4

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Top limit of protein intake?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

So part of Leangains protocol is keeping yourself at a high protein intake. The standard is 1g per pound of bodyweight I believe for bodybuilders. I would think this is considered a high protein diet and if I calculated that into a 2000 calorie diet for myself it would be 36% of my caloric intake (180g.) Martin also stated that during times of caloric restriction he would recommend increasing the amount of protein so that your body has extra aminos and doesn't use muscle for energy.

My question is how much is too much protein in a given meal or in a given day? I recently ate a meal where the protein content was about 52% of the meal and I am feeling tired afterwards. I kindof thought it felt like a sugar crash, so is that too much protein? Is the protein causing insulin spikes/blood sugar swings at that intake? I know it's recommended to get about 35% of your caloric intake in protein but I'm sure that can go higher or lower depending on your needs.

For reference I am hoping to hit that 6-pack leanness level and I currently work out for about 1.5 hours MWF which includes 3x5 of lifts followed by a shorter metcon.

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on October 27, 2012
at 08:52 PM

Depend I keep my protein to a max of 60 a day.no more than 25 grams per meal, which seems to be the threshold of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) which can cause aging, supposedly going above 25 g causes your body to go into cell proliferation mode, instead of the favorable cell repair mode.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 27, 2012
at 07:19 AM

If you take the time to spam your vblog here, at least take the time to edit your video so it's not sideways. You can do it yourself within youtube's edit function.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 19, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Thank you for posting the links to these studies. They give much food for thought.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 19, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Thanks, that makes sense to have a large meal crash.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 19, 2011
at 12:08 AM

i dont track numbers too well, but i have ran a day here or there through fitday occasionally to see and one of those days, for the whole day's food intake i think the protein might have been over 50%. That was prolly an unusually low fat-intake day, though. Fat, being so dense calorically, and so easy to consume a lot of, usually ends up being the majority of the day's calories by far.

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 18, 2011
at 11:38 PM

That's right-- although I've been trimming the PWO carbs lately, just to see how few I need.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 18, 2011
at 11:31 PM

I was also wondering how much protein is too much in terms of an insulin response. Stephen, do you have a ballpark ratio of calories on WO days vs rest days. Do this ratio change whether its a HIIT day vs Heavy lifting?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I you're low carb for 2 days in a row, you start to adapt. Takes longer the more carbs you cycle in. Goes faster the more you exercise fasted.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:23 PM

If I'm constantly carb-cycling between work and rest days will that inhibit keto-adaptation?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:23 PM

I believe I asked you before and you said workout days were minimal to zero carbs and workout days were more in the 100g range right? I think it could also just be the large meal tiredness.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 18, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Keto adaptation likely hasn't happened yet. Takes a couple weeks for most.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Thanks stephen. Do you have any comments on my update as to this was a very low carb meal when my last meal pre-fast was at about 8-90g carbs (pwo)?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 06:16 PM

I should probably also note that my meal was very low in carbs - coming only from some lettuce/celery. I suppose the tired feeling could be my body being confused by such a low carb intake. The last time this happened a small amount of dense carb food got my energy levels normalized.

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8 Answers

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 19, 2011
at 05:05 AM

Define what you're looking at for "upper limit". Max you can digest? Max you get use out of? They're 2 different things.

Physically speaking, I believe the top limit on protein is how much you can physically eat and have it be digested (and not come out the other end). Unless you're doing powders, you just cant eat enough to overload your system. It's filling and takes a long time to digest. A 16 ounce steak is something like 90grams of protein. That's a big honking chunk of meat.

Whether you can actually get use of that depends on how much you need the amino acids. If your body doesn't use them, it's going to pretty much eliminate them. It doesn't really store them like it does carbs.

In re. your tiredness, I'm guessing it was a digestion "crash" due to the size of the meal vs. a sugar crash. Large meals can cause an insulin spike, even if there are no carbs.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 19, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Thanks, that makes sense to have a large meal crash.

1
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 18, 2011
at 06:56 PM

Edit: to actually answer your question. Very roughly estimating, I eat about 3-4 palm-sized pieces of meat for each meal, which is 9-12 oz, which is 63-84g of protein. I will sometimes eat more if I'm still hungry.

I'm following a similar program, and I will also feel a bit tired after the LARGE leangains-style PWO meal. Because I feel more "good" tired, I haven't seen it as much of a problem. I sense you are feeling "bad" tired (excessively fatigued) as opposed to "good" tired (satisfied after hard work and good meal).

I have also checked my blood glucose after these meals, and it is pretty high (110 or so) even after a low-carb meal. So I am probably getting a large insulin dose-- although I don't feel a "crash" as such.

I don't eat as much or get as tired on my non-workout days.

Good luck with your program!

9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 18, 2011
at 11:38 PM

That's right-- although I've been trimming the PWO carbs lately, just to see how few I need.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:23 PM

I believe I asked you before and you said workout days were minimal to zero carbs and workout days were more in the 100g range right? I think it could also just be the large meal tiredness.

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on January 18, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I eat an absolute ton of meat. But nearly every food has a limit. I eat what seems appealing, my body does a fanciful job of saying, that no longer tastes good even tho I've eaten alot and know it does. For protein, that # is HUGE for me personally. I've downed 32oz steaks during some overeating self- testing. I think without chugging powder, it would be hard to overdo it...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:59 PM

I you're low carb for 2 days in a row, you start to adapt. Takes longer the more carbs you cycle in. Goes faster the more you exercise fasted.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 18, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Keto adaptation likely hasn't happened yet. Takes a couple weeks for most.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 06:17 PM

Thanks stephen. Do you have any comments on my update as to this was a very low carb meal when my last meal pre-fast was at about 8-90g carbs (pwo)?

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 18, 2011
at 11:31 PM

I was also wondering how much protein is too much in terms of an insulin response. Stephen, do you have a ballpark ratio of calories on WO days vs rest days. Do this ratio change whether its a HIIT day vs Heavy lifting?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on January 18, 2011
at 08:23 PM

If I'm constantly carb-cycling between work and rest days will that inhibit keto-adaptation?

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 27, 2012
at 07:17 AM

I eat 500g steak or a similar amount of chicken after workout, and my fat loss progress is steady for months (currently below 13%). I also eat a lot of carbs in the meal, for a total of ~1500 cals. My workout-day ratios are roughly 50%/30%/20% c/p/f. Some insulin increase is actually desired after workout.

On off-days I'm roughly 10%/30%/60%. I follow LeanGains, and am on a -20/+20% recomp.

As to your workout, 90 mins three times a day might be too much on a calorie deficit. Losing body fat is mostly about diet, not how you work out. I work out three times a week, 30 mins at a time. Very minimal RPT workout, 3 exercises, 2 working sets each. I maintain or have slight progress in my lifts. I don't do cardio at all. If your workout works for you, and you don't feel overtrained or exhausted, that's great - just listen to your body.

0
Medium avatar

on October 27, 2012
at 05:12 AM

Here in Japan, we have all you can eat steak self-grill at your table joints. I regularly eat a kilo or two of pure meat and fat. On a regular basis (I too do Leangains) I eat 2g/kg bodyweight. 3G per kilo as Martin recommends makes my fat loss stall. Really it's more about ratios than grams. I'm cutting. When protein exceeds about 35-40% of my calories at a meal, I feel lousy. Grams per sitting don't matter; it's the ratio and daily numbers. 8 pack coming along "vein"ly!

0
26f1c6e9fbecc4ac6948f8f395979a81

(503)

on January 19, 2011
at 04:43 AM

When you figure your intake requirement for protein based on .7g to 1g per pound, I think you're supposed to use your "lean mass" and not full body weight. So if you're 180 pounds, but 10% body fat, you would need 162g of protein and not 180g. I think I read somewhere (maybe in Cordain's book?) that the theoretical limit of processing protein is around 35% of your total caloric intake.

-1
Eb717b3230de17a7c870a0292696e6bc

on October 27, 2012
at 04:13 AM

I used to take in crazy amouts of protein then I did some research here's what I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5F9rLxPyyI&feature=plcp please respond

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 27, 2012
at 07:19 AM

If you take the time to spam your vblog here, at least take the time to edit your video so it's not sideways. You can do it yourself within youtube's edit function.

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