top of page

Protein Power


Protein Power!..


We all know what Protein is and what it does for us but if it’s still a bit vague regarding its importance by the time you read this you will!… Within the fitness industry high protein diets get touted about like nothing else but quite rightly so because when you look at the scientific evidence it’s pretty much a no brainier!…


Many people think high protein diets are really only for body-builders and the like but this couldn’t be further from the truth… Dr Gabrielle Lyon an expert in the field of nutrition believes the current obesity epidemic is largely attributed to being under muscled and as we age we become more resistant to protein synthesis so our diets need to become increasingly protein rich… I totally agree as Sacropania (muscle loss) occurring as we age leads to many problems since muscle is an organ requiring protein for growth will enable it to function optimally fending off weakness and many health issues such as diabetes etc…However let’s forget age for a bit and focus on how the protein can really improve our efforts to lose body fat and get into the shape of our lives but like anything it needs consistency!…


An energy restricted diet is the go to approach everyone uses to lose weight but this alone increases post-loss weight regain due to increased hunger and decreased satiety.. What is more problematic tho is reducing calories despite losing body fat you will also lose muscle mass therefore hindering continuous fat loss… To avoid this scenario we want to increase satiety and maintain muscle mass which of course requires more protein… Researchers found higher protein diets improve satiety hormone levels in favour of feeling full…


Clinical trials have repeatedly shown strong support for higher protein diets with several meta-analyses (reviewing lots of studies) of random controlled trials referenced below supporting this… A key mechanism the researchers highlight repeatedly is the diet induced thermogenesis that protein has more of compared to fats and carbs… All this means is to metabolise and absorb, protein requires more energy than fats and carbs need so eating more protein uses more calories… In fact Bray et al (2015) substantiates this measuring energy expenditure using a metabolic chamber between higher and lower protein diets similar in calories with those on higher protein diets showing increased energy expenditure from just eating more protein up to 259.1kcals per day!…


Ok so it’s clear higher protein does 3 key things that will keep you in shape


1. Increases energy expenditure (diet induced thermogenesis)

2. Increases satiety (feeling full less likely to indulge)

3. Increases/maintains muscle mass (increases metabolism)


So how much protein do you need daily?… This varies and theirs not a definite answer and what I’m about to suggest might not be the same as some others but simplicity is best for consistency… For example depending on your activity levels the current data suggests for athletes between 1.6-2.4g per kilogram of body weight (kg/BW) and Longland et al 2016 found 2.4g kg/BW produced significantly more body fat loss and increased muscle mass when training in a calorie deficit compared to eating 1.2g kg/ BW… This 1.6-2.4g range would be acceptable for those wanting to lose weight/body fat especially whilst in a calorie deficit, however it’s quite a broad range and requires a lot of calculating and refining every other day considering exercise intensity would need to be factored in…


Here’s a much simpler and sustainable approach… Take your body weight in pounds and use that number as grams of protein to consume per day… I’m 210lbs so I’ll aim for 210g protein… Some days this may seem a lot but give yourself a 20% flexibility window so I could reduce this by up to 42g so anywhere between 168-210g… Stick to higher end on intense training days…


Next question I’m asked a lot is how much per serving and how often?… Research suggests about 25g of protein per serving and many people think it’s a waste taking more… This isn’t true as what they mean is about 25g can only be used for muscle protein synthesis (building skeletal muscle) but the rest will get used elsewhere or at least the amount your body has managed to absorb will… Dr Gabrielle Lyon believes the more often we take higher amounts of protein in one go the better our guts will become at absorption much like training to build muscle the more you expose the muscle to the stimulus (lifting heavy weights) the more efficient it gets to responding and building muscle…


Dr Lyon suggest but not limited to 30-50g per serving…this could easily be higher and try and have the largest serving for breakfast when you can but don’t sweat it if you can’t… I eat 70-100g per serving sometimes which for me can be easy (large steak 90g etc) but tune into the next post on how to choose protein sources…


I hope this helps you and in some convinces to start increasing protein intake to improve body composition regardless of your training experience or fitness goals we should all be eating plenty!…


Andy 😎



Bray A.G, et al (2015). Effect of protein overfeeding on energy expenditure measured in a metabolic chamber. Am J Clin Nutrition., 101: 496-505.


Longland MT, et al. (2016). Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr., 103 (3): 738-46.


Santesso N, et al. (2012). Effects of higher- versus lower-protein diets on health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr., 66:780–8.


Wycherley TP, et al. (2012). Effects of energy-restricted high-protein, low-fat compared with standard-protein, low-fat diets: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr., 96:1281–98.


https://drgabriellelyon.com/muscle-centric-medicine/

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page