What I think is a more reasonable way to view protein

(Bob M) #1

This is an older article by Mark’s Daily Apple:

I like this one. It has a lot of information in it, and I think the info seems correct to me.

In particular, I like this:

3.3 grams/kg of body weight!! For a YEAR. No ill effects.

Now, that was in “athletes”, and unfortunately I can’t get to the study (the link for “15” does not work anymore, at least on my computer.

Also like this:

I’d bet good money this is true in humans, too. Why do I think so? Because I often eat 130+ grams of protein in a single meal and get no ammonia smell, ever. But my morning workout this morning was 90 minutes of body weight (and some actual weight) training to failure. Not every exercise is to failure, but 9/10 are. By this, I mean I do an exercise until I can’t physically do it anymore.

For those of us who are exercising, I think we likely have higher protein limits.

Now, if you just started a keto diet and are 100+ pounds overweight, should you specifically eat high protein, especially if you’re not exercising? I’m not sure about that. It’s unclear to me.

If you read this, let me know if there’s anything you think isn’t true.

(Stickin' with mammoth) #2

This is interesting and make a lot of sense if you can tease out the variables among individuals. I’m with you on

because exercise intensity is relative. A severely out of shape person might be stressing their body with a two mile walk more than an avid runner would doing a 10 km. That’s how I always used to shut down idiots at my gym who tried to shame obese members–those newbies were statistically making more massive gains in their health each time they showed up in comparison to the regulars just doing maintenance programs.

So, what’s “exercising”? Muscle stress, glycogen depletion, cardiovascular load? Which one effects protein the most? Should you level up protein with exercise intensity or will that stress certain systems in certain people? How do aerobic and anaerobic exercise change the dynamic? Is there a learning curve for protein in the body as it transitions from out of shape to athlete?

Mark adds “If you’re on bed rest or recovering from an injury or illness and can’t exactly make it to the gym, you should still eat extra protein to stave off lean mass attrition and improve healing.” How much extra protein? Recovery from what? COVID, cancer, liver transplant? I think he assumes the systems in the body that process protein are not what are recovering.

Anyway, interesting ideas. With keto, there definitely seems to be one solid trend throughout: Experiment carefully, your results may vary.


I eat way over 2g/kg for LBM protein all my life… My body liked it. It’s enough for me.
I am not particularly active (I am a bit. not nearly as much as I would like, I am working on it) but I just can’t go below 2g/kg longer term. I actually tried and failed basically every day. Much protein is normal and satiating to me.
I see 3.3g/kg as the limit and as I am significantly below in average (I do 4-5 sometimes, my lean bodyweight is small and I have my high-cal days. never a problem) and my body doesn’t complain, it should be good.
But I take minimizing my protein intake more serious now that it seems I can “control” my food intake better than ever. (Not a real control, I just am determined and my body is more or less on board. And I don’t eat just because. I wait for some valid reason. What a novelty.)

It’s surely individual to a great extent. Some of us regularly eat high protein and it’s fine. Others experience adequate is way better for them.

I never got an ammonia smell from 150g protein in one sitting but I never had keto breath either. And I never ever ever ever felt I ate too much protein and it’s a problem. Too much fat (mostly ratio wise)? Sure. Overeating? That was half my life or more. Too much carbs? Yep. But too much protein? Never experienced that. I automatically stop somewhere beyond 200g and my average can’t go higher than 3.3g/kg so I don’t worry much about it.
I just don’t want to waste protein but I still can’t keep it adequate. I manage to eat 1000 kcal only for my first meal (super rare but happened)? I already scratch 2g/kg (or else I stay hungry). And I eat more for my first (and in good cases, only) meal. Sometimes way more. High-protein is inavoidable for me.