E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
3

How much protein is ideal?

by (15583)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM
Created February 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Simply: how much protein do you generally find to be ideal? Clearly you can't get away with much less than 20% or calories by protein or much more than 30%, but how much is best, for example, for satiation? Naturally it varies depending on activity and there's no need to keep track of the specifics (as though a hunter-gatherer would!) but what seems to be best as a trend?

A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d
288 · February 14, 2010 at 7:01 PM

David, understand that I'm not saying that much is needed. Rather, I'm saying we don't know how much but slightly too much seems to be better than slightly too little. Remember it's a spectrum: you're not suddenly going to overspike insulin/stress organs by taking protein from 100g/day to 150g/day. Here's my quick and dirty: eat more than you're used to if your background is SAD; eat about the same if you've been at this a long time.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Thanks for the comment Skyler. I'm certain that 1.4g wouldn't produce any drastic harm, contra mainstream scaremongering, but I'd be surprised if an amount that high was optimal. There are definitely lots of reasons why more protein than structurally necessary would be sub-optimal (more insulin, more metabolic stress on organs, unnecessarily raised blood sugars). I'm no athlete, but I follow the BodyByScience workout, so find that at least 1g/pound is necessary when training, less when not.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6
2109 · February 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The only way I can eat the Lyle McDonald level of protein is if I do a total fiber-free day (all animal products). I don't tend to over-eat, and my digestion seems to enjoy the break from fiber.

A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d
288 · February 14, 2010 at 4:45 PM

David, for the purposes of health and wellness, I'm going to summarize Lyle McDonald summarizing Tipton and Wolfe: " * We don’t know how much protein is required to optimize all of the potential pathways important to athletes. * We know that a protein intake of 1.4 g/lb (3.0 g/kg) isn’t harmful and may have benefits that are too small to be measured in research * As long as eating lots of protein doesn’t keep an athlete from eating too few of the other nutrients, there’s no reason to not eat a lot." You're attempting to move closer to athlete with paleo, an important distinction.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Thanks Nicole. Sorry to hear about your problems, but at the same time glad to hear some-one is facing the same dilemma as me! I seem to need different amounts of protein on a daily basis (presumably due to too little/much previous) so difficult to discern what amount is optimally required.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Well I specifically suggested for satiation, but I'm interested in optimal health in general. Since I'm asking about how much protein people find to be optimal, I'm leaving open that different people with different needs prefer different amounts. It's up to the individual to say e.g. "I find I need X amount of protein to feel full, but not too much else it raises my blood sugar too much." "Ideal for what" is part of the question I'm interested in hearing people's answers to therefore.

Total Views
2.8K

Recent Activity
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

Last Activity
29D AGO

Followers
0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

5 Answers

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
5
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM

My personal take on this is that I'm torn between two competing lines of reasoning:

On the one hand there's the Jan Kwasniewski line, broadly defended by Peter over at hyperlipid that argues that you should only have sufficient protein and most of the rest of calories from fat; one reason being that more protein means more insulin and less insulin means more fat released from storage and so more satiation.

On the other hand almost everybody else in the paleo/LC world seems to think that more protein reduces hunger (indeed some people argue that protein is uniquely sating, whether the rest of calories is fat or paleo-carb is arbitrary). This would make sense if the effect of protein on glucagon, increasing gluconeogenesis would make less hungry than eating fat alone.

I'm wondering if the effects protein has on glucagon/insulin vary from person to person. For myself, the JK formula would mean no more than about 80g protein and the gram-per-pound formula would mean about 130g per day, which I tend to be in the middle of most days, leaning towards the protein heavy side.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7
5
6082 · February 14, 2010 at 3:19 PM

A general baseline is that the body can't really utilize much more than 1g per pound of body weight. As well, this is probably on the high end of protein intake corresponding to somebody trying to gain lean body mass and muscle. I would think anywhere from 0.5g to 1g per pound body weight would be a good range to experiment with. I would let muscle growth or lean body mass levels be a good indication of the appropriateness of the intake amounts.

As far satiety, I would think that plenty of good fats will close up your appetite pretty well. So dial in the protein amount to appropriate mass gain and then substitute the rest with mostly fat for energy.

The amount of protein is going to have to span a decent size spectrum to accommodate specific body types and exercise profiles.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6
3
2109 · February 14, 2010 at 4:24 PM

This is something I'm still trying to sort out myself.

I know that when I use the Kwasniewski ratios I'm hungry constantly, I binge on fat (usually cream) and wind up gaining weight.

If I eat my body weight (in pounds) in grams, it's too much and I gain weight.

I seem to do OK with the numbers from the Protein Power Lifeplan, which puts me about .7g per pound of body weight. I'm still trying to sort out what carbs I should be eating for weight maintenance, so I'm not 100% sure yet about my macronutrient ratios.

Too much fiber (from green veggies in my case) is causing gas, bloating and poor digestion, so I'm experiencing big weight swings from water gain and loss, and this is why I'm not sure about any of my ratios yet.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Thanks Nicole. Sorry to hear about your problems, but at the same time glad to hear some-one is facing the same dilemma as me! I seem to need different amounts of protein on a daily basis (presumably due to too little/much previous) so difficult to discern what amount is optimally required.

A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d
1
288 · February 14, 2010 at 2:27 PM

What's the context, David? Ideal for what?

A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d
288 · February 14, 2010 at 7:01 PM

David, understand that I'm not saying that much is needed. Rather, I'm saying we don't know how much but slightly too much seems to be better than slightly too little. Remember it's a spectrum: you're not suddenly going to overspike insulin/stress organs by taking protein from 100g/day to 150g/day. Here's my quick and dirty: eat more than you're used to if your background is SAD; eat about the same if you've been at this a long time.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Thanks for the comment Skyler. I'm certain that 1.4g wouldn't produce any drastic harm, contra mainstream scaremongering, but I'd be surprised if an amount that high was optimal. There are definitely lots of reasons why more protein than structurally necessary would be sub-optimal (more insulin, more metabolic stress on organs, unnecessarily raised blood sugars). I'm no athlete, but I follow the BodyByScience workout, so find that at least 1g/pound is necessary when training, less when not.

6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6
2109 · February 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The only way I can eat the Lyle McDonald level of protein is if I do a total fiber-free day (all animal products). I don't tend to over-eat, and my digestion seems to enjoy the break from fiber.

A27774151362c5e398adbe70e5de657d
288 · February 14, 2010 at 4:45 PM

David, for the purposes of health and wellness, I'm going to summarize Lyle McDonald summarizing Tipton and Wolfe: " * We don’t know how much protein is required to optimize all of the potential pathways important to athletes. * We know that a protein intake of 1.4 g/lb (3.0 g/kg) isn’t harmful and may have benefits that are too small to be measured in research * As long as eating lots of protein doesn’t keep an athlete from eating too few of the other nutrients, there’s no reason to not eat a lot." You're attempting to move closer to athlete with paleo, an important distinction.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · February 14, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Well I specifically suggested for satiation, but I'm interested in optimal health in general. Since I'm asking about how much protein people find to be optimal, I'm leaving open that different people with different needs prefer different amounts. It's up to the individual to say e.g. "I find I need X amount of protein to feel full, but not too much else it raises my blood sugar too much." "Ideal for what" is part of the question I'm interested in hearing people's answers to therefore.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038
0
4124 · September 01, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Another one here using Dr. Kwasniewski's calculation for protein, .8g/Kg/Ideal Weight, per his formula for Ideal Weight. It works well for me.

I've read a number of posts at low-carb forums from folks eating this amount of protein.

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account