If you're not trying to gain weight, do you need excess protein? If you're not trying to gain weight, do you need excess protein?

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Thread: If you're not trying to gain weight, do you need excess protein?

  1. #1
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    Default If you're not trying to gain weight, do you need excess protein?

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    I've found that it's easier for me to hit my calorie and macro goals when I shoot to eat 200-220G protein a day, versus 300+ grams. I don't have a hard-cap on protein, I shoot to hit at least 200 and everything after that is free game so long as it fits my diet goals.

    I'm happy with my bodyweight and all my lifts are going up 5/2.5lbs per week (intermediate). So I'm curious about the actual science of consuming massive amounts of protein to encourage recovery. I have a "gym bro" friend who states that if you're constantly flooding your body with protein, your body uses less for metabolic processes and can utilize more for building and repairing muscles.

    25M
    5'7
    196-202lbs

  2. #2
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    The excessive protein intakes (300+) originate from drug using bodybuilders. A bodybuilder taking drugs is going to synthesize muscle proteins at a faster rate than a person with normal physiology. Do they need 400 grams of protein per day though? Unlikely, but I can see a mechanism by which they would need more than the rest of us.

    My rationale for higher (1 g/lb of bodyweight) is that there is no harm in overshooting (there is no tolerable upper limit (UL) for protein in healthy adults) and high protein diets have other benefits besides optimizing muscle gain. Insulin sensitivity tends to be higher (which could translate into better macronutrient partitioning) and is more satiating than carbohydrate or fat if you have trouble losing fat or keeping fat off.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Rob. Does your response apply to people doing TRT for optimum (but normal) testosterone levels? Or are you specifically referring to those on full blown cycles.

  4. #4
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    Sooner or later you will need at least 250 g protein a day.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicholasAstro View Post
    Thanks for the reply Rob. Does your response apply to people doing TRT for optimum (but normal) testosterone levels? Or are you specifically referring to those on full blown cycles.
    The latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernLifter View Post
    Sooner or later you will need at least 250 g protein a day.
    No he won't.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    The latter.



    No he won't.
    Could you clarify this for those of us who have only basic nutrition knowledge? Assuming an equal intake of protein, fat, and carbohydrate calories, 250g of protein a day = 1kCal of protein, 1kCal of fat, and 1kCal of carbohydrates. That's only 3kCal/day. How would a 25 year old male not need that many calories? I am clearly missing something obvious here. Apologies if this is too much of a noob question.

  7. #7
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    He will need more than 1000 calories from carbohydrates per day. Most of us do not need 250 g protein though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    He will need more than 1000 calories from carbohydrates per day. Most of us do not need 250 g protein though.
    So to clarify, we would like to see a strongish person (similar to the OP) get maybe 200g of protein = 800kCal/day, 100g of fat ~= 800kCal/day and maybe 400g carbohydrates = 1600kCal/day for a total around 3200kCal/day?

    I know nutrition is complicated but it helps if people can do simple calculations like this to see if their nutrition is "in the ballpark" I'm going to go have some donuts to make sure I get my carbs

  9. #9
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    That's a reasonable starting point that can be a good place to start and scale up from.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    He will need more than 1000 calories from carbohydrates per day. Most of us do not need 250 g protein though.
    To check my understanding regarding carbs: carbs > fats because carbs provide a better source of energy as it relates to training; they’re preventative of exertion based hypoglycemia. Fats are typically hidden in food or the cooking process and are usually “hit” during the day anyways.

    Something I’m not totally clear on is the commonly prescribed notion when you’re gaining weight, you should increase carbs, not fat. Seems to me it would be much, much easier to fill the extra calories by adding butter, ghee, or mayo instead of 5 extra cooked cups of rice on top of a heavy day of eating.

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