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 How much protein does it take to put on muscle?

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VeganVoiceMandy



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PostSubject: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:20 am

Ed started working out with a trainer in hopes of putting on a little more muscle. People keep telling him he looks too thin since he lost 35 lbs (eating a nutritarian style vegan diet) but I swear the 35 lbs he lost was all belly fat. He still has a little, so I know he's not underweight. In fact he's super fit. At 55 he can run and exercise more than most men half his age.

The trainer (an omnivore) told him he needs 180 grams of protein a day to get results from weight training. Ed is 140lbs and 5'8". That sounds to high to me.

He's already improved his muscle tone and increased his size somewhat over the last several months, but he thinks it's not happening fast enough. I don't want him to consume unhealthy amounts of protein in an attempt to gain size. What is the right amount of protein if you are weight training?
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:52 am

There isn't a set amount of protein that can be consider unhealthy as such...saying that the protein does sound a little bit high for a recreational lifter. The science we have generally points to the fact that if you want more size you probably should eat more protein than the average couch potato needs to consume, but people eat way more than they need, so he should really just up it a little, see how he responds. So say add in one protein shake - if they're into maximum nutrition per calorie they can have a shake of hemp protein with spirulina, morninga, wheatgrass powder or similar green powder to really up the nutritional profile. Start with simply one extra protein shake. It really is amazing what adding 30 grams of extra protein can do to a physique if you are working out hard. From there wait a few weeks, see what changes have occurred (in muscular size, strength etc). Take photos & write down stats, so you have comparisons.
Muscular gains do not often come very quickly. You might get a spurt as you start training, but after that you have to really work for every pound.
An introduction to a balanced diet plan can be found:
pdf version
MS Word version

These should give you some ideas. 5'8" & 140 is not large for someone training with weights, but it depends on the goals. For general fitness that's about right if you look at the BMI, but if they are aiming at looking muscular then it will take some time as they are quite likely an ectomorph which means that gaining muscle is harder than it is for the other body types, also at 55 muscle will come more slowly as hormones just aren't what they were at 20.

As you asked for specifics I'd would aim for a starting point of of around 100-105 grams of protein. If he can't grow on that the first thing I'd do is look at the overall calorie intake, the training & the recovery. You may need to knock it slightly higher or lower depending upon results, but that's a good starting place.
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:51 am

I agree with Pete although understand there are lots of people who advocate higher amounts. There isn't really a strong consensus out there yet. But you definitely can get results with less than 180 grams/day.
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morg



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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:45 pm

I got my best ever results from weight training consuming around 80g of protein per day.
I have had times trying eating much more than that, but it made no difference at all other than my diet being more expensive
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VeganVoiceMandy



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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:23 am

Thanks so much for all your feedback. I really appreciate it. I suspected as much, but it's nice to hear it from the experts.
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morg



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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:22 am

Mentzer recommended 0.8g per kilogram of bodyweight on page 9 of "Heavy Duty Nutrition
this would mean that a hard training 220lb bodybuilder would need around 80g of protein per day
Mentzer had some great results with his trainees at this amount
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:15 am

I think 0.8 per Kg is a little low for athletes - even the American Dietetic Association has upped their recommendations from 0.8g per Kg per day to 1g per Kg per day (misplaced that link & may even be dated by now as it was a while ago -I'll try & get hold of the latest numbers for them), the ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) recommend 1.4 – 2.0 g/kg/day http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2117006/.

RDA for sedentary people is set at 0.8g per Kg per day.

I'm not saying it won't work for some, but for many people higher does work better (I can post the studies if you need them as there have been a few).

Even on the Mike Mentzer site they now appear to recommend 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram per day http://www.mikementzer.com/skinnerprotein.html.
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morg



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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:42 pm


Interesting extract from an article on protein

We now know that the body is quite capable of taking incomplete proteins and making them complete by utilizing this recycling mechanism. It is now clear that more than 200 grams of endogenous protein is added to the 30 to 100 grams of daily dietary protein.

full article can be found here

http://www.healthpromoting.com/Articles/articles/protein.htm
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:35 pm

That was quite an interesting article. I've actually done some research into some facets of the arguments brought up while I was doing my clinical nutrition studies.
The aggravating things about the quote you used is it's unreferenced. Where did they get those figures from? Which population groups are they mentioning when quoting these figures? It is great to be able quote figures from articles, but without a reference to back up the statements they are just like so much junk. Say I wrote an unreferenced article & claimed everyone training with weights needs 300-600grams of protein per day (we've probably all seen a few of those!) - In this case it is just as valid a statement as there is no evidence to back up the claim of either pale

I think there is a pretty wide variation in protein needs between people - For example: I'm sure people aren't lying when they say they have thrived on the 80-10-10 diet & added muscular weight. I'm fairly certain that not everyone could make gains, or even hold size on that diet. I have yet to see any healthy person (no kidney or liver issues) actually lose size due to increasing protein intake. Hence I tend towards a reasonable, but not (in my view) an excessive starting point, then juggle the figures from there as needed. My personal view is that most people fail due to overall calorie intake being too low, &/or poor food choices, as if these are set right & you're eating sensibly you tend to hit the nutritional levels you need without too much tinkering. Obviously the higher up the athletic ladder you get, the more the details come into play & slight changes can add those 1 or 2% differences they sometimes need to win.
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clinton



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PostSubject: Re: How much protein does it take to put on muscle?   Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:20 am

not forgetting, a steady flow of protein throughout the day is much better than a huge quantity, and the assiimilation, digestion and quality of the proteins, and how they are mixed with other nutrients.
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