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Hello, firstly I want to say, GREAT WEBSITE! I always visit muscle101 for my weight training needs, and love to read your newsletters, they have helped me add 40lbs to my frame and have helped me get out of numerous training difficulties.
I do have a question about protein. My diet right now is very protein centric, mainly consisting of lean beef, eggs, and some tuna, I have to confess though, I barely eat enough greens as I should! I also take a protein supplement (around 52g per serving usually once a day, although I do try to take it twice a day).
I am concerned though about how taking so much protein may negatively affect me, especially concerning things like gout later in life.
My question is basically; does my taking so much protein have any negative drawbacks, since I believe I am using most of the protein to repair and build muscle tissue. I thought that maybe it won't however I am not sure. Any light you can help shed on this will be a great help! Thanks very much in advance for your time!
Thanks for the kind words and question.
I think the most important thing you have to remember is that everyone requires different protein requirements.
Sure, you may read somewhere that you absolutely MUST have 1.5 or 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight in order to build muscle mass but in reality, you might not need that much.
You might only need .5 or 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. It all depends on how your body reacts to certain protein levels.
If you were to talk to a nutritionist, he/she will tell you that all you need is about .5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
If you were to talk to a body building nutrition guru, he/she will tell you that you need 1.5 grams to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Who’s right? Well, their both right. You see, depending on your level of fitness and training level, you might need more or less protein each and every day. However, only you can tell.
This is how I like to gauge my protein intake. I’ll start at about .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Since I weight about 240 pounds, my protein intake will be about 200 to 240 grams each day. I’ll keep this protein intake constant for about 4 weeks and keep a close eye on my progress. Usually, this is enough protein for me to keep growing and getting stronger. I’ve tried playing around with the figures and .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight works pretty good for me.
However, when I was younger and trying to gain more and more muscle mass, my protein intake was as high as 280 to 300 grams per day. I’ll admit, it’s hard to take in this amount of protein and to tell you the truth, I got the same results with 240 grams as I did with 300 grams. Again, only you can tell but from my experience, if you want to gain lean body mass, you need to be taking in about .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Now, I believe what you are concerned about is having too much protein in your system, which may cause gout. Gout is basically a build up of uric acid in and around the joints and connective tissues of the body. Elbows and knees are specifically vulnerable.
When the kidneys are overworked by having to convert too much protein, your body will remove the uric acid from your blood stream and basically place them as deposits around your joints. Just how much extra protein will cause this?
Again, it’s how your body reacts to different protein levels but from my experience, you’d have to take in quite a bit of protein for this to happen. I’d say anywhere from 2.5 grams plus of protein per pound of body weight and up might put you at risk.
Here’s my advice, keep doing what’s working for you. Keep your protein intake to about .8 to 1 grams per pound of body weight and you should have no problems.
Also, you may want to cycle your protein intake. That is, after you’ve completed your training cycle (EI: 12 to 14 week cycle), cut your protein intake to .5 grams per pounds of body weight and give your kidneys a break.
Or you may want to increase your protein intake as you near your peak in your training cycle, possibly up to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight and than cut your protein intake down to .5 grams at the completion of your training cycle.
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I hope this helps,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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