Be SMARTER not HARDER
There's lots of misinformation out there about what's the right amount of protein to be eating. Unfortnately the majority of this information comes from the fitness world and isnt regularly fact checked. If you want correct figures you need to look science.
Studies have calculated that the average human being (thats both men and women) require only 60g of protein per day to maintain lean muscle mass at goal weight.
But you can get a little more specific, and calculate your own macros.
Whats the calculation?
Our protein requirement is classified as the minimum daily protein intake to maintain lean body mass at your medically/ scientifically determined healthy body weight.
Well lets start with YOUR minimum. Your medically ideal body weight as calculated by your height vs build is, lets say for example 70kg.
From that 70kg, we now have to subtract non lean mass. We have to look at fat mass, if they are within their healthy range of 20- 25% Body fat for women, and 18-22% for men, that's say 12-15 kilograms that needs to be deducted .
What we are left with is lean body weight, which is the total weight of your organs, bones, skin, muscles and blood. In this example 70-15= 55kg LBM.
You multiply this number by the minimum protein requirement which is 0.8g protein per KILOGRAM or 0.36g per Pound of goal body weight.
55 x 0.8g = 44g
That is the bare minimum that doesn't include the incidental exercise you do.
If we factor this in, we will then raise the requirement to 1.0g per kilo or 0.42g per Pound.
55 x 1.0g = 55g
If you are doing cardio type training this will again be raised to around 1.2g/kg and 0.5g per pound of goal body weight.
55 x 1.2 = 66g
Endurance athletes are around 1.4g/kg, 55 x 1.4 = 77g
and intense strength trainers are around 2.0g/kg 55 x 2.0 =110g
Some pages are misrepresenting the information either by accident or design stating 1g per pound of total body weight for the average person This is INSANE!! The average person is around 180 pounds (thats 180g protein they're being told to eat!!)
Now let's look at a couple of other things,
If you've had bariatric surgery, your absorption rate is approx 20-30% lower than prior to surgery. So you'll need to eat 20-30% more protein . I.e. you minimum is 44g before surgery, after you'll need to add another 15g (approx) and aim for 59g.
If you are menopausal, post menopausal or have had a hysterectomy. Your muscle mass declines with age, as muscle mass declines so does bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. So you'll need to eat about 10g more per day. 59+10 = 69g (and up to 80g if you've had bariatric surgery and are in this category)
If you are eating low carb to lose weight, you can adjust your macros to work for you. This goes for everyone, bariatric or not.
Studies have shown that increasing your minimum protein intake by up to 30% can aid in weight loss and healthy outcomes, but anything over has no real benefit. So again, your minimum 55g + 30% = 60g .
Lets round this up and add a little frosting, 60-65g.
Or even at max intensity training. 110g + 30% = 140g approx.
Obviously, the less body fat and more muscle you have, the higher your requirements will be, the average 70 kilogram individual does not require 180g.
Eating too much protein can in fact have the opposite effect of the one desired as excess protein that can not be metabolized gets stored in the muscle as glycogen, and released from the muscles during gluconeogenesis to form glucose, so your max power efforts to avoid carbs by smashing the protein are in vain, as your body is making its own sugar, which creates an insulin response and kicks your butt out of ketosis.
So what do we take away from this and whats a safe protein amount?
Be smarter not harder with your protein.
Aim for a baseline minimum intake of around 60.g for women and 65.g for men.
Remember to adjust for your specific needs.
If you want a plan that's going to work for you, lets do it !!
Mental nutrition is BioME Integrative Nutrition's
Own Health and
Wellness Blog. Covering all things from what goes in to what comes out after Bariatric Surgery and beyond.
Carrie Ross: Clinical Nutritionist | BSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine | Nutritional/ food Behaviour Counselor |Bariatric Health Coach | Social Trainer |Author