Originally Posted by John Alston
Athletes - which kind need that? Runners? Cyclist? Marathoners? Gymnasts? Weightlifters looking to build muscle? Basketball players looking to maintain muscle?
That's my issue with the term "athlete" and most generic prescriptions - too generic.
The recomendations for protein intakes of 1.2 - 1.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day are based on training volume and intensity not whether the athlete is an endurance or a strength athlete and it may come as a surprise to you but elite endurance athletes actually have the highest protein requirement as they oxidise lean body mass during exercise. Strength athletes, and that includes bodybuilders, only really need higher intakes of protein (1.6g/kilogram of BW/day) for short periods at the start of new training programs after which homeostatic adaptations to training occur and protein requirements drop back to slightly above what's required by sedenetary individuals (1g/kg of BW/day).
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell
I agree that 1gram/lb of bw is a lot of protein...and most don't need it. As for bodybuilders....well most of them are being told to take 1.5-2 g/lb of bodyweight...that is just over hype by the supplement industry. (but many are also on steroids which increases protein synthesis in the muscles...so they can utilize more protein than normal people). Most active people can do very well on 0.8g/LEAN lb bw if their fat intake is also higher. (aka like the athletes zone...which shows you can gain muscle and lose fat on a lower amount of protein and calories).
I think the the whole bodybuilding and supplement industry has a lot to answer for regarding the confusion about protein requirements. A quick look in almost any good book on sports nutrition will tell people that they need between 0.8 and 1.6 grams per kilogram
of bodyweight per day depending on activity level with the average 75 kilogram (165lb) athlete needing about 1g per kilogram per day most of the time which is 75g/day. Simple right?
The supplement industry has a problem though if their average 75kg customer realises that their protein requirement is only 75g/day because a normal mixed diet easily provides more than that so because they need to sell their products if they want to stay in business they muddy the waters a little and the recomendation that the average athlete needs around 1g per kilogram
of BW per day becomes 1g per pound
per day and suddenly that average 75kg athlete needing 75g of protein per day needs 165g of protein a day. Clearly that's a lot
of steak and eggs to get through every day and food's expensive but what are you going to do if you need
165g of protein per day? Thankfully those nice supplement manufacturers come to your rescue with protein shakes in a dozen tasty flavours.....
It's a clever ploy really; create a problem by changing a single word, provide a convenient solution to that problem then just sit back and watch the money roll in.