Amount of protein

Discussion in 'General Training' started by HST_Rihad, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    A nice research (from Brad Pilon's book "How much protein") debunking the common recommendation to take 1-1.5 g protein per pound of body weight.

  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately for Brad, the previous study that he cited in the last thread showed that people could gain lean mass from consuming more protein alone and not lifting a finger.

    His interpretations of studies are extremely liberal in the conclusions he comes to.
  3. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    That study has no conclusion regarding protein intake.

    Attempting to draw one from it indicates an extremely poor understanding of scientific principle and process.

    For example, what if there was another group that did exercise + steroids, + 250gms of protein and put on 18lbs of muscle mass ... ? There wasn't, obviously. However, a lack of said group with the purpose of studying protein intake invalidates any would-be and premature conclusions regarding the importance of, or desired intake of protein.

    All that's been established is a lower limit (and certainly not a concrete one) for protein required to put 13.5lbs on that group of untrained subjects who are on those steroid levels and doing the resistance work.

    I can't believe he actually put his name to that attempt at logic and sent it to the printers ... there's more holes in his reasoning that in fly-wire ffs ... please note that I'm not saying he's right, nor am I saying he's wrong, I'm saying you can't trust a damn thing in that quote because the logic at a fundamental level is fatally flawed. I feel like the Professor from 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' ... "Why don't they teach logic at these schools?!?"

    About all anyone should safely take away from non-c&p'd information (courtesy of the study) is that 0.7gms of protein per lb, at 16cals per lb, did not stimulate muscle growth. You can't make any statement about protein intake regarding trainees who are doing weights. Nothing about lower limit, nothing about upper limit. And IIRC, several studies have shown protein intake causes an increase in protein synthesis, when in surplus - Totentanz can probably recall this better than I can.

    Tangent - why do scientists persist in using pounds, ounces and gallons as though they're acceptable measurements post-WWII ... *sigh* ... I promise to get my American citizenship and vote for the Presidential candidate who will bring in the metric system ... *ends self-centric rant*
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013
  4. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Sorry, but why did you get that impression from that abstract?
    Mind you, this doesn't imply that anyone gained any muscle with no training whatsoever. All it said was that others could RETAIN more of their muscles due to eating more protein with no concomitant weight training, thus they gained more total weight (muscle+ fat). BTW that's why it's important to eat enough protein during SD.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  5. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    AlexAustralia, not only you think that way regarding the imperial system :) You could have signed this White House petition.
  6. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    To answer your question, my take is to read your 2nd quote again ...

    ... also, Brad clearly doesn't understand the power (statistically, and I suppose literally) of scientific studies - he keeps misinterpreting results.
  7. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    That thing should have been front page, every newspaper in the world for a week ... it wasn't :(
  8. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    At least to me, the importance of this study is that it is possible to try and fuel the ongoing muscle growth with little protein intake (compared to recommended norms). If you consider that high protein foods normally cost much more than foods based on carbs and/or fats, this is even more intriguing financially.

    Those are trained subjects, provided "experienced weight lifters" means just that.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  9. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    There's also a study involving high calories + higher protein.
  10. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    No, it doesn't say that. It says take steroids for more muscle gain.

    There are ZERO conclusions you can extrapolate re: protein intake. You should learn how to interpret scientific studies if you think that's a conclusion from the data.

    Furthermore, start buying whey powder off the internet if you can't find it where you are. Get the isolate which has essentially zilch carbs.

    Yup, skipped that, my bad. Experienced lifters it is.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013
  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Not really sure what Brad's qualifications are, but I went to college for a biochemistry degree (never finished due to having massive amounts of children) so I actually do have a scientific background. Just fyi.

    Kind of hard to draw valid conclusions from studies without a background in science.
  12. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Why? Doesn't it say group with no steroids gained 4.5 lbs (2 kg) taking 120 gr/day of protein for 10 weeks? Which is the point I brought this thread up. The threshold of growth/no growth is much lower in terms of adequate protein intake than some may want to make us believe.

    Costs of delivery + probable customs taxes make this too expensive :( Getting whey isn't a problem, the need for it given information above is doubtful. I can get as much as 100-120 gr protein from normal food.
  13. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    "I have always been obsessed with exercise, health, and nutrition. At 10 years old, I
    could already boast a very impressive collection of Muscle & Fitness Magazine, and a
    couple of years later I was also collecting issues of Men’s Health. I can remember
    reading about bodybuilders like Lee Haney, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno
    and all of the articles concerning their diet and exercise programs. It was these
    articles that piqued my interest in the science behind fat loss.
    At 16 years old, I had a subscription to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. I
    would read any research paper that involved nutrition and fat loss. It would take me
    about a day to read each article because I had to stop and check almost every word in
    a medical dictionary.
    At 17 years of age, I started working at a local supplement store. This was my first
    official step into the health and nutrition industry and I have never looked back.

    When I started studying nutrition at university, I had only two goals – to learn
    everything I possibly could about nutrition and metabolism, and to graduate with
    honors. In the spring of 2000, I accomplished both of them. Almost immediately after
    graduating from university, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a research analyst
    at one of the world’s leading supplement companies.
  14. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    The ONLY valid conclusion you can take is that the group during weights w/no steroids could gain 4.5lbs on 0.7gm/lb per day. That's it. You can't draw any conclusions regarding further minimum, or any maximum or guess about optimum levels of protein. All that has been established is 0.7bm/lb/day is a minimum limit for muscle growth, when combined with weight training. That is all.

    If you don't understand why then you don't understand the limitations of scientific studies and how to interpret them. That's not a crime, so don't feel bad, but it's something you should correct if you intend to discuss studies and attempt to extrapolate their findings into something with more pragmatic value.

    There is zero validity in making a claim that 0.7gms protein/lb/day is optimal for muscle gain. Again, all you can say is that 0.7gms/lb/day is enough for some muscle gain (4.5lbs in the time period covered). Minimum limit is all well and good. I don't know about you though, I'm not really seeking 'minimum' conditions for muscle gain, nor am I seeking minimum gains of muscle. But hey, not everyone is after hypertrophy.

    Of course how a group of thoroughly experienced lifters (as you pointed out) were all of a sudden able to gain ~2kgs in LBM in that time period is another question ... I'm guessing there was non-designated but effective SD period prior to the study.

    Further, "some may want to make us believe" - don't be absurd, these conspiracy theories are getting ridiculous. First you think every professional athlete is on steroids, then you think supplement companies are trying to make soy protein disappear because it's cheaper, now there's a conspiracy to make us spend more money on protein via tricking us into thinking we need it for muscle ...

    Protein is harder, and less efficiently processed into making bodyfat - therefore a higher protein % in your diet will mean you put on less fat when in caloric surplus (bulking). Additionally, several studies have shown that increased protein intake leads to increased rates of protein synthesis. You didn't seem to understand that from the study Totentanz explained to you but it's there nonetheless. And lastly, there's the (similar) effect of high protein intake in caloric deficit reducing muscle wastage (catabolised) during that period.

    Whey is cheaper than every other form of protein, per 100gm.

    Shipping should be ~ $10 USD, or in that ballpark.

    100gm from red meat, is ballpark 400gms required - 25gms per 100gms. I don't know about you, but lean red meat here in Australia costs about $12/kg minimum - and you aren't going to love that cut either, despite it being lean. It's really more like $20/kg. So that's $8 for 100gm. For chicken, it's about half that on a good day.

    I buy tubs of whey for $130 AUD for 4kg atm. It's ~ 80% whey protein, so we're talking 130 AUD for actual 3.2kg. Which works out more like $4 per 100gm for whey protein. Which means whey and chicken are the cheapest by far.

    And that's not taking into account what you need to pair with chicken - eating plain, grilled chicken breast day in, day out is not setting tastebuds on fire ...

    I don't understand why his analytical reasoning and applied deductive logic skills are so poor then. I assume it's an innocent combination of seeing-what-he-wants-to-see and needing/wanting to sell books.
  15. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Maybe there isn't, but please see another research in my post #9. In a nutshell, one can safely conclude that it's very hard to build muscles faster by simply taking in more protein, all other being equal. You do know that there are diminishing returns in muscle gains, at least for naturals.

    Resistance training offsets protein catabolism even under circumstances of decreased calories and/or protein. You might remember Bryan writing about it too. A fully justified reason to take in "extra" protein is with no concomitant resistance training (as in SD) to reduce the body's need to cannibalize itself. Brad writes 80 gr/day is enough for him to maintain his lean mass while training.

    Wow, no way. Getting a 5 lbs to us costs $32-37 depending on how the seller packs it. So buying 10 lbs is more appropriate to offset the shipping cost, which would cost $60 just for shipping. Maybe you're right that in the end (over a month or two) buying whey is cheaper for some *additional* protein, but I can pretty easily get circa 100-120 grams from my normal daily food. 150 were always a problem in my own calculations though LOL.
    This is why I simply bought 3 kg of MPM Full Force (soy, whey, milk) for ~$53-54 in a local store because bodybuilders "must" get protein :). Mixes awfully, but what the hell, I like chewing it :)

    Ditto, I'm starting to hate chicken!
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  16. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    No no no ... you can't "safely" conclude anything of the sort from Rozenek et al, 2002.

    Why? Let's take a different study from Hoffman et al in 2007. It takes two groups of college football players with two plus years of resistance training and creates a 'high' and 'moderate' protein group, puts them through 12 weeks of training and compares results (LBM, performance, hormone levels) with the variable being protein intake:

    -The study has this neat little line near the beginning of 'Results', regarding change in LBM which reads like this:

    "Although these differences did not reach statistical significance"

    -There's 21 subjects. A whole 21. As in twenty plus one. 20 + 1. Two in the tens column, a one in the singles column. Less than 22 but more than 20 ... in terms of whole people. Comfortable making definitive and "safe" conclusions about human physiology when we're talking 21 subjects?

    -"Despite a greater protein intake by PR no significant differences in body mass, lean body mass or fat mass were seen between the groups. Although higher protein intakes were associated with a trend (p = 0.08, ES = 0.78) towards an increase in lean body mass, it is possible that the relatively low caloric intake by the subjects negatively impacted the ability to make significant gains in lean tissue accruement. Without consuming a sufficient caloric intake the ability of subjects to significantly increase body mass or lean body mass may bec compromised. Previous studies have shown that the combination of resistance training with nutritional intervention (e.g. increase in caloric intake) results in significant increases in body
    mass (Roy et al., 1997; Rozenek et al., 2002)."

    -The conclusion is that lack of muscle growth is largely due to insufficient caloric intake.

    So here I have a study saying the trend points towards protein increase --> better performance and growth, but the data set isn't complete.

    Furthermore, please find a way to deal with the massive volume of non-empirical//anecdotal evidence of everyday lifters highlighting high-protein diets being facilitative for muscle growth.

    There's still the study showing increased protein intake leads to increased protein synthesis - misinterpreting the study isn't a valid counter to it.

    a) Not enough calories for growth

    b) Statistically insignificant results

    c) Statistically insignificant sample size
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2013
  17. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    And again, we're talking about optimisation. You can grow muscle on 100gms of protein per day. Is that ideal? I doubt it. Especially for someone like yourself who is obsessed with minimal fat gain and doesn't want to cut.

    Rozenek's study has many MANY flaws in it. Some of them are based on his conclusions (and ignorance/non-discussion of preferential energy pathways), others are intrinsic to the structure.

    IF you want to base your diet and training on it or make yourself feel a bit better by adhering to his interpretation of the structure and results, go ahead. For me, the cumulative works showing higher protein = more protein synthesis, muscle sparing effects of protein and vast anecdotal evidence (including my own) is more persuasive.

    There seems to be little to be gained in debating this any longer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2013
  18. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    I agree, all I can do is put it into practice and try to build muscle by eating a bit less (but still making sure to get 100-120 of protein, some more carbs, some fat) by staying somewhat lean at the same time. Once I get to my waist circumference (at navel level) to be 49-50% of my height (it's 57-58% now...) which would mean I'm no longer considered "fat", but not lean by any means either, I'll see where to go from there.
  19. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Why don't you just do Lyle's rapid fat loss diet for 3-4 weeks ... ?

    Would it kill you to do a proper cut instead of looking for magic bullet regimes that can't do what they promise?

    You can't build muscle and lose fat simultaneously. They're polar opposite functions for the body.
  20. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    It just happens that I haven't been much into Lyle's work. Haven't read much of his stuff. Maybe it's a subconscious defence from my side because he thinks SD is nonsensical :) I don't know why.

    We can literally see weight dropping in real time (measured in days) by simply starting to fast (or eat less). So much for "longer adaptation"! We are better at following what makes sense to us intuitively. In this case, 5 days building muscle and 2 days dropping fat extensively (extensively because we're still fasting every night and still dropping some fat - night sleep is a kind of built-in maintenance that every man uses - no, Brad doesn't write about this, it's my own guess) makes perfect sense to me. Plus some health benefits of periodic longer-than-night-sleep fasting, otherwise religious people wouldn't be doing it.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

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