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  • Question regarding the 20-30 grams of protein every 3-5 hours

    quick question: If 20-30grams of protein every 3-5hours is all we need to ensure the most muscle protein synthesis occurs during the day, shouldn't we all just be eating the same amount of protein per day? (Whatever 20-30grams every 3-5 hours adds up to)

  • #2
    Snew,

    An interesting thought for sure, but what if each of us has differing daily calorie goals and thus, differing carb and fat intakes? Wouldn't that contribute to our total daily protein intake?
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
      Snew,

      An interesting thought for sure, but what if each of us has differing daily calorie goals and thus, differing carb and fat intakes? Wouldn't that contribute to our total daily protein intake?
      Oh, okay. Are you saying that because people have varying amounts of Carbs and fats, that the amount of calories that should be made up of protein will be higher or lower? Therefore people who need more protein will just simply take in more protein than they need to trigger a MPS event.

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      • #4
        And going off of Snewmy's question. In that 3-5 hour period when you're allowing the potential for protein synthesis to reset, if you take in a small amount of calories, let's say a cup of coffee with 2 tbsp of half&half, will that prevent this from happening. In other words, will drinking a cup of coffee with a small amount of cream add an additional 3-5 hour waiting period? Thanks!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Snewmy View Post

          Oh, okay. Are you saying that because people have varying amounts of Carbs and fats, that the amount of calories that should be made up of protein will be higher or lower?
          I am explicitly saying that almost no one is eating JUST PROTEIN and thus, people will have higher daily protein intakes due to trace protein intake.

          Originally posted by Snewmy View Post
          Therefore people who need more protein will just simply take in more protein than they need to trigger a MPS event.
          Not necessarily.
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zheaton View Post
            And going off of Snewmy's question. In that 3-5 hour period when you're allowing the potential for protein synthesis to reset, if you take in a small amount of calories, let's say a cup of coffee with 2 tbsp of half&half, will that prevent this from happening. In other words, will drinking a cup of coffee with a small amount of cream add an additional 3-5 hour waiting period? Thanks!
            Potentially, but unlikely without a good dose of carbs or protein.
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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            • #7
              My followup question would be more along the lines of whether the additional protein beyond that point is important, or if it's just a side effect of eating enough calories.

              For example, let's say I'm a 200lb man trying to lose fat, and my caloric allotment is 2300 calories. If I eat enough chicken and whey protein to get 25g of protein four times a day, can I fill up the rest of my meals with sweet potatoes, vegetables, and fats, or should I be trying to eat more chicken breast in order to hit something like the 250g of daily protein that you recommend in To Be A Beast?

              I'm personally someone who has a hard time eating a lot of lean meat, so it would be nice if I didn't have to worry about protein intake past that 20-30g of animal protein per meal. I recognize that I will end up getting somewhat more protein from my carb sources, but life would be quite a bit easier if the target was something like "100g of animal protein over four evenly spaced feedings" rather than "250g of protein per day".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                My followup question would be more along the lines of whether the additional protein beyond that point is important, or if it's just a side effect of eating enough calories.
                How do you differentiate?

                Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                For example, let's say I'm a 200lb man trying to lose fat, and my caloric allotment is 2300 calories. If I eat enough chicken and whey protein to get 25g of protein four times a day, can I fill up the rest of my meals with sweet potatoes, vegetables, and fats, or should I be trying to eat more chicken breast in order to hit something like the 250g of daily protein that you recommend in To Be A Beast?
                200-250 would be my recommendation

                Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                I'm personally someone who has a hard time eating a lot of lean meat, so it would be nice if I didn't have to worry about protein intake past that 20-30g of animal protein per meal. I recognize that I will end up getting somewhat more protein from my carb sources, but life would be quite a bit easier if the target was something like "100g of animal protein over four evenly spaced feedings" rather than "250g of protein per day".
                You can't eat 100g of protein per day with 20-30g of animal protein at 4 meals and 2300kCal total.
                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                  How do you differentiate?
                  I would differentiate by asking the question "should I make a deliberate effort to eat more protein if I'm already getting 20-30g of animal protein 4x/day?".

                  Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                  You can't eat 100g of protein per day with 20-30g of animal protein at 4 meals and 2300kCal total.
                  Why not? As an extreme example, you could get your carbs and fats from oil and gatorade, which would have minimal trace protein. More realistically, if you're eating steak and sweet potatoes, you could end up with around 100g of animal protein and 20-30g of other protein in a 2300 calorie diet. That's still very far away from the 200-250g protein recommendation. Is the assumption that people are actually getting 100-150g of trace protein from their carb/fat sources, or are the MPS guidelines leading me astray?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post

                    I would differentiate by asking the question "should I make a deliberate effort to eat more protein if I'm already getting 20-30g of animal protein 4x/day?".
                    I don't see how this sentence enough information to make any informed decision about protein intake.

                    Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                    Why not? As an extreme example, you could get your carbs and fats from oil and gatorade, which would have minimal trace protein.
                    You could, yes. Try that out and report back

                    Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                    More realistically, if you're eating steak and sweet potatoes, you could end up with around 100g of animal protein and 20-30g of other protein in a 2300 calorie diet.
                    Not really, no. If you eat 100g of whey protein per day that is ~480kCal, so 1900 kCal left. If you eat 350g carbs (1400kCal), approximately every 25g carbs has ~5g protein yielding another 70g protein. Similarly, every 10g fat has about 5g of protein (outside of pure oil), so 60g fat would yield 30g protein giving you 200g protein in a day.

                    I'm sure you could try and REALLY eat a low trace protein diet to come in at 150 or 160g per day, but I'm not sure why one would purposely do that.

                    Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                    That's still very far away from the 200-250g protein recommendation. Is the assumption that people are actually getting 100-150g of trace protein from their carb/fat sources, or are the MPS guidelines leading me astray?
                    I don't know what this question means other than no, I am not assuming people are getting 100-150g trace proteins per day (probably at least 50-60 though) and I think total daily protein intake should be somewhere between 1.6-3.1g/kg per day.

                    I also find it somewhat frustrating that every few months people will make this same argument, yet not post the meal plan where you're getting 100g of protein from animal protein and less than 150g protein total while getting the recommended amount of fiber and calories.

                    Everyone here could probably stand to eat more protein. Even you, Shem.
                    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                    • #11
                      Maybe we're working off of different sets of nutrient/calorie data. I was just getting my data from a quick google search of 'nutrition in ribeye steak' and 'nutrition in sweet potato', which tells me the following:

                      Eating 100g of ribeye steak gets me 22g of fat, 24g of protein, 0g of carb, with 291 calories total. If I eat that four times per day, that covers my '20-30g of animal protein 4x/day' with a total of 1164 calories.

                      Let's say that I add 350g of sweet potato to each of those meals. This gets me another 1.5g of fat, 280g of carb, and 23g of protein, with a total of 1204 calories.

                      All together, that adds up to a diet with 2368 calories and 119g of protein. It meets the guidelines you have laid out for optimal protein intake based on MPS, but it's only half of the protein recommendation you're explicitly giving here.

                      I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I'm honestly confused about how to reconcile this. I see a few options:

                      1) My nutrition data is very wrong, and this diet would have a much higher protein content that I am assuming.

                      2) You consider this a strange diet that is 'really low in trace protein'. It doesn't seem that way to me, but I guess that's a subjective judgement. I did a quick eyeball of the numbers if we replace the sweet potato with white potato or with rice, and the protein numbers don't really vary by more than 10g total. I guess if we eat a leaner cut of meat and replace those calories with more carbs, that drives up the protein count a bit, but it maxes out at around 140-150g of protein total, even if we're assuming fat intake is basically zero.

                      3) There are other considerations that you think outweigh the MPS guidelines you've laid out. My feeling is that this is probably correct, and I'm trying to figure out what these considerations are.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                        Maybe we're working off of different sets of nutrient/calorie data. I was just getting my data from a quick google search of 'nutrition in ribeye steak' and 'nutrition in sweet potato', which tells me the following:

                        Eating 100g of ribeye steak gets me 22g of fat, 24g of protein, 0g of carb, with 291 calories total. If I eat that four times per day, that covers my '20-30g of animal protein 4x/day' with a total of 1164 calories.
                        With a much higher fat intake than I would recommend, sure.


                        Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                        Let's say that I add 350g of sweet potato to each of those meals. This gets me another 1.5g of fat, 280g of carb, and 23g of protein, with a total of 1204 calories.
                        And you missed the fiber recommendation too.

                        Again, yes, you can arbitrarily create a diet that does not fulfill all the criteria I'd like to see. Just not sure how meaningful that is.

                        1) My nutrition data is very wrong, and this diet would have a much higher protein content that I am assuming.
                        It doesn't look wrong.


                        Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                        2) You consider this a strange diet that is 'really low in trace protein'. It doesn't seem that way to me, but I guess that's a subjective judgement.
                        I consider a diet "strange" if it's being used as an example against my recommendations, yet doesn't represent my recommendations with respect to fat and fiber intake. Yes, you can eat a keto diet with (necessarily) low protein. You can also eat a higher fat diet with lower protein. I wouldn't recommend either of these things. I also would recommend eating 30-35g of fiber per day, which requires less energy dense carbohydrate sources.

                        Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                        I did a quick eyeball of the numbers if we replace the sweet potato with white potato or with rice, and the protein numbers don't really vary by more than 10g total. I guess if we eat a leaner cut of meat and replace those calories with more carbs, that drives up the protein count a bit, but it maxes out at around 140-150g of protein total, even if we're assuming fat intake is basically zero.
                        No, it doesn't (last sentence). If you eat a diet with 30-35g fiber per day, includes fruits and vegetables, and is around 50-60g fat per day at 2300kCal (which is what I typically recommend), you're going to have a hard time eating under 180-200g protein.

                        Originally posted by ShemTealeaf View Post
                        3) There are other considerations that you think outweigh the MPS guidelines you've laid out. My feeling is that this is probably correct, and I'm trying to figure out what these considerations are.
                        Yes there are, which I've discussed before and it pains me that people are so hyper-focused on MPS from this minimal dose of protein. We discuss essential amino acid content (which includes BCAAs) quite often and when your EAA levels are lower (or depleted), MPS stops. People see 3g leucine= MPS and think the story is over, but no one ever said that. Rather, we accept that 3g of leucine in a protein source is enough to drive MPS and this is about 25-30g of animal protein per meal. We also accept that there will be a significant mount of trace proteins consumed proportional to calorie intake unless fairly unique approaches are taken to avoid this, which likely violate other dietary recommendations. Finally, we have said that the data suggests 1.6-3.1 grams of protein /kg per day per the recent literature, with higher intakes advised for lifters, athletes, older individuals, and vegans.

                        I do not think that you isolate one portion of the recommendation from the other.
                        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post


                          Yes there are, which I've discussed before and it pains me that people are so hyper-focused on MPS from this minimal dose of protein. We discuss essential amino acid content (which includes BCAAs) quite often and when your EAA levels are lower (or depleted), MPS stops. People see 3g leucine= MPS and think the story is over, but no one ever said that. Rather, we accept that 3g of leucine in a protein source is enough to drive MPS and this is about 25-30g of animal protein per meal. We also accept that there will be a significant mount of trace proteins consumed proportional to calorie intake unless fairly unique approaches are taken to avoid this, which likely violate other dietary recommendations. Finally, we have said that the data suggests 1.6-3.1 grams of protein /kg per day per the recent literature, with higher intakes advised for lifters, athletes, older individuals, and vegans.

                          I do not think that you isolate one portion of the recommendation from the other.
                          This last portion solves all my questions, thank you ! Also jordan just a quick side question, I ordered Peri Rx like 10 days ago, got email with receipt but no tracking, I see it is now out of stock, just wondering if something went wrong somewhere, thanks!

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                          • #14
                            Nevermind to the above question ^ Found the contact page sorry!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              And you missed the fiber recommendation too.
                              As far as I can tell, eating 1400g of sweet potatoes gets you 42g of fiber, which is even higher than your recommendation.

                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              I consider a diet "strange" if it's being used as an example against my recommendations, yet doesn't represent my recommendations with respect to fat and fiber intake. Yes, you can eat a keto diet with (necessarily) low protein. You can also eat a higher fat diet with lower protein. I wouldn't recommend either of these things. I also would recommend eating 30-35g of fiber per day, which requires less energy dense carbohydrate sources.
                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              No, it doesn't (last sentence). If you eat a diet with 30-35g fiber per day, includes fruits and vegetables, and is around 50-60g fat per day at 2300kCal (which is what I typically recommend), you're going to have a hard time eating under 180-200g protein.
                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              I also find it somewhat frustrating that every few months people will make this same argument, yet not post the meal plan where you're getting 100g of protein from animal protein and less than 150g protein total while getting the recommended amount of fiber and calories.
                              Here's the meal plan you requested:

                              2 meals of 80g chicken, 200g white rice, 100g broccoli, 100g apple

                              2 meals of 200g eggs, 200g sweet potato, 100g carrots, 200g blueberries

                              That gives you 132g of protein, 54g of fat, 338g of carbs, 41g of fiber, and a reasonable amount of fruits/vegetables at just over 2300 calories. I can add in more food variety or move more of the calories from starches to fruits and vegetables, but it doesn't really change the protein numbers much. It's not difficult to come up with all kinds of realistic diets that meet the criteria you mentioned. To be honest, I'd have a harder time coming up with a diet that hits 250g of protein at 2300 calories without deliberately increasing the amount of animal protein. Even if you eat chicken breast for all of your animal protein needs and fill up the rest of your calories with beans, you're barely breaking 200g of protein.

                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              Yes there are, which I've discussed before and it pains me that people are so hyper-focused on MPS from this minimal dose of protein.
                              I think it's mostly because of the "7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake" article where you say that "the optimal protein intake per day is initially based on how much protein a person needs per meal to maximize MPS multiplied by the number of meals they will have per day." I recognize that you include some additional modifiers (age, gender, animal protein vs vegan protein), but none of them seem applicable to this conversation. My conclusion from reading this was that I could achieve optimal protein intake by eating enough protein to maximize MPS 3-5x/day, which seemed to conflict with other common recommendations, including your own guidelines written elsewhere.


                              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                              We also accept that there will be a significant mount of trace proteins consumed proportional to calorie intake unless fairly unique approaches are taken to avoid this, which likely violate other dietary recommendations.
                              It seems to me that the amount of trace protein in a 2300 calorie diet is probably going to be somewhere between 20-50g, unless the diet is heavy on legumes or something like that. That explains why not everyone needs exactly the same protein intake, but this seems like a bit of a red herring. If trace protein was the primary reason for differing protein recommendations, I would expect you to be recommending higher protein intakes for bulking diets than for cutting diets, and that's the opposite of what I see.

                              I apologize for belaboring this point, but I'd like to try to clarify my original question that was unclear to you:

                              If I am currently eating the 2300 calorie diet described above, which meets all of your requirements for fat, fiber, and optimal protein intake (as per "7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake"), would I benefit from eating more chicken and less rice/potato?

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