Sunday, February 22, 2009

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

So Friday night I'm in the hotel lounge getting ready to go out for dinner, and I got suckered into a debate with a bodybuilder.
Even worse, the conversation was about protein.
So I had to listen to the bodybuilder rant and rave about how you need hundreds of grams of protein per day to build muscle.
But that's not true.
You don't need...
- to eat hundreds of grams of protein per day
- to eat chicken breast and cans of tuna at every meal
- to drink a single protein shake
(I haven't had a protein shake since the winter of 2006).
In fact, my friend Brad Pilon just wrote a shocking new book about exactly how much protein we need to change our bodies.
I read it 2 weeks ago on a quiet Friday night and I loved it. It answers all of your protein questions, from "how much should I eat" to "how much protein can I digest at one time".
Don't believe the protein hype,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
PS - Brad is a reformed protein-addict...
...You'll laugh at how obsessed he once was with protein...and how he's now leaner and healthier without massive amounts of protein in his diet.


David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts said...

I've never been impressed with the theory that you need tons of protein if you want to build muscle. The fact of the matter is that the human body is very good at recycling the protein it already has. You lose some through skin loss, hair falling out, etc, but that's it. Think of Gorilla's in the wild. They exist on what could only be described as a low protein diet, yet they are able to maintain a muscle mass of up to 500 lbs. I think this should tell you something.

- Dave

Matt Bradbury said...

Craig, like your post on protein. Way too much hype about protein/protein powder!
I'm under the notion that only 10% is actually absorbed by the body (powders that is).

Keep up the great site.


Monty said...

I agree that there has been a lot of outrageous claims by the bodybuilding circuit regarding protein intake. However, I don't think it should be underestimated that protein does have a high satiety effect for our clients that are restricting calories. With that said teaching a balanced approach to total intake is key.
Thanks for great information and products Craig.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Hey Matt!

I don't think its that low. There's no reason to believe that less than 90%+ of protein powder would be absorbed. Its really just dried milk, and the body would have no problem absorbing it across the GI tract

LittleMeat said...

Craig, I agree 100% with this post. I feel like people are so focused on PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN that they're losing site of other crucial nutrients. Even though protein is important for muscle growth and function, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing."

I actually posted on my fitness blog a few days before your post on this topic, so I guess we're on the same wave length. I, like you, find myself rolling my eyes and saying "ugh!" whenever I hear people talking about their 3 protein shakes a day in the gym.

P.S. Your book "Just Say No To Cardio" is the best fitness book I've read in years. Thanks a lot for all this great information.

Anonymous said...

tell me 1 thing. Every and i mean every bodybuilder is on high protein diet. I like the idea to not eat so much protein, but there is no real life proof. At least i cant see any.