How LITTLE Protein Can I Get By With?



This seems like a different question than most are asking here . . .

Just how LITTLE protein can I get away with eating (not eating) for backpacking for 5-7 days at a time without significantly diminishing performance?

I can load up on protein every 5-7 days if I need to catch up with my minimum RDA? The thread titled "We need MUCH less protein that we’ve been told" referenced an article on the NCBI web site Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition which seems to boil it down (in TABLE 6-4) to (males 51+), 170lbs (it does not go higher so I wonder if that’s lean BM ) 0.8g/kg or 63g/day.

I could carry a lot less weight if I only needed 63g a day and make up for any possible deficit when I got to a resupply point where I can eat all I want for a day…

Is it safe to go even lower than 0.8g/kg/day for short periods of endurance activity for a few days at a time? The less weight you carry the less muscle strain and the faster one can get to high protein meals . . . .

I wonder if anyone has ever done any studies on short temporary protein deficits for endurance sports.

My LEAN body mass could be as low as 180 pounds but i’m at 198 right now. I plan on hiking with a 600-800 calorie deficit consumption and rely on burning body fat for the difference. I will be intermittent fasting by doing late breakfast and early dinners (eating all day)

In that book referenced above I found "There is little evidence that muscular activity increases the need for protein, except for the small amount required for the development of muscles during physical conditioning (Torun et al., 1977). Vigorous activity that leads to profuse sweating, such as in heavy work and sports, and exposure to heat increases nitrogen loss from the skin, but with acclimatization to a warm environment, the excessive skin loss is reduced and may be partially compensated by decreased renal excretion (WHO, 1985). In view of the margin of safety in the RDA, no increment is added for work or training."


Another reason is that beef jerky is EXPENSIVE and heavy for the amount of calories. I can get a fresh steak or a few burgers for the price of a bag of jerky but I can use protein powder for a lot of it but one can get sick of protein powder after a few weeks.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #3

You can safely go down to about 0.6 g/day/kg lean body mass. That is the minimum to prevent muscle wasting, I believe. The 0.8 g figure was set as the recommended minimum to give a little safety margin.

There are two issues concerning dietary protein: first, there is an irreducible amount of nitrogen loss daily, which must be made up, or muscle wasting starts. Hence the 0.6 g minimum. Second, nine of the 22 amino acids found in the human body are essential, and must therefore be supplied from dietary intake, since the body cannot manufacture them from other amino acids.

While protein deficiency is not an immediate death sentence, it can cause damage that is hard to recover from.


OK, That was actually in the article I was referring to but at my age it says .75 and my lean body mass is estimated to be 168 pounds so my safe long term minimum would be 57 grams. The studies coming up with these numbers also took into account the average of the QUALITY of protein with lower amounts for higher quality (0.54 to g/kg per day) from whole foods. Protein supplements are more digestible than whole food.

(Bunny) #5

Always wanted to make a simple super nutritious biscuit (one bite is lunch and dinner) or thin waffer that you could eat in an emergency or when you skip a meal using a compression machine without cooking it…lol

Not sure how long it would last without preservatives though, maybe vacuum sealed?


Chlorella chia waffers/biscuit:

Chia seeds

Premium beef jerk cut into strips or diced


Wheat grass

Brewers yeast (non-fortified)

Nutritional yeast (non-fortified)

Sunflower seeds

Coconut flakes

MCT oil

Flax seed ground (organic)

Himalayan sea salt

Type 2 Resistant starch powdered

My crazy ideas :joy::rofl::sweat_smile::joy::rofl::laughing::sweat_smile::rofl:

(Troy) #6

There’s your Keto Food Truck Business😄
And stop by at all the Carnivals, set up shop!

Bumpin’ Bunny’s Bistro
Or the Triple :honeybee: Bees I mean

See you on the next season of Carnival Eats and the Food Truck competition🤣