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I know alot of you take tons of protein powder and supps, but I hear from trainers, and other people that even if you work out very hard and heavy, the body can only process and use so much, the rest being excreted. Furthermore, you can get all you possibly need from increasing your meat intake.

What is the opinion of the BB here on this board?
I agree that you can get all the protein you need from food, but I wouldn't limit my protein sources only to meat.
hhajdo said:
I agree that you can get all the protein you need from food, but I wouldn't limit my protein sources only to meat. [/QUOTE

I'd tend to agree with hhajdo. I know that for myself, I couldn't possibly get all my protein in with just real foods. Firstly, the time factor is a big thing for me. I wouldn't have the time to prep all the protein foods that I eat. It's a lot easier to whip up a shake.
As for the body only absorbing so much, I would say that depends on the person. There's a lot of guys that can consume 60 grams of protein in a meal and have it not affect them negatively. I myself find 25-30grams my limit but if I use ginger root, that seems to help me take in a little more.
Here is some info I found on a site:

From: TER (
Subject: Re: May I have some help on protein needs?
Date: December 17, 2002 at 1:30 pm PST

In Reply to: May I have some help on protein needs? posted by SuzNYC on December 13, 2002 at 4:43 pm:

Here's some great feedback from Dr. Ellington Darden, PhD, who has his doctorate in biochemistry:

How Much Protein?

Dr. Darden, in the last Classic X you mentioned that ingesting 300 grams of protein may be injurious to your kidneys. What about a man of 170 pounds who lifts weights? Is 170 to 200 grams is too much, let alone say from 200 to 220 grams of protein? Just how much protein does a man or woman need to build muscle?


You need a lot less than most bodybuilders believe. My research shows that the U.S Department of Agriculture's recommendation for protein is on target. They recommend 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Thus, at 170 pounds, or 77.3 kilograms, you would require 61.84 grams of protein a day (77.3 x .8 = 61.84).

But wait a minute, you must be saying, I want to build muscle. How much more do I need?

To answer this question, you have to go back to the USDA's original research and determine how they did their calculations. First, they established a minimum need for a reference person who weighed 70 kilograms. Then, they subjected this data to the bell-shaped curve and appropriate plus or minus standard deviations.

The minimum protein requirement for the reference person was 23.8 grams daily. This meant that 50 percent of the population would have their needs satisfied by 23.8 grams or less of protein per day. And 98 percent of the population would have their protein needs met by 30.8 grams of protein a day.

Since most people do not consume ideal compositions of protein foods at each meal, the USDA added another 30 percent increment to the figure. The protein requirement per day rose to 40 grams per day, or 0.57 grams per kilogram of body weight.

And finally, just to sure that there was no question about the rationale, the figure was boosted from 0.57 per kilogram of body weight to 0.8. According to standard deviations, the 0.8 figure was twice as much as 98 percent of the population actually needed. The requirements of athletes and fitness-minded people were also considered in determining the guide number.

So, Charlie, even if you are a high-intensity bodybuilder, it's highly unlikely that at a body weight of 170 pounds (77.3 kilograms), you would require more than 61.84 grams of protein per day. Remember, the 0.8-gram figure is not the minimum amount, it's double minimum. Even if you fall at the upper end of the 98-percentile range, all you would have to do is consume a little bit more protein (not massive amounts) — which you probably already do. Nutritional studies reveal that men in the United States average more than 100 grams of protein a day.

Also, you should understand that only 22 percent of muscle is actually protein. Most of muscle is composed of water. It takes only a small amount of extra protein to produce a pound of muscle, particularly since so little muscular growth takes place within a week. Your 61.84 grams of protein a day guideline will be more than enough for you to build several pounds of muscle per week.

I know that for more than 40 years, almost everyone interested in bodybuilding has been brainwashed — primarily by the manufacturers of protein supplements — to believe that people who want to build muscle require massive amounts of protein each day. Even a few scientists somewhat and reluctantly agree. But the vast majority of nutritional research shows that massive amounts of protein are not necessary or desirable to build large muscles.


The late Mike Mentzer, the only bodybuilder to score a perfect 300 in the Mr. Universe competitive, consumed a very high carb diet...60/20/20 in comparison to his peers who believed in 1 - 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Even Cory Everson, multi-Ms. Olympia title winner notes in three of her books that she finally settled on a dietary ratio of 60/20/20 because higher-protein diets were too muscle-wasting. While her web-site is now accessible only by credit card, her books can be found at Barnes & Noble.

And as Mr. Mentzer once wrote:

"Most bodybuilders fail to recognize that muscle magazines are not science journals, but rather commercial catalogues whose primary reason for existence is to sell nutritional supplements and exercise equipment. (One simply can't be too careful in this time of philosophical default. Even science journals have become suspect recently, as the proliferation of cases involving fraudulent research data at the highest levels indicates.) While these publications do contain factually-based, well-reasoned articles, these are rarities so at odds with the reams of contradictory misinformation that they are rendered valueless to those with atrophied critical faculties and often overlooked by the more intelligent readers."

Also, is your buddy a six-day per week weight trainer and does she do a lot of aerobics? If so, then that only adds to the problem. Training more than four days/week is wayyyyy too much because your muscles never really have the chance to fully recover/heal. For example, if you train chest on Monday and back on Tuesday, you're working chest, arms, back and shoulders both days. Because there is so much interaction between muscle groups/bodyparts, it is impossible to truly isolate one muscle from the other. Ask any kineseologist about the idea of muscle isolation and you'll get a pretty good chuckle out of them...being a nurse, you probably understood this already.

I can offer this: if your friend were to adopt a more sane (SAFE) diet, reduce training to three days a week using strict, high intensity methodologies and use gentle aerobics techniques such as easy walking, etc., she could easily put on up to 15lbs of pure muscle in a year without spending lots of $$$$ on protein supplements, etc. I did it in the past with clients and enjoyed the same success myself...

Achilles, 0.8 g of protein per kg of bodyweight is not enough for bodybuilders.
Most studies indicate that protein synthesis is increased when at least 1.6-1.8 g/kg is used.
Also, increased protein intake will not damage your kidneys.

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000 Mar;10(1):28-38 Related Articles, Links

Do regular high protein diets have potential health risks on kidney function in athletes?

Poortmans JR, Dellalieux O.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Institute of Physical Education and Kinesiotherapy, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

Excess protein and amino acid intake have been recognized as hazardous potential implications for kidney function, leading to progressive impairment of this organ. It has been suggested in the literature, without clear evidence, that high protein intake by athletes has no harmful consequences on renal function. This study investigated body-builders (BB) and other well-trained athletes (OA) with high and medium protein intake, respectively, in order to shed light on this issue. The athletes underwent a 7-day nutrition record analysis as well as blood sample and urine collection to determine the potential renal consequences of a high protein intake. The data revealed that despite higher plasma concentration of uric acid and calcium, Group BB had renal clearances of creatinine, urea, and albumin that were within the normal range. The nitrogen balance for both groups became positive when daily protein intake exceeded 1.26 but there were no correlations between protein intake and creatinine clearance, albumin excretion rate, and calcium excretion rate. To conclude, it appears that protein intake under 2. 8 does not impair renal function in well-trained athletes as indicated by the measures of renal function used in this study.

....On average, the body builders consumed about 3,900 calories and 169g of protein per day (1.94g/kg) while the other group consumed 2,600 calories and 99g of protein per day (1.35g/kg). Some of the bodybuilders consumed a protein intake of up to 2.8g/kg.

Nitrogen balance (a measure of the amount of protein eaten minus the amount excreted) was positive in all athletes eating more than 1.26g of protein/kg but no different between groups.

Although some blood parameters (blood uric acid and calcium) were higher in the body builders, there was no correlation between protein intake and markers of kidney function (creatinine clearance, albumin excretion rate, and calcium excretion rate).

The researchers concluded that protein intake under 2.8g/kg does not impair renal function. From the results of this study, there is finally evidence that high protein diets may not be harmful to the kidneys of healthy athletes. It appears that high protein diets are only harmful in those who have pre-existing kidney dysfunctions. Prior speculations that high protein intake would cause kidney damage appear unfounded...

Int J Sport Nutr 1998 Dec;8(4):426-47 Related Articles, Links

Effects of exercise on dietary protein requirements.

Lemon PW.

Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, 3M Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7.

This paper reviews the factors (exercise intensity, carbohydrate availability, exercise type, energy balance, gender, exercise training, age, and timing of nutrient intake or subsequent exercise sessions) thought to influence protein need. Although there remains some debate, recent evidence suggests that dietary protein need increases with rigorous physical exercise. Those involved in strength training might need to consume as much as 1.6 to 1.7 g protein x kg(-1) x day(-1) (approximately twice the current RDA) while those undergoing endurance training might need about 1.2 to 1.6 g x kg(-1) x day(-1) (approximately 1.5 times the current RDA). Future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these recommendations and asses whether these protein intakes can enhance exercise performance. Despite the frequently expressed concern about adverse effects of high protein intake, there is no evidence that protein intakes in the range suggested will have adverse effects in healthy individuals.

J Appl Physiol 1992 Nov;73(5):1986-95 Related Articles, Links

Evaluation of protein requirements for trained strength athletes.

Tarnopolsky MA, Atkinson SA, MacDougall JD, Chesley A, Phillips S, Schwarcz HP.

Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Leucine kinetic and nitrogen balance (NBAL) methods were used to determine the dietary protein requirements of strength athletes (SA) compared with sedentary subjects (S). Individual subjects were randomly assigned to one of three protein intakes: low protein (LP) = 0.86 g, moderate protein (MP) = 1.40 g, or high protein (HP) = 2.40 g for 13 days for each dietary treatment. NBAL was measured and whole body protein synthesis (WBPS) and leucine oxidation were determined from L-[1-13C]leucine turnover. NBAL data were used to determine that the protein intake for zero NBAL for S was 0.69 and for SA was 1.41 A suggested recommended intake for S was 0.89 and for SA was 1.76 For SA, the LP diet did not provide adequate protein and resulted in an accommodated state (decreased WBPS vs. MP and HP), and the MP diet resulted in a state of adaptation [increase in WBPS (vs. LP) and no change in leucine oxidation (vs. LP)]. The HP diet did not result in increased WBPS compared with the MP diet, but leucine oxidation did increase significantly, indicating a nutrient overload. For S the LP diet provided adequate protein, and increasing protein intake did not increase WBPS. On the HP diet leucine oxidation increased for S. These results indicated that the MP and HP diets were nutrient overloads for S. There were no effects of varying protein intake on indexes of lean body mass (creatinine excretion, body density) for either group. In summary, protein requirements for athletes performing strength training are greater than for sedentary individuals and are above current Canadian and US recommended daily protein intake requirements for young healthy males.

Int J Sport Nutr 1991 Jun;1(2):127-45 Related Articles, Links

Protein and amino acid needs of the strength athlete.

Lemon PW.

Applied Physiology Research Laboratory, Kent State University, OH 44242.

The debate regarding optimal protein/amino acid needs of strength athletes is an old one. Recent evidence indicates that actual requirements are higher than those of more sedentary individuals, although this is not widely recognized. Some data even suggest that high protein/amino acid diets can enhance the development of muscle mass and strength when combined with heavy resistance exercise training. Novices may have higher needs than experienced strength athletes, and substantial interindividual variability exists. Perhaps the most important single factor determining absolute protein/amino acid need is the adequacy of energy intake. Present data indicate that strength athletes should consume approximately 12-15% of their daily total energy intake as protein, or about 1.5-2.0 g protein/kg.d-1 (approximately 188-250% of the U.S. recommended dietary allowance)...
I would just as soon take in more than enough protein & have my body excrete, it than NOT taking in enough protein...