Posted by: Ron | 2009/02/10

Protein article

Hi Vanessa,

I think you repsonded to a post of mine last year regarding protein consumption. you said that more calories should be consumed If i wanted to gain muscle weight?
If not sorry :-)

Anyway, i just wanted to know what you think of this article that I found...

" There are all kinds of diet recommendations all over the bodybuilding magazines and websites that advise to divide your eating into different " ratios"  and " percentages"  for building muscle mass and gaining weight.

Some recommend high fat, low carb, others say moderate carbs, moderate fat, high carbs, low fat, etc. But the one thing that each and every one of these " weight gain"  / " muscle building"  diets say is it must be HIGH in protein.

Well, I' m here to tell you the TRUTH. It is NOT necessary at all to eat a diet high in protein to gain muscle weight.

Just about everything you read says to eat 1-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Some even go as high as suggesting you have to not only eat high, but massive amounts of protein to build muscle and gain weight.

This MYTH is due to 3 reasons:

1) Everyone thinks that muscle tissue is made up mostly of protein

2) Everyone thinks that either high amounts of fat or high amounts of carbohydrates will cause you to get fat

3) Everyone thinks that protein has a " thermogenic"  (inner-body temperature raising) effect, which helps burn fat

All three of these beliefs are completely wrong! (In this article I am going to give you a very brief explanation, but in later articles I will go into more detail).

First, muscle tissue is NOT made up of mostly of protein. Muscle tissue is 70% WATER.

The other 30% is made of GLUCOSE, and AMINO ACIDS. Your muscles need just as much glucose (which is what carbohydrates are converted into), if not MORE than protein to gain muscle size.

Those that have medically studied the physiology of the human body know that amino acids are what make up protein.

However, the body uses whatever amount of amino acids it needs at that particular moment. The rest it stores for later use.

It is NOT true that you need to be eating a " steady stream"  of protein to gain muscle weight.........your body keeps a little " pool"  of stored amino acids.

Protein is by far the most difficult macronutrient to break down and digest.

The higher the amount of protein you eat the more stress you are placing on your digestive system.

Oh, by the way, what do you think happens to any excess protein??? It turns it into FAT!

Have you ever noticed how you feel when you eat a huge burger or steak?

Even after several hours have passed, it still feels like you' ve got that entire piece of meat just sitting and rotting in your stomach.

How much benefit in gaining muscle weight do you think that' s going to give you?

Have you ever drank those disgusting protein shakes or eaten those chalk-tasting protein bars? You get gas, you feel bloated, and you might even get the " runs"  (diarrhea).

That' s a major sign that your body is NOT properly digesting all of that protein!!!

There are several real-life examples of athletes that don' t consume massive amounts of protein to gain muscle weight, yet have tremendous physiques, are in excellent health, are powerful, fast, and agile.

To just name some of them:

Andreas Cahling - Swedish champion bodybuilder and Olympic gold medalist in the ski jump

Keith Holmes - World champion middleweight boxer

Bill Manetti - Powerlifting champion

Stan Price - World weight lifting record holder  bench press

Art Still - Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs MVP defensive ends, Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame

Chris Campbell - Olympic wrestling champion

Peter Hussing - European super heavyweight boxing champion

You can eat all the protein in the world and not gain one pound of muscle weight if you aren' t eating enough calories!!!!!

Remember, it doesn' t matter what we' ve been fed by the magazines and companies trying to sell us their latest protein concoction. It all comes down to the calories! " 

Do you agree with this?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSports Nutrition

Hi Ron

It true!! Bottom line is how much calories does your body need for what you expect it to do – that includes, basal metabolic rate + digestion calories (about 10%) + daily activity rate + daily exercise activity rate! And only then if you are in a slight energy positive balance will the body use its nutrients to build muscle – if you eat fewer calories, even if they are all protein, the body will use it as fuel!

However, all that said there is still some science involved! The body works best in balance. That means enough carbs as the major energy source and also to stimulate an insulin response – especially during training – which will carry the protein into the muscle cells. Thus you need both – a balance. Also you need to understand that this is the very reason we use energy drinks with added protein and protein shakes as there is a window period for optimum refueling and growth – thus we cannot rely on a plate of food to hit that period – we have to use liquid food!

So in summary:

1 – Calculate your energy need

2 – make sure the calories are a bit more if you want muscle gain – not more than 15%.

3 – Split your food into 6 or more meals to balance that amount.

4 – make sure that those calories are split into 50-60% carbs, 15-25% protein and 20% fat. Focus on low GI carbs – except during and immediately after training. Also make sure that most of you fat is good fat – at least 2/3rds. Science has proven that the body needs about 0.8g protein per kilogram of body mass to maintain and about 1.4 – 1.6 grams for athletes. Thus most guys opt for the 2g level.

5. There are 3 stages during training:

1 – Take an energy drink with about 6-8 % protein and drink it at regular intervals while training.
2 – If you perform excessive energy outputs consume another such drink for refueling.
3 – within 45 min MAX thereafter take a shake: 2/3 protein with 1/3 carbs. This step supports recovery and then building.

The six balanced meals also help with digestion – too much food and especially such as burgers and chips are too much for the digestive system to bear at once – the high fat therein also slows the digestion.
I suppose life is about balance!

Hope this clarifies thing a bit more. Shout if you need more help!

Take care.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: kimba bambatha | 2009/06/10

what do people in LMS 4-6 think about protein bars

Reply to kimba bambatha
Posted by: Mike007 | 2009/02/12

This article is absolute rubish. Bodybuiliders the extreme phenotype may be used as an examples. The author of this article was able to name one bodybuilder (out of 10 million) which does not believe in high protein. Is that enough evidence?

You are certainly able to gain muscle without large amount of protein, but if you are trying to gain muscle and stay lean, unless you are an extreely fortunate body type, you are not going to achieve this by simply eating high calories.

each of the 3 reasons this person mentions is absolute rubish.

1. The working components of muscles (myosin and actin) are proteins. Everybody had the same potential to hold water and glycogen, but if you want bigger muscles you need more proteins (myosin and actin crossbridges)

2. High amounts of carbohydrates and proteins will make you fat, unless once again you have a very fortunate body type.

3. Protein has the highest thermic affect of feeding, therefore there is some truth in the thermogenesis theory.

All in all this article is rubbish.

Reply to Mike007

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