How Much Protein Do You Need?

Get answers to all your protein questions. Find out how much protein you need, what foods you should eat, which protein supplements are worth your time and more.

Protein PowderAmerican’s don’t eat enough protein.  Nearly every day, I have at least one patient who could have prevented some aliment if they would have just ingested more protein.  It may seem too simple, but it is a real fact that is often missed by most athletic trainers, coaches, sports physicians and other health care providers.

The young athlete is 98% likely to not consume enough protein.  The typical 35 year-old divorced female can join the new workout club, but she has a 95% chance of not consuming enough protein.  In either case, the lack of protein leads to serious and significant disease and injury.

It is no shock that our bodies are made up mostly of proteins and water.  We all know how important water is, but often miss the necessity of protein. Your body also uses proteins for most of the chemical reactions internally.  The functions of your nerves, hormones, brain transmission, blood production, immune defense, digestion, all tissue growth and repair are all directly related to protein consumption.

The common presentation of a lack of dietary protein can start as a simple muscle pull, tendon irritation, but then leads to more consistent strains and sprains.  The issue of poor sleep, multiple colds, a flu that never quite goes away, aches that seem to dance around the body or jumps between areas, can all be related to a protein deficiency.

The lack of protein is most common in females, who think that eating protein is a “guy thing” and will lead to too much muscle mass.  They often starve themselves and the low protein diet often results in “holes” that form in a muscle and tendon and also the ligaments over time.  These “holes” are commonly in areas that are used consistently as part of the training.  Eventually they expand and cause larger unexplained or misdiagnosed problems that most physicians are too naive about?

How much protein do I need?

The American College of Sports Medicine originally recommended 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and as of 2011 cut that number in half and indicated that was now per kilogram, for any school age athlete.  That number doesn’t change much for someone who is 21-62 years-of-age, but read on to get a realistic answer of your protein needs.  As you age past 65, you need less protein since the body isn’t recovering at the same pace as a younger person.

A 130 pound female has approximately 90 pounds of muscle.  So realistically a diet of 90 grams of protein per day is appropriate for that specific individual.  When trying to lose weight or manage it, then replacing your lean body mass with an equal amount of protein is appropriate.  Trying to gain weight? Then add 10-20% more protein than your lean body mass.

What foods have protein?

The best sources of protein are eggs, fish, poultry, lean meats and protein supplements, basically in that order.  Eating real food is much better than any protein supplement since the trace nutrients help with proper digestion.

Foods such as nuts, beans, rice, grains, cheese, dairy products and soy products are not complete proteins and don’t absorb completely in your body.

When should I eat protein?

The average person cannot absorb more than 20 grams of protein at a time.  This means, eating multiple meals per day is necessary.  Is that a pain?  Yes!

You have no choice, but to eat multiple small meals a day.  The average person should eat 5-8 small meals per day.  This also helps stabilize your insulin levels, which is very important for both weight loss and lean muscle gain.

The times you should eat protein is relative to your exercise patterns.  It typically takes 60 minutes for “real food” protein to be absorbed, but isolated supplements can be digested in less than 30 minutes.

Avoid pre-workout drinks and eating an hour before exercising. Always workout on an empty stomach if you are trying to lose weight; this forces your body to use stored fats as energy, rather than using circulating blood sugar as fuel.

Eating immediately following a workout is the best choice.  Choose foods that are both simple and complex carbs that have some small amounts of protein, such as fruits, grains, and dairy. Avoid post workout drinks unless you have no other options.

EZ Bar Curls

Which protein supplements should I buy?

Let’s be honest here.  There are basically 4-5 companies that sell wholesale protein around the world.  Yes, all of your major companies are buying from those few manufactures of bulk protein.  Now they sell all kinds of protein supplements in all kinds of forms.  That is the confusing part, but let’s make it simple to understand that some are “isolated.” That means they digest faster, but are typically more expensive to produce, but well worth it.

The closer the actual protein content is to serving size the better off you are.  When a serving size is 20 grams and the protein content is 19 grams, you are basically at 90% or better of actual protein.  If a serving size is 20 grams, but the protein content is only 10 grams, this means you have only 50% protein and the rest is mostly filler.  Buying a better quality protein means you are getting more protein for your dollar instead of filler. Choose proteins that are mostly protein.

Next look for companies that are established and offer self-funded university studies to back their claims.  Companies such as Labrada, Gaspari, Cytotech and some others, produce excellent research to prove their products are complete proteins and absorb very well.

Lastly, and most important is taste and texture.  You are not going to eat anything that doesn’t taste good and “feel” right.  Proteins that mix well and are not “grainy” feeling are the best proteins to eat and you are more likely to eat them.

Last word on total calories

Calories in verses calories out, is still the golden rule.  Eating more food makes you gain weight, eating less food will make you lose weight.  The concern is starving your muscles, ligaments, tendons and internal chemistry.

Low carb diets are dangerous since they produce ammonia, which is toxic to your nervous system.  Eat the same amount of carbohydrates as your lean body mass suggest.  Hence, protein equals carbohydrate intake for the safest diet. Then add 10% for non-trans fats to round off the diet.  Zero fat diets can lead to health issues, specifically in children.

To make it simple, if you have 180 pounds of lean mass, then approximately 160-180 grams of protein per day is a reasonable starting point.  An equal amount of carbohydrates and then around 16-18 grams of fat is a well-balanced athletic diet.

Sure it can be more complicated than this to be exact, but trust me; you are in the right ball park if you just start off this way and less likely to have injuries or illness from a protein deficiency.

About The Author
David is a past Mr. World with extensive coaching experience who hopes to pass on his knowledge. He currently works with the National Strength Coaches Association.

29 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 06/14/2013 - 20:28

Did no one notice the blatent contradiction early in the article? "The American College of Sports Medicine originally recommended 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight and as of 2011 cut that number in half and indicated that was now per kilogram, for any school age athlete. That number doesn’t change much for someone who is 21-62 years-of-age, but read on to get a realistic answer of your protein need"

The writer of this article thinks he knows more than the American College of Sports Medicine?!

If the protein requirements were cut in half that would mean .6-.75g per pound of body weight. But now they're .6-.75 g per KILOGRAM which basically cuts that number in half again. The example of 90g per 130lbs is nonsense. Long term loading of all that protein will hurt your liver and kidneys as well as set you up for a number of other health problems. Studies for the last 90 years have proven this. No one in this country has a serious protein difficiency otherwise you'd hear about it all over the news and people would be die or being hospitalized bc of it. 3 world countries have protein dificiencies but only bc theyre starving. If they ate more calories (in any form) theyd get enough protein. We don't have a nutrition difficiency! Not only is this article misleading, it's dangerous and the writer and website should be ashamed. Nothing more than marketing hard at work for people to buy more and invest more protein. Long term, this is not the way.

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Posted Sat, 10/24/2015 - 17:07
dao dan

if the website should be ashamed and the writer as well for writing something that he thinks would benefit everyone, then why don't you make your own website and fund your own research if you are thinking that you know better?

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Posted Fri, 05/10/2013 - 18:09
Raquel P

Wow thanks for writing this article, a lot of good information, I know that its important for muscle growth and strength to make sure you get enough protein and nutrients. As a woman I don't want to get huge but I do what to look fit. Right now I practice a combination of weight training, running and yoga but I find that sometimes I thin out too much and I end up feeling tired. Any suggestions on multivitamins or supplements that you would recommend?

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Posted Wed, 04/24/2013 - 00:55
g kay

If I need to consume 30 grams of protein at a time....what if I drink .5 litres of milk.....this is 16 grams of protein.....

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Posted Tue, 04/02/2013 - 18:42

I like that you reply to comments, thats cool because youre open to other information and stuff

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Posted Mon, 03/25/2013 - 00:30
Dr. Ryan

If you are not trying to lose weight, then you are more free to drink protein an hour before working out. Keeping an postive nitrogen balance in the blood stream is a great way to stimulate muscle growth.

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Posted Thu, 03/21/2013 - 02:47

if i am not trying to lose weight should i still not eat or drink supplements an hour before work as I am not trying to lose wight just gain some muscle?

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2013 - 17:29
Dr. David Ryan

Ha, thanks Seth, but the fact is that my article is driven at showing the importance of protein in the diet. It is not geared to describe how much someone is taking. Most bodybuilders get it, but a massive number of football players, soccer, volleyball, wrestlers, etc. all miss the "Big Idea." I appreciate all the comments and since OSU had a 12-0 season, we must have done something right at that school. Short of skin art bartering.....Yes, that is a dig at the rest of the NCAA...but it's all good and I appreciate the point that we have several athletes on here, but the take home message is tell others about the importance of protein the diet. Seems simple, but it is still very critical to express that information.

Oh and our basketball team is doing rather well too. O H....__ - __!!!

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Posted Fri, 03/08/2013 - 14:53

This was all very confusing. We have always been told to take WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE POST WORKOUT. I have been told that there is a window of 30 to 45 minutes post work out, were the muscles are most receptive to absorb protein and nutrients. Now you are telling us TO AVOID EATING PROTEIN DRINKS POST WORK OUT? please explain, any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2013 - 21:57
Dr. Ryan

Robert, thank you for a solid question. Whey protein post workout is typically ingested an hour after a workout. Think about what your body is doing immediately after a workout. You have typically just lowered your blood sugar, lowered liver glycogen stores and caused some wear on the muscles to produce toxins and depleted water and other fluid levels. You are standing their sweating (hopefully). Do you see post workout drinks with high protein contents? Gatorade has no protein, but studies show that your body needs more energy replacement and this is enhanced with small amounts of protein. This is why you will hear about chocolate milk (which I am not endorsing-just read and it will make sense). Several large population university studies have proven that post workout, the body needs to replace blood sugar stores and small amounts of protein help carry the acid of the stomach to allow for a more complete digestion. Personally, I have used simple carbohydrates. This time is quite critical since the body is hot (105 degrees F) and that acts as a catalyst to help digest everything. You also have vasodilatation to help replace the muscle glycogen storage and reinvest in the mitochondrial storage. When you eat high sugar, the insulin spikes and thus you get a huge natural increase of HGH as a bi-product of the whole situation to aid in recovery.

So immediately following a workout, while you are still sweating, that's the time to replace carbs, with some protein. Then ingest more protein later, after you have cooled down and the acid levels of the stomach increase.

I hope that helps.
Dr. Ryan

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2013 - 12:38

Seth, not all of us are juiced out bozo's. Being a physician doesn't make you the end all be all either. If the article targets the avergage American as Dr. Ryan suggests, then his experience as a weight lifter doesn't come in to play either. The average American is not a weight lifter. I stand by my statement that 1,600 calories is not an adequate athletic diet for a 200 lb male. Protein needs are based off the individuals desired results and cannot be lumped in a standard guideline. Based off macronutrients, if I'm on a 2,000 calorie diet (which is low for my output), I want at least 50% of my calories coming from protein rather than carbs or fats. 50% would be 250 grams of protein. However, I'm not the average person, so this article doesn't really help me. I would say that a large majority of the readers on this site are not average either, so the intended message missed the target audience.

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 20:37

I found Dr Ryan's article to be very informative & well written. My sentiments are that the parties who have a negative review of his article, are just juiced out bozo's who have no idea what they are talking about. They certainly are not a physician with 40 years of weightlifting experience either.

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 19:31
Dr. Ryan

Brown University Health Education: Sports Nutrition
Precision Nutrition; Research Review: Protein Supplements -- Are You Absorbing Them?; Helen Kolias, Ph.D.; Dec. 2008

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 19:00
Dr. Ryan

The issue is the testing of that actual number. My number is based upon baseline interviews and discussion and review. As you can see the study below offers the accessibility issue with true protein absorption. While at Ohio State University, a combined study showing the ingestion of protein verses the nitrogen levels and the stomach pH was tested and in the average person, that level climbed quickly past the ingestion of meals that contained greater than 20 grams of protein. This would indicate the decreased ability of that organ to properly digest protein beyond that level in males between the ages of 18-26 years of age. The increase of urea excretion is also quite simple and testable. Those values also increased in non-trained individuals beyond 20 grams as seen in several studies. Approximately 70% of all protein digestion is in the first 30 minutes. Then 90% of all digestion occurs in the first 1/3 of the stomach and small intestines. It would be very painful if your food took longer than that to digest and would cause significant complications.

J Nutr. 2000 Jul; 130(7):1865S-7S.
The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score.
Schaafsma G.
Center of Expertise Nutrition, DMV International-Campina Melkunie, 6700 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) has been adopted by FAO/WHO as the preferred method for the measurement of the protein value in human nutrition. The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting essential amino acid in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern. This scoring pattern is derived from the essential amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child. The chemical score obtained in this way is corrected for true fecal digestibility of the test protein. PDCAAS values higher than 100% are not accepted as such but are truncated to 100%. Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, critical questions have been raised in the scientific community about a number of issues. These questions relate to 1) the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values, 2) the validity of correction for fecal instead of ideal digestibility and 3) the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%. At the time of the adoption of the PDCAAS method, only a few studies had been performed on the amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child, and there is still a need for validation of the scoring pattern. Also, the scoring pattern does not include conditionally indispensable amino acids. These amino acids also contribute to the nutrition value of a protein. There is strong evidence that ideal, and not fecal, digestibility is the right parameter for correction of the amino acid score. The use of fecal digestibility overestimates the nutritional value of a protein, because amino acid nitrogen entering the colon is lost for protein synthesis in the body and is, at least in part, excreted in urine as ammonia. The truncation of PDCAAS values to 100% can be defended only for the limited number of situations in which the protein is to be used as the sole source of protein in the diet. For evaluation of the nutritional significance of proteins as part of mixed diets, the truncated value should not be used. In those cases, a more detailed evaluation of the contribution of the protein to the amino acid composition of the mixed diet is required. From such an evaluation, it appears that milk proteins are superior to plant proteins in cereal-based diets.

J Appl Physiol. 1992 Nov;73(5):1986-95.
Evaluation of protein requirements for trained strength athletes.
Tarnopolsky MA, et al.
Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Leucine kinetic and nitrogen balance (NBAL) methods were used to determine the dietary protein requirements of strength athletes (SA) compared with sedentary subjects (S). Individual subjects were randomly assigned to one of three protein intakes: low protein (LP) = 0.86 g, moderate protein (MP) = 1.40 g, or high protein (HP) = 2.40 g for 13 days for each dietary treatment. NBAL was measured and whole body protein synthesis (WBPS) and leucine oxidation were determined from L-[1-13C]leucine turnover. NBAL data were used to determine that the protein intake for zero NBAL for S was 0.69 and for SA was 1.41 A suggested recommended intake for S was 0.89 and for SA was 1.76 For SA, the LP diet did not provide adequate protein and resulted in an accommodated state (decreased WBPS vs. MP and HP), and the MP diet resulted in a state of adaptation [increase in WBPS (vs. LP) and no change in leucine oxidation (vs. LP)]. The HP diet did not result in increased WBPS compared with the MP diet, but leucine oxidation did increase significantly, indicating a nutrient overload. For S the LP diet provided adequate protein, and increasing protein intake did not increase WBPS. On the HP diet leucine oxidation increased for S. These results indicated that the MP and HP diets were nutrient overloads for S. There were no effects of varying protein intake on indexes of lean body mass (creatinine excretion, body density) for either group. In summary, protein requirements for athletes performing strength training are greater than for sedentary individuals and are above current Canadian and US recommended daily protein intake requirements for young healthy males.

Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S77-87. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512002577.
Assessment of protein adequacy in developing countries: quality matters.
Ghosh S, Suri D, Uauy R.
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Dietary protein and amino acid requirement recommendations for normal "healthy" children and adults have varied considerably with 2007 FAO/WHO protein requirement estimates for children lower, but dietary essential AA requirements for adults more than doubled. Requirement estimates as presented do not account for common living conditions, which are prevalent in developing countries such as energy deficit, infection burden and added functional demands for protein and AAs. This study examined the effect of adjusting total dietary protein for quality and digestibility (PDCAAS) and of correcting current protein and AA requirements for the effect of infection and a mild energy deficit to estimate utilizable protein (total protein corrected for biological value and digestibility) and the risk/prevalence of protein inadequacy. The relationship between utilizable protein/prevalence of protein inadequacy and stunting across regions and countries was examined. Data sources (n = 116 countries) included FAO FBS (food supply), UNICEF (stunting prevalence), UNDP (GDP) and UNSTATS (IMR) and USDA nutrient tables. Statistical analyses included Pearson correlations, paired-sample/non-parametric t-tests and linear regression. Statistically significant differences were observed in risk/prevalence estimates of protein inadequacy using total protein and the current protein requirements versus utilizable protein and the adjusted protein requirements for all regions (p < 0•05). Total protein, utilizable protein, GDP per capita and total energy were each highly correlated with the prevalence of stunting. Energy, protein and utilizable protein availability were independently and negatively associated with stunting (p < 0•001), explaining 41 %, 34 % and 40 % of variation respectively. Controlling for energy, total protein was not a statistically significant factor but utilizable protein remained significant explaining~45 % of the variance (p = 0•017). Dietary utilizable protein provides a better index of population impact of risk/prevalence of protein inadequacy than crude protein intake. We conclude that the increased demand for protein due to infections and mild to moderate energy deficits should be appropriately considered in assessing needs of populations where those conditions still prevail.

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2011 Mar;81(2-3):87-100. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000062.
Dietary proteins in humans: basic aspects and consumption in Switzerland.
Guigoz Y.
Chemin du Raidillon, CH-1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.
This introductory review gives an overview on protein metabolism, and discusses protein quality, sources, and requirements as well as the results from recent studies on Swiss spontaneous protein consumption. To assess protein quality in protein mixes and foods, the "protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score" (PDCAAS) is presented as a valuable tool in addition to the biological value (BV). Considering protein intake recommendations, the lower limit recommended has been defined according to the minimal amount needed to maintain short-term nitrogen balance in healthy people with moderate activity. Evaluation of intakes in Switzerland from food consumption data is about 90 g/day of protein per person. Two-thirds of proteins consumed in Switzerland are animal proteins with high biological value [meat and meat products (28 %), milk and dairy products (28 %), fish (3 %), and eggs (3 %)] and about 1/3 of proteins are of plant origin (25 % of cereals, 3 - 4 % of vegetables). Actual spontaneous protein consumption in Switzerland by specific groups of subjects is well within the actual recommendations (10 - 20 % of energy) with only the frail elderly being at risk of not covering their requirements for protein.

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2013 - 18:12

1) the absorption of a natural mixed meal is still incomplete at 5 h after ingestion; 2) HGP is only marginally and tardily inhibited; 3) splanchnic and peripheral tissues contribute to the disposal of meal carbohydrate to approximately the same extent; 4) the splanchnic area transfers >30% of the ingested proteins to the systemic circulation; and 5) after meal ingestion, skeletal muscle takes up BCAA to replenish muscle protein stores.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2013 - 22:12
Dr. Ryan

You study quotes using 11 males? Verses the 116 country study that I offered. It's also is referencing the "gut" meaning the entire digestive system.

The majority of protein digestion drops off considerably after the stomach and is less than 1% past the duodenum. The amount of protease in the small intestine drops off since it requires a low pH of less then 3 to remain active. There is no protective lining beyond the stomach, so digestion is primarily absorption and not deamination. The pH of the stomach is usually around 2 in most healthy individuals.

When it refers to 5 hours, that is the total time it spends from ingestion until it comes out or reaches the rectum. That time varies depending on the amount of food and metabolism and other factors. Please understand that since digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth, the entire process is over in less then 30-40 minutes for the most part. Consider that the large intestines only absorb water. Ingested water begins to absorb after dehydration in just 20 minutes.

So i hope that makes my point clear and thanks for helping me to understand why you were saying what you did.

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 05:40

This article references athletes or athletics twice as often as the average American. It is also on a website dedicated to individuals tha have far surpassed "average." Consider your audience because the vast majority of the readers are not average. We all have more to learn about our bodies and nutrition though; otherwise, we wouldn't be reading articles and spending time on the website!

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 23:26
Sergio Quesada

I never care of what articles have to say. I want to be big I need to eat a lot and in terms of proteins 200 grams plus if possible.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 19:35
Dr. Ryan

I appreciate your comments, but the article says average person, not a trained athlete who is combining the proper nutrients and has raised their own enzyme levels to sustain an ability to digest 50 grams of protein digestion.

The point is that you are asking simple questions related directly to you. The average person isn't you! If you train more than 3 days per week or consume 1/2 your bodyweight in protein per day.

As far as glycogen availability with pre-workout meals, the simple testing that shows CO2 exposure with treadmill testing is quite clear on the difference with pre-workout meals. Insulin resistance diabetes is a clear demonstration of this process. The average person again, who is not a trained athlete, will not advance to a beta-oxidative state as quickly if their body is digesting food. The other point that the article doesn't discuss is the shunting of blood supply to the muscle and cardiac tissue when training begins and the incomplete digestion that will occur due to the lack of blood supply to the digestive system. You can't manufacture blood in minutes to compensate for that loss. Tolerance is a trained response and again isn't geared towards the average person. That would make it impossible for the top athletes who consume over 300 grams of protein per day to even take in adequate nutrients. There wouldn't be enough time in the day.

When you write articles, you are limited on space and that is the benefit of blog space for questions afterwords. I will write an article geared towards athlete protein requirements in the near future.

So thanks for your thoughts, but consider that it is a blessing if you aren't the average person.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 21:18

The body is a pretty efficient machine, the larger the amount of protein the longer it will take to digest,one doesn't have to be a trained athlete for that. There could be an ideal and top amount for MPS/anabolism but even that is uncertain. I'd like to see any references that suggest average people can only absorb 20g in one sitting, likely the amount is limited to daily total protein intake not in a single meal. An average meal is not fully absorbed in 60 minutes, protein from food releases nutrients even after several hours of ingestion.

In the grand scheme of things daily total calories and macronutrients consumed are more important for fat loss, specially average people, who barely train and have measly amounts of protein, no need for them to worry about minor nutrient timing details that will have little to no effect on body composition. (BTW not sure why write an article for this demographic in M&S)

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 18:09

Wait, who wrote this article? Serious question because as TheBrahScientist said already there really is a lot of broscience in this article...No more than 20g???? C'mon now. Anabolic window 45min? No. Plain and simple buy a clean profile protein not filled with fillers, find your correct macros, and never forget the mantra. Eat clean, train dirty.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 17:17

Normally these articles are good... but this one is just absolutely bad....

Your body can absorb more than 20g of protein at a time... why the hell would they put more than 20g in protein powders if it weren't true.... now if you mean 20g AFTER bioavailabity has been factored in, then maybe.....but that still is on the low side.

Fasted training vs eating an hour before does NOT burn extra fat....Your body will still use the general ATP-PC system to replenish your ATP (energy your body uses by breaking off the phosphate which then becomes ADP and must be processed through the krebs cycle etc to reattach the phosphate to restore it back to ATP) but will be burning off the stored glycogen from your liver and muscles.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 16:32

So someone with 180 lbs of lean muscle, assume 10% body fat, would weigh 200 lbs. Based off macronutrient values, you're suggesting this athlete to consume 1600 calories? Fail...

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 15:21

Wow, lots of broscience going on in this article.

- The body can definitely use/absorb more than 20g of protein at once, no need to split into 8 meals a day.

- No real reason to avoid using a preworkout or eat an hour before, it was determined that not even fasted training has better results on fat loss.

- Yes Postworkout meal is important, but not for reasons like the " 45 minute anabrolic wondow" (which really can last up to 24-48hrs) or things like simple carbs for insulin spike, glycogen storages won't be depleted after your averga 45min-1hr lifting session.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2013 - 20:40
Dr. Ryan

Thanks for your comments, you are correct about the absorption and I would love to see what literature you have that refers to nutritional response for 24-48 hours post workout. I'm sure their is some, but relatively speaking, the body has a specifically one major catalyst, which is body heat. Hence the reasoning for eating quickly following a workout. Haven't found a supplement yet that raises body temperature safely, hence why we workout and their is no magic pill for that.

I commented later in the blog, but it sounds like you thought I geared this towards the average athlete and that isn't the case. Many of my patients have physical issues that are related to them eating less than 50 grams of protein per day. Hence the main focus of the article was to explain the benefits of protein.

Thanks again for reading it and your comments. It always makes me a better writer in spite of the limited space.

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2013 - 14:15

MPS has been shown to be elevated up from 24hrs up to 48hrs. following exercise

Consuming protein postworkout of course would be fine, but no need to be overly worried if one isn't able to get some an hour after training for whatever reasons. Adding to that, protein itself will produce a good enough insulin spike and decrease on breakdown, unless one is doing endurance training chances are glycogen won't be depleted so again no need to be worried if carbs can't be consumed postworkout.

Regardless of these i choose to have a balanced meal postworkout because it's convenient for me.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2013 - 22:18
Dr. Ryan

Okay thanks for that first reference and frankly it supports what I have indicated in the article. MPS refers to the stimulation of the muscles to literally making protein. If you eat protein, it breaks down into BCAAs, this then stimulates the muscles to digest protein.
All that reference does is further support the fact that by ingesting protein, your muscles have the means to make more muscle protein. It doesn't mean that 24-48 hrs after working out, you have any difference of digestion.

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 11:49

To defend dr.ryan a little, maybe someone can absorb more than 20 grams of protein at a time, but i doubt a body will be able to absorb a LOT more than that. 20*8 is 160 which according to the subject seems to be an ideal goal of protein for a 160 lbs guy per day. Also there is 3 different bodytypes that can absorb the heat and metabolism in different ways and therefor if you try to eat to much protein a lot of it will be absord as the regular water!

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Posted Sat, 10/19/2013 - 10:13

This is exactly what I wanted to say--more or less-- thanks for saving me the time!