were a way off their true size potential.

These were the sort of guys (true story here) that seemingly could train with weights sporadically, eat with no consistency, drink regularly, perform exceptionally on the field, require back surgery and a back brace for 2 months (complete bed rest) and still attend a toga party in awesome shape, with a tan (!) on the day of their discharge from hospital!

To chuck in more anecdotal evidence, I certainly need at least 1g per lb of bodyweight. If I routinely consume less, progress stalls even in a surplus.
I am however more ecto than meso and I've noticed this in others I've trained.

In conclusion, if you're progressing happily as you are then carry on, better to only need a small amount and progress - it'll be easier when you start needing to eat larger amounts.

03-23-2011, 04:48 AM
The 1-1.5g of protein per lb. of bodyweight is a general guideline that is not set in stone. I agree with the above poster, in that if you are seeing gains in size and strength then don't worry about it. Keep your overall calories in the required range for your goals and you should be fine. I personally don't track my calories methodically and I just get a general idea of my overall caloric intake. I make sure I take in a decent portion of meat, eggs, etc. with each meal.

03-23-2011, 11:46 AM
Thank you both for the reply.

I can see myself in that 'mesomorph sport billy' description. I try to watch my intake of prote´n, but like i said i'll be happy if i can reach 1,5g each day..so far it has also had no negative impact on my performance and for now i keep growing at a steady pace. So i'm not really complaining. Ofcourse like the guys that you described i am faaaaaaaar away from my true potential, but my goal isn't to be an Řbermassive type of bodybuilder, i also don't want to be skinny muscled tho', but the advantage of being a mesomorph is that being skinny is hardly even possible..i mean like skinny skinny.. I do feel that at some point i'll have to start increasing my intake, i just have no idea when..i've had moments in time where i stalled, but changing my routine got that out of the way so i don't think it had alot to do with my food intake..

Size is somewhat part of my goal i suppose, i wanna have an athletic body, but preferably more muscled than your standard hop-on-the-bandwagon-its-summer-time-gym-boys..

Do you think it's possible to keep gaining in strength and maybe slowly in size when hoovering around the 1.5/kg? Or will you eventually HAVE to increase your intake?

I'm sorry if i'm asking dumb questions, i'm somewhat up to par with all the types of training etc, but diet is not my fortÚ

03-23-2011, 12:56 PM
If you are taking in 1.5 g per lb. of bodyweight that is plenty, although 1.5 per/kg would be ample as well. I think you might be overanalyzing things a bit, and if you are making gains then don't be concerned so much with protein intake. If you begin to stall then begin to look over your diet and training again.

Captain Awesome
03-23-2011, 01:29 PM
Studies have also shown that protein requirements differ from inactive to active people. So generally speaking, people who have a higher activity level will require/utilize more protein than those who do not.

Context is everything. So from individual to individual the baseline changes, although a good round about for a person who lifts is about .8g-1g per pound of LBM. Again, that's another context driven number. A 250lb overweight individual does not need 250g of protein per day. Which is why LBM plays into that context of protein requirements.

03-23-2011, 02:44 PM
it also matter what kind of diet you're on. you may see higher protein recommendations/requirements on a keto diet, for example. but in general, if you know you're being sufficiently carnivorous you don't need to worry about it.

you also said you're making progress, which is a big point. perhaps your diet isn't absolutely optimal, but in general i'm of the "if it aint broke don't fix it" mindset.

03-31-2011, 09:08 AM
I think the difference between 1g/lb of bodyweight and 1g/lb of lean body mass is important, especially if you are not skinny. For a 300 lb. person 300-450g of protein per day would be challenging and very expensive. Most 300 lb. people have high body fat so basing their protein intake on their LBM seems like it would make more sense.

03-31-2011, 10:00 AM
I think the difference between 1g/lb of bodyweight and 1g/lb of lean body mass is important, especially if you are not skinny. For a 300 lb. person 300-450g of protein per day would be challenging and very expensive. Most 300 lb. people have high body fat so basing their protein intake on their LBM seems like it would make more sense.

Agree 100%!

03-31-2011, 12:54 PM
Protein needs are certainly different from person to person. It sounds to me like you're getting plenty. The necessary amount for someone natural is something often overestimated, a lot of this has to do with careless supplement companies and their marketing as well as it does uninformed people striving to emulate the intake of an assisted lifter who can utilize much more protein.