The bodybuilding diet and adequate protein intake
A normal bodybuilding diet does not need to include large amounts of protein, despite what the fitness experts say. The currently suggested average is one gram of protein per pound of body weight. That means a 200-pound man would have to consume about 200 grams of protein per day. Bodybuilding magazines recommend an even higher number compared to this one.
The recommended daily amount of protein consumed by the average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
This is calculated at approximately 64 grams of protein intake per day for a 175-pound person. So why are these numbers so different? The RDA’s suggestions are based on research studies with college-age men. Studies found that this was the adequate amount of protein to maintain a correct nitrogen balance in these youngsters. However, nitrogen balance has not been shown to be 100% effective in predicting muscle gain or loss. This would indicate that the RDA protein intake estimate would not be appropriate for the bodybuilding diet.
AMDR recommends that between 10% and 35% of all calories consumed daily be protein..
So depending on what your daily calorie intake is, this will affect how much protein you should eat. The acronym AMDR stands for Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range and was established by the Institute of Medicine in 2005. The main problem with AMDR’s recommendation is that it covers quite a large area. Neither the AMDR nor the RDA takes exercise into account with their recommendations. An active exerciser needs to incorporate this factor into their body building diet plans.
So when it comes to creating a good body-building diet, neither RDA nor AMDR seem very helpful.
Many of the bodybuilding magazines suggest amounts of up to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That means a 175 pound man would have to consume 350 grams of protein per day! Let’s face it, bodybuilding magazines aren’t the most neutral parts. Their main source of income is the sale of advertising. And the number one product advertised in bodybuilding magazines is protein supplements. So it seems logical that 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is much more than you really need.
Did you know that the more proteins you eat, the better you can digest them??
Here is a strange fact about the body; If you eat large amounts of protein at each meal, your body will get used to it and it will be easier for you to absorb it. If your body is used to eating smaller amounts of protein, then a high-protein meal will make you feel sick to your stomach because your GI system won’t be able to digest it all. Most people associate the ability to digest more protein with building more muscle, but it is more complicated than that.
Just because you eat ten times more protein than you normally would, does not mean that you will build ten times more muscle.
Research has shown that the more protein your body consumes, the more likely it is to turn amino acids into fuel rather than fat and carbohydrates. The human body feeds on carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Depending on what goes into your system, your body adjusts its fuel burning needs to generate energy. So there is a certain level beyond which more protein just won’t make a difference, so how do you determine how much is suitable for your body-building diet?
Studies show that consuming 70-120 grams of protein a day is optimal for gaining muscle.
Brad Pilon is the author of “How Much Protein”, a book on this very topic. By comparing several different studies, he found that if a person ingested between 0.55 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, it is a good balance for building muscle mass. He cites several of these studies that found that a protein intake of more than 120 grams per day did not contribute in any way to additional muscle gain. So what is the advice you prefer to follow? Solid Scientific Research or the Supplement Companies? It’s up to you. I would suggest eating around 100 grams of protein per day, which is easy to achieve without making expensive protein shakes a part of your body-building diet.