There are two spectrums of people when it comes to protein consumption. Those that believe protein is everything, and those that said too much protein will cause serious health problems.
Well, in the fitness industry, I believe that most of us believe that more protein is better.
Sometimes we know that something is great. But the tricky part is that we are unsure how much to eat to optimize our goals. Eventually, we either ended up eating too much of it or eating it not enough.
If this is the question you kept asking all the time. I’m going to answer your question in this post.
When a macronutrient gets overrated.
Don’t get me wrong, in fact, I love protein and I know the importance of it in building muscle. But I still need to spread a message to everyone of you. You should acknowledge every macronutrient and get know how much you actually need it.
Because sometimes we wish to maximize our results, but most beginners don’t know how much is actually enough. In the end, they just do it by eating more protein as a straightforward and simple solution.
For some beginners that are new to muscle building, we tend to have the misconception of the more protein equals to more muscle gain. For someone that thinks that protein is everything and they could skip the other two macronutrients — they substitute it with carbs or fat.
Well, don’t overdo it.
The solution is, you need to look at your goal and consume the amount of protein according to your specific goal.
Role of Protein in Fat Loss
We often have some misconception that when we eat more protein, will help us burn more fat. From the external it appears to be the fact. However, we did not further investigate the reason. Every macronutrient will add up calories.
The reason why we recommended those that wish to lose weight eat more protein based food, is that it gave us more fulness compared with carbs. With this, we will unintentionally eat less than usual, and this leads to weight loss.
From the bulk and cut aspects, when you want to cut you also need to eat more protein. The reason here is that when you are in a calorie deficit, you need to make sure there are sufficient amount of amino acid in your diet that make you able to maintain your muscle while losing fat. In this case, protein is actually just playing the role of maintaining, not burning fat.
The reason why it appeared you are burning more fat is because when you maintain more muscle, you will eventually have highier metabolism from those that losing weight without caring about muscle maintenance. They’ll be mostly lose both fat and muscle.
Protein Requirement For Cutting
If you are a person who lifts heavy and already has some amount of muscle. The protein that you eat during cut and bulk should be in a similar amounts. That is because it not only help you grow muscle, but it also important in help you maintaining muscle. The more muscle you have, the more protein you should be eating despite you are in cutting phase.
The bottom line, at least 0.7g for per pound of body weight. And up to 1g per pound of bodyweight is enough to reserving muscle.
If you are sedentary and is a lean individual, you still need to maintain some muscle in healthy rate, then at least 0.4g of protein for per pound of bodyweight would help you in muscle maintenance.
Role of Protein in building muscle
There are also a misconception of protein when it comes to build muscle. More protein doesn’t means that you will gain more muscle. We saw everyone that eat protein and somehow the importance of this macronutrient is overrated.
I had get through this recently, when I get the results that I need to eat for a certain amount of calories in a day in order to build muscle. There are a scentences that I saw from web that keeps telling me, ‘Protein should be compromise 40% of your diet.”
But in fact I’m in a surplus, but I still I subtract the 40% together with the 200 surplus, and the requirement ended up sky rocket. In the end, I ended up setting a goal of 150g of protein per day.
Eating 150g of protein for a 95lb female. It’s actually too much and not necessary!
But during that time I think that in order to build more muscle, the more protein is best. However my lifestyle doen’t allowed me to do so. And I had a hard time to hit my protein goals. And I ended up thinking that I don’t meet my macro requirement. (At that time, I did not know 100g is pretty good for building muscle for my weight.)
The reason why protein help build muscle is that protein also need to collaborate with carbs (the energy provider) to have protein synthesis in our muscle. And there are limit of the amount of protein that our body can absorb. Yes, we should eat more protein that is a amount that could maximize the growth, but more than that would make no difference.
Also, if you did not eat enough carbs, there are no extra energy for your body to work against muscle building. Even most of the calories you eat are come from protein and you eat enough, it’s a huge burden for your body and actually our body needs more energy to digest protein, but too much of it is actually unnecessasary.
Bulking Protein Requirement
Well, rules of thumb here, I’ll tell you how much protein you should eat and the rules.
Do not divide the amount of protein from the percentage of you total calories. Exceot if you are ongoing some high protein diet such as Keto Diet or Paleo Diet. For normal diet, the amount of protein that optimize the result is between 1-1.5 of protein per pound of you bodyweight. Any number between this is enough to build muscle.
So, hen it comes to macronutrient, more does means effective. You need to consider is ‘how much’. Excess protein actually brings no difference from those that are eating the optimal amount of protein. Once you reach the amount that is enough for you to build muscle, it actually makes no difference. Instead it’s best to consume protein together with enough carbs to optimise the best results.
I would like to end this post with the bricks and worker analogy again. If we use the analygy of the protein as the brick and the carbohydrates as the worker.
Contractor: “The expansion only needs 500 bricks (protein), why did you give me 1000?”
Supplier: “You said there will be some expansion right? More is better.”
Contractor:”(Sigh…I’m in trouble now..) Okay okay, and how many workers(carb) do you have?”
Supplier: “We’ve got only 2.”
Let us grow together,