Personal Trainer Denver CO – How Much Protein Do I Need?
Here’s a question from one of my Twitter tweeps, Shodanagal, AKA Lynn Higgin with shodanahealing.blogspot.com. She posted, “Mark-question re protein powder…(I also re-started workouts). I’m Vegetarian so need protein! What’s a good maximum?”
Getting enough protein in your diet can be a real challenge if you are Vegetarian. I’ll save info for how Vegetarians can get the protein they need in another post and focus on answering the question of how much is needed here.
It is a generally accepted rule of thumb that 30% of your caloric intake should come from protein. This is the standard for leading fitness companies like Beachbody and mainstream nutritionists are happy with it.
Many mainstream health professionals say that 30 percent protein is excessive, and 20 percent, which is based on the RDA’s recommendation of 0.8 g/kg to 1.2-1.8 g/kg, is fine. Well, it isn’t. 20 percent is too little protein for athletes and those who work out regularly. Dr. Lemon, in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (19:5, S179-S190,1986), states:
“Several types of evidence indicate that exercise causes substantial changes in protein metabolism. In fact, recent data suggests that the protein recommended dietary allowance might actually be 100% higher for individuals who exercise on a regular basis. Optimal intakes, although unknown, may be even higher, especially for individuals attempting to increase muscle mass and strength.”
So, in essence, the more you exercise, the greater your protein needs will be.
Do be careful not to overdo it with your protein supplementation. Too much protein will destroy your kidneys. A lesser known fact is that studies show that cancer thrives on protein. I talked to a girl who had undergone chemotherapy for leukemia and later had more chemotherapy for another type of cancer. She was almost 21 years old! Soon after I learned this I saw her down a 90 gram protein shake. She had been imitating the eating habits of her 230 lb body builder father. I think they were on to something with those studies.
In conclusion, eat more protein than what RDA recommends if you are physically active, but not so much that stones and tumors start to form.