Originally published by Christophe Adrien at http://thevikingtrainer.com/2017/04/protein/
This is one of the most common questions I hear from clients. It’s common mostly because there are so many people in the fitness industry who have a different take on the optimal protein intake. Some say two grams per pound of bodyweight, others say one gram per pound of bodyweight. Who’s right? How much protein should you eat?
Your protein intake will depend on your goals.
If you are a professional bodybuilder with fifteen years of experience under your belt, your intake is going to look different from a novice crossfit athlete. Different muscle stimuli require different amounts of protein to help repair muscle tissue. Runners will need less of it, and more carbohydrates. Powerlifters will need more of it to grow their muscles. Therefore, in order to figure out how much protein you should eat, you need to first figure out your goals.
Is there such a thing as too much protein?
Like everything else, too much protein can take a toll on the body. Excess protein that your body does not use to repair tissues is broken down for energy, a process called gluconeogenesis. Excess energy you do not use stores as fat. Another consideration is that the byproducts of protein metabolism, compounds like creatinine, put significant stress on the kidneys when there is an excess. Over time, excessive intake can lead to renal disease. How much protein is that? Don’t worry too much, you have to eat A LOT for a LONG time to make that happen. For example, Ronnie Coleman, a famous bodybuilder who peaked in the early 2000’s, ate 600 grams of protein per day for decades. His kidneys are toast.
How much protein should you eat?
The best way to estimate your optimal intake is to take a look at you goals. Different goals require different types of exercise. There are two major types of exercise out there: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise is endurance training, like running, swimming, and cycling. Anaerobic exercise consists of short bursts of exertion, like lifting weights. Each type of exercise has a different effect on your body and will require different amounts of protein to reach your goals and improve.