One of the most controversial topics of the fitness world today is the daily protein intake a person needs to gain the maximum benefit from their workouts. The reason this turned into such a controversial issue is because there are people out there who say they can grow using 70 grams of protein, to others who say they eat as much as 250 grams or more to gain muscle. Since every human is different their needs are always going to be slightly different. Until doctors can use genetics to tell each person exactly how much of each macro they need, only estimates can be used for the average human.
The next most common thing you hear about is the 1 gram per pound of bodyweight rule. Now this is commonly thrown daily protein requirement is said so much that people don’t even consider how much protein this can be. If you are the average american weighing around 190 pounds, that’s like eating around 2 pounds of ground turkey, or almost 2 of the 1.15 pound packages a day! This can add up, and is eating that much protein really necessary?
Government Data And Health Institutions
On the other hand, the government provides data, and health institutes say that somewhere from 40-80 grams of daily protein intake is enough. Although this might be a good number for the population as a whole, you have to realize these are numbers for good health, including women, elderly and youth. So as a bodybuilder or powerlifter, you have to consider the possibility that a fit male or female will need much more protein for ultimate gains, which is where the 1 gram per pound bodyweight comes into play.
One study found that professional athletes can use up to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight, but once they approached 1.1 grams per pound, there was no increase in benefit. In fact, at 1.1 grams per pound, most of the athlete’s kidney’s were struggling to filter all the protein. So since we are mostly fitness enthusiasts, not professional athletes, I think that a daily protein intake of 0.7-0.9 grams per pound is more than enough.
The huge variable comes from the fact that professional athletes have very low fat percentages to begin with, so if you have a lower lean body mass, it might be smart to consider taking in a bit less in protein since your body won’t use it as efficiently. Although many websites say that there is no limit for protein, there is a point where you can overload your kidneys. The rule that “too much of anything can be a bad thing” is a good one to follow for all things in life. (Except Muscle Gainz Brah)
Being cautious Of Over Using Protein
A way to counteract this and get in more protein without hurting kidney’s is to eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day. If you eat around 1/6th of the amount of protein you need per day within 6 meals, your kidney will not become overwhelmed with protein, leading to an increase in absorption and less damage. So if you want to mess around with a peak of around 0.9 grams of protein per pound, I would suggest breaking it down into smaller meals.
So if you can, I would stick to around 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound for daily protein intake. I can guarantee that you won’t lose gains from a lack of protein eating this much. Also, steroid takers please ignore this article and just eat way more protein.