I've quite often seen it suggested to eat a gram of protein a day per lb of body weight in order to maintain/build muscle. However, to me, this seems like a crazy huge amount of protein to eat each day, and I'm also wondering where it would come from unless you eat large quantities of the same food? Am I mistaking something here and if I'm not which ways can you up your protein intake without eating the same foods over and over again?
asked bytomcowlin (103)
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on June 12, 2013
at 01:36 PM
The minimum required protein based on nitrogen requirements is something like 40g-50g for any average size person. This is fairly easy to reach, assuming you have access to food of any type.
The optimal range for muscle repair when active is a very, very wide range -- something like 70g-150g for an average (or slightly above average) person. People throw around all kind of ratios ... 0.6-1.0 grams per lean body weight or even total body weight seems to be suggested a lot.
Personally, I think that the high end of that is wasteful, with regards to muscle repair. 1g @ 190lbs would put me at 190g's a day ... and yet, I probably hit that most days. I think the low end is much more reasonable. I think the best target, that shoehorns into the way I personally eat, is 0.8g per pound of lean body weight. At ~168lbs LBM * 0.8g, this puts my target at 134g a day, which again, is pretty easy to reach -- and I do not use supplemental protein.
Beyond the suggested amount for muscle repair, somewhat more protein can still be factored into a good diet, but it's most likely no longer going directly to muscle repair. At that point, you are paying a premium to turn protein into glucose and fat ... which is fine, and may even have advantages, but will be more expensive than it has to be.