How Much Protein Do Strength Athletes Need
The optimal protein intake for strength athletes has been hotly debated for decades. Hereâs what the prevailing science says about the protein needs of weightlifters, powerlifters, and bodybuilders.
The protein “myth” has been floating around for generations. Historically, it can be traced to Milo of Crotona in the sixth century B.C. He was a famous Greek athlete who was considered to be one of the strongest men in ancient Greece. He had won wrestling victories in 5 Olympic games as well as in other sacred festivals.
Legend has it that Milo applied progressive resistance in the form of lifting a growing calf daily. By the time the calf was 4-years-old Milo carried it the length of the Olympian stadium, and then proceeded to kill, roast and consume it. Milos’ daily consumption of meat was recorded at approximately 20 pounds a day.
When we fast-forward to the era of the sixties and seventies we find there was a renewed hype about protein being some sort of miracle food. This was due, largely, to the muscle magazines of the era which pushed protein and claimed it could make you grow as big as a god!
As a result, many bodybuilders and strength trainers started to consume large quantities of whole milk, meat and eggs.
Why Is Protein Important
First of all, sufficient protein intake is vital for our health, and we cannot live without it.
Protein plays several critical roles within the human body including
- Promoting bone and skeletal health
- Optimal immune response
- The growth and repair of all cells in the body
Additionally, protein can play an important role in healthy weight loss, improving body composition, and satiation.
This is just a brief overview, and you can find a full guide on proteins benefits in this article.
Signs Of Protein Deficiency
Protein deficiency is rare amongst Americans, but it does happen. To avoid deficiency, calculate your ideal daily protein intake and track how much protein youre getting in a single day. If you think you are suffering from a protein deficiency, you might notice symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, change in nails, mood swings, viral or bacterial infections and constant food cravings. After identifying any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor to see if you do have a protein deficiency and allow him or her to help you devise an eating plan to help avoid this issue in the future.
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How Much Protein Do We Need To Gain Muscles
Building muscle and consuming protein goes hand in hand. The protein blockchain is full of amino acids. These amino acids supply the desired amount of strength an athlete needs. But, unfortunately, most gym buffs fail to understand how to consume the right amount of protein, needed for their overall growth in terms of sources, and proportion.
According to NHS data, nobody should intake any less than 50gms of protein, on average, daily. However, this is a broad categorisation as it doesnt differentiate between genders, body structures, and other such nitty-gritty elements, bringing large changes to the amount of protein intake of an individual.
Well, if we provide you with even accurate data, we would say, you at least need to intake 1.2 gms per kilogram of your body weight, daily, if you want to experience considerable changes in your muscle growth. If one has special cases intertwined with his/her physique and body requirements one needs to adjust protein requirements accordingly. I provide customised nutrition plans to my clients, incorporating into it their specific nutrition demands. If you want to get in touch with me, plz visit Veg.fit, my official website.
The chart we provide below is based on your sex, and body type. These estimates can further vary based on minute changes, of your body type, and further interlinked parameters to it. The list is
Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Pregnant Women
The protein RDA for pregnant women is 1.1 g/kg. This value was estimated by adding three values:
The RDA for a healthy adult
The amount of additional body protein a pregnant woman accumulates
The amount of protein used by the developing fetus
However, as we saw previously with non-pregnant healthy adults, the RDA may not be sufficient, let alone optimal. Theres some IAAO evidence that the RDA for pregnant women should be about 1.66 g/kg during early gestation and 1.77 g/kg during late gestation . Moreover, a meta-analysis of 16 intervention studies reported that protein supplementation during pregnancy led to reduced risks for the baby:
34% lower risk of low gestational weight
32% lower risk of low birth weight
38% lower risk of stillbirth
This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women than in adequately nourished women. Importantly, these values were determined from sedentary women carrying one child, meaning that pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity or are supporting the growth of more than one child may need even higher amounts.
Also, keep in mind that we can only tell you what the studies reported we cant possibly know about your health and your pregnancy specifically. Please be sure to consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist before making any changes.
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Percentage Of Total Calories
Another way to calculate how much protein you need is by using daily calorie intake and the percentage of calories that will come from protein.
First, determine how many calories your body needs each day to maintain your current weight:
- Find out what your basal metabolic rate is by using a BMR calculator .
- Determine how many calories you burn through daily activity and add that number to your BMR.
Next, decide what percentage of your diet will come from protein. The percentage you choose will be based on your goals, fitness level, age, body type, and metabolic rate. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-202 recommend that protein account for somewhere between 10% and 35% for adults.
Multiply that percentage by the total number of calories your body needs for the day to determine total daily calories from protein.
Finally, divide that number by 4.
What Are The Grams Of Proteins Means
To get this clear and to avoid misinterpretation, it is important to tackle this first.
Many people fail to understand this concept.
Here is what you should know, grams of protein actually means the grams of the macronutrient protein, not the total grams you purchase over the counter.
For instance, you purchase half kg of meat the real amount of macronutrient protein or protein present in this meat is 122 grams of protein.
Therefore, you can guess if you buy 1/4 or 1 kg of meat the actual protein.
Another example, whole egg weighs 46grams but only contains 6 grams of actual protein.
With this illustration, let us discuss the amount of protein intake per day based of various factors.
The grams of protein actually mean the grams of the macronutrient protein, not the total grams you purchase over the counter as many people may think. An egg contains 6 grams of protein while a half kg of meat contains 122 grams of protein.
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The Elderly Have A Higher Protein Requirement
The official recommended protein intake is likely too low for the elderly.
In recent years, several research papers have looked into whether the generic protein recommendations are suitable for older adults.
Here is an overview of their findings
- Current protein recommendations may not be suitable for older adults, and an increased protein intake provides benefits such as preserving lean body mass .
- The current RDA for protein intake increases the risk for sarcopenia and is inadequate to promote optimal health in older adults .
- A systematic review of protein intake in healthy elderly populations found that 0.83 grams protein per kilogram is the minimum dietary protein requirement for healthy older adults. However, that long-term studies suggest between 1.2 and 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram is safe and may be beneficial .
- A further systematic review found that low protein intake increases frailty in the elderly. Furthermore, the findings supported the need for increasing the protein intake of older adults .
Even though one of these systematic reviews confirmed the current minimum requirement, this was for healthy adults.
With significant proportions of elderly people suffering from osteoporosis and sarcopenia , it is likely that higher levels of protein intake would provide benefit.
Here Are The Protein Amounts In Some Common Keto Foods:
- One large egg = 6 g protein
- One large avocado = 4 g protein
- One medium head of cauliflower = 11 g protein
- One 8-oz chicken breast = 70 g protein
- One 8-oz beef ribeye steak = 54 g protein
- 100 grams of salmon = 20 g protein
- 100 grams of shrimp = 20 g protein
- One hamburger patty = 28 g protein
- One 6-oz can of tuna = 40 g protein
- One slice of bacon = 3 g protein
Of course, if you go for fattier cuts of fish and meat, then youll find that it contains less protein and more fat instead. Its another reason why we always suggest eating the skin on fish as well as on chicken and going for fattier cuts of beef and pork.
Bottom Line: Most people can have a steak, an egg, and probably a chicken breast in one day and be ok with their protein intake. Of course, this can really vary depending on your protein needs.
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Protein Grams Per Day
As an alternative to the percentage approach, you can target a specific number of protein grams per day. One simple way to get a range of protein grams per day is to translate the percent range into a specific protein gram range. The math is easy.
Each gram of protein contains four calories. Simply divide the two calorie range numbers by four. Someone who eats 2,000 calories per day should consume 200 to 700 calories from protein, or 50 to 175 grams of protein.
How Much Protein To Take When At Old Age
Elderly people may need more protein as compared to young people.
This is to reduce the common chronic illnesses in the elderly states, such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia
This chronic illness results in a reduction in muscle mass, very common in old people.
Therefore, the elderly person may need an extra protein slightly more than Dietary Reference Intake
They are recommended to take 1 to 1.3 grams of protein per day per bod weight to prevent muscle loss.
When at old age you will need more protein to prevent aging and muscle loss . Therefore, you will need to take 1 to 1.3 grams of protein per day per bod weight for effective prevention.
Whey Protein And Vegan Pea Protein Are Life Savers
The most anabolic type of protein is whey protein. Other proteins are effective, but tend to have different amino acid profiles, most notably a decreased amount of leucine, the most anabolic of all amino acids.
If you follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and/or are intolerant of whey protein, vegan proteins and BCAA supplements can be beneficial.
We make both types of proteins here at transparent labs, and no, our whey protein and vegan protein are not like the others
Check out our ultra-pure and natural grass fed whey protein isolate and concentrate here. We also have certified organic vegan protein consisting of pea and rice protein with no artificial sweeteners!
Eating More May Help Older People Prevent Muscle Loss
Beans and legumes, including all types of dried beans, split peas and lentils, are considered good sources of protein.
Protein helps to keep our muscles strong, which is important for maintaining the balance and mobility needed to continue to live independently as we age. Yet, unlike with fruits and veggies, we may not focus on getting enough of this important nutrient. And recommendations on exactly how much protein older adults need vary.
The current recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight a day for adults over 18, or about 2.3 ounces for a 180-pound adult. But research is showing that higher levels may be needed for adults age 65-plus.
In our older years, we are at risk of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function. The essential amino acids in protein are key nutrients for muscle health, but older adults are less responsive to low doses of amino acid intake compared to younger people. A 2016 study from researchers at the departments of Food Science and Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas found that this lack of responsiveness can be overcome with higher levels of protein consumption. The study says that protein levels in the range of 30 to 35 percent of total caloric intake may prove beneficial, although the researchers acknowledge that level could be difficult to reach for many people.
The Cleveland Clinic polled six dietitians on their top four sources of protein, and the winners were:
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Different Ways To Use Protein Powder
The most common method for consuming protein powder is by adding water and mixing it in a protein shaker. This is a quick, easy way to prepare protein powder and can be taken with you anywhere. However, you can easily get tired of consuming the same protein shake day after day. Get creative and try new protein shake recipes or use your protein powder to make other food items besides shakes. Protein cookies are a popular alternative to shakes. Some people mix protein powder into other foods for an extra boost. Purchase a protein powder that doesnt have a strong flavor and you can add it to items such as soups, guacamole or other kinds of dips like hummus and even desserts.
How Much Protein Is Required To Maintain Weight
Protein is extremely important to maintain good body health. Current research by USDA dietary guidelines suggest that an adult consumes almost 10 to 35% of their daily calories, from protein-rich food sources.
The word originates from the Greek Protos, which means First. Therefore, we can very well understand the importance of such a non-negotiable nutrient for our body. Protein intake is directly related to the growth of long thick hair, shiny, whitish and stronger nails, along with glowing skin. Its common for fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and athletes to consume a bulk portion of protein as it directly helps them to enhance muscle mass. However, the rest of us, who are not related to any specific sports, face a dilemma about consuming the right proportion of protein. In this article, I will try to cater to all these doubts, with the help of statistically verified data.
Most dieticians recommend not to consume any less than 0.75-0.8 grams of protein/ Kilogram of ones body weight daily. This is known as The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein. The RDA is that quota of protein, which one needs to meet the basic nutritional requirements of ones body. It is just the lower limit of protein that one should eat, and not the exact amount meant for everybody. To best determine your daily protein requirement amounts you need to use an online protein calculator.
Protein Intake for Weight Gain
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How Much Protein Is Required To Lose Weight
Modern researches of nutritional science have surfaced the fact that more than a persons workout hours, it is his/her healthy eating habits that decides how fast, and efficiently will the person be able to shred unnecessary amounts of fat stored in his/her body. If a person spends too many hours in the gym, without properly maintaining his diet, all his efforts are supposed to go in vain. Eating a healthy diet is something we just cant compromise.
Therefore, when it comes to following the proper diet, one has too many options in hand. It depends on his preferences, which he makes to successfully perform his weight loss goals.
However, the constant thing is that the diet should include a required proportion of dietary protein, which is essential for weight loss. Time and again, we have stated that protein is nothing but complex amino acid chains. These amino acids contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and Nitrogen.
Therefore, while you are aspiring to lose weight, you need to control the intake of protein but you should never stop consuming the right type of protein daily for your body, as it provides your body with the most important nutrients.
If somebody wants to shed weight, one should aim for protein intake between 1.6 to 2.2 gms per kilogram of ones total body weight. It varies in the case of athletes, who should intake 2.2 to 3.4 gms of protein per kilogram if he is undertaking a weight-loss journey.
Why Protein Is Important For Weight Loss
As well as being good for building strength, protein also plays an important role in losing weight. Evidence suggests that eating protein can both increase the number of calories you burn, by stimulating your metabolic rate, as well as reduce your appetite, meaning you’re less likely to put on pounds in the first place. What’s more, a study by researchers at Maastricht University reported that even a modest increase in protein, from 15% to 18% of calories, reduced the amount of fat people regained after weight loss by 50%.
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