Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:08 pm 
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9nines wrote:
_raVen_ wrote:
Dr. Atkins's diet works too; doesn't make it optimal for health.


Sorry to make a rebuttal and I do not want to debate it here (and you sounded the same) but I responded because you imply his diet as on par with Dr. Atkins, which it is not.


I did not imply it was on par with Atkins; it was simply analogous to "what works."

Quote:
Note: I do not follow his diet because I eat more fat and fruit than he would recommend but I never had a weight problem (in fact many days, I have to hunt more calories to eat -and those extra choices are usually dense calorie food -peanut butter etc.) is the main reason I do not follow it.


Yes, that was just my point ;).

Cutting good fat is not health promoting. For one, and probably the most important, fat is needed for proper brain function. McDougall and his "the fat you eat is the fat you wear" is NOT true. Fat-free is one of the worst scams perpetrated on the public; and even if McDougall style is better, cutting fat is not good. You don't get enough naturally from eating a no-added fat diet. Most McDougallers complain of compulsions to overeat; bingeing; mood swings; always feeling hungry; bloating; never a feeling of satiety; dry hair, skin, nails; on and on and on...

Dr. Fuhrman recommends 1 TB flax seeds, ground every day, as well as Dr. Greger. As well, 1-ounce of nuts or seeds per day. The diet is based on vegetables first, with an emphasis on the concentrated nutrients contained in leafy greens, then beans, fruit, fat; if you are still hungry, then eat starches.

I'm glad you don't follow it :) But, yes, McDougall is a good doctor and I've learned a lot from him. His is the second veg diet I followed. Dr. Shintani is actually the first -- actually, he's the original -- McDougall learned from him, and basically copied his plan. Shintani's was actually better.

ETA: Of course I don't advocate fat eating with abandon! Reading the China study will clear it up for most folks.
A small amount of *whole-food, healthy* fat, like Drs. Greger, Harris and Fuhrman recommend is optimal.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:40 pm 
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9nines wrote:
I posted a study here a months or so ago. It showed based on nitrogen measurement that even competitive body builders do not need the protein amounts you are advocating. It should be here somewhere. I have to go. I will check for it tomorrow.

The nitrogen measurements are definitely not taking something into account because if you go from 50 to 100 grams of protein a day to 200, 300 or more you do very suddenly gain strength. But this slight boost in muscle mass/strength (up to 10% strength gains) is something that occurs pretty quickly. (A month at most.) And diligently keeping protein levels so high does not result in any additional gains over the long term.

So people who say you have to protein stuff to make optimum long term gains are wrong. And people who say there is absolutely no reason to protein stuff are also wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:23 am 
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Jay wrote:
The nitrogen measurements are definitely not taking something into account because if you go from 50 to 100 grams of protein a day to 200, 300 or more you do very suddenly gain strength. But this slight boost in muscle mass/strength (up to 10% strength gains) is something that occurs pretty quickly. (A month at most.) And diligently keeping protein levels so high does not result in any additional gains over the long term.

So people who say you have to protein stuff to make optimum long term gains are wrong. And people who say there is absolutely no reason to protein stuff are also wrong.


Actually, my memory failed me, in my earlier post. I re-read the study yesterday and it states in the preface that it is not based on nitrogen measurements, as that is an indirect measurement. The study is simply based on whether weightlifters gained muscle mass or not and it showed they do gain muscle mass with much less protein requirement than is proverbially opined.

Added note: The study hits on what you wrote. More protein is needed for initial body builders because they are gaining more rapid mass than a long-time weight lifter who experiences less gain as his muscle are already well developed.

Back on the protein requirements: from the studies, for advanced body builders the protein needs where found at 1.05grams per kilogram of body weight. That is about .48 grams per pound of body weight. That would put an advanced body builder weighing 180 pounds at an around 90 grams of daily protein requirement. A concluding study put the range at .8 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weigh (.36 grams to .68 grams per pound of body weight.) Even the upper end is far less than the 20 to 30% of calories from protein that is so prevalent, in the body building community.

Here is the paper (collection of studies): http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2003issue4 ... weight.htm

Now this is important for two main reasons:

First health:

Of the three macronutrients, protein is used least and less efficiently by the body for energy (carbohydrates first, fats second and protein last) so you will have less overall energy from a high protein diet as your body utilizes more energy (than it would for carbohydrate and fat conversion) to convert the protein to energy. Also, the acid level of protein causes our bodies to work hard to bring the acid level down, if protein is digested in high amounts. Also, the kidneys get a large work-out from filtering the high protein. One of the first things a doctor will do if you have kidney problems or lose a kidney is advice restricting your protein intake.

Second: Representing vegans

Statistically (less than 1%), you and I do not exist. Even diary and egg vegetarians (2 to 3%) are so rare that many people will never know one. For most people that know you, you are probably the only vegan they know; so by lack of number, you represent vegans. You are either going to reinforce or help break the vegan stereotypes (pale, sickly, weak - all because of low protein.) Having an athletic and muscular body, it will be easy to help break the stereotype but I think that if you then tell the person, "I have to eat all kinds of protein supplements to get enough protein", you will still likely reinforce the vegan myths. People will likely take from that situation: vegans can get enough protein but they have to eat all kinds of cumbersome supplements and pay close attention to their diets - no thanks I won't go to that trouble.

Instead explore protein requirements. That way you can sincerely say, "I get enough protein from my diet - no special care or analyzing is needed." That situation is more likely going to help break the vegan myth.

And it would be easy for each of you to prove it to yourself - just try it and see. I am sure to get over the 10% protein intake, many here take supplements (protein shakes, bars etc.) so cutting back your protein intake would be easy. For example, instead of a protein bar with 40%+ of its 300 calories from protein, eat two bananas (about 8% protein) for the same calories. Se how easy it would be to try. So, try it for a few weeks and see if anything in the muscle mass and exercise area changes.

From my own experiences (I analyze my diet and my protein intake ranges from 8 to 12% daily and I have no problem developing muscle mass), I know you will not have trouble. Bigwii is another example here. He has many pictures posted here and one can see he has no trouble developing muscle mass and based on his diet posts, his protein intake ranges from 8 (if only fruit) to 12% (if more nuts.) So why not try and see what happens too? I know it is hard to break proverbial wisdom. I catch myself thinking about protein(do I need more?) too. The protein-is-king idea is engrained into our society but truth is truth and is not democratic (just because a lot of people think something does not make it so.)


Last edited by 9nines on Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:06 am 
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9nines wrote:
I posted a study here a months or so ago. It showed based on nitrogen measurement that even competitive body builders do not need the protein amounts you are advocating. It should be here somewhere. I have to go. I will check for it tomorrow.


Maybe not, but I know what works for me. :) These are the *general* guidelines of performance nutrition. 20 - 30% protein isn't THAT high. You're grouping anything over 10% as excessive.

Some amino acids, like L-leucine and L-valine, are used for energy in exercise. Without ONE essential amino acid, a complete protein can't be built and the "protein" can't be used for repair. The body cannot make essential amino acids, so you MUST get them through diet.

Protein is used for cell building and repair (but you have to have ALL essentials); amino acids are also required for the production of enzymes, hormones and DNA. Your body needs amino acids for many important processes in the body and if it doesn't have enough, it will start breaking down your muscles to get them. You prefer to find out what that point is. I don't. A moderate amount of protein is used as a buffer for athletes.

Athletes are a special case because they are constantly stressing their bodies, which lead to the need for constant repair and an increased demand on ALL systems.

~ Adrienne

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Adrienne Priebe, CFT
MPS Fitness Training
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:58 am 
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AdrienneP wrote:

Athletes are a special case because they are constantly stressing their bodies, which lead to the need for constant repair and an increased demand on ALL systems.

~ Adrienne


Those are good points; cell repair and growth are important. In that regard, let's look at a case that I think would be more special than the athlete one: the human infant.

A normal human infant doubles its mass in six months.

Now look at an infant's prescribed food, human milk. Human milk has less than 7% of its calories as protein. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-B00001-01c201X.html 1 cup has 172 calories and 3 grams of protein (3X4)/172 < 7%.

How do infants double their mass, which includes much cell growth and repair (the bones, organs, skin - everything is doubling in six months) on 7% of its calories being protein, while an adult athlete needs 20 to 30%?

Maybe my view is wrong, but I just do not see how the physical stress of weight lifting is going to make a an adult body builder's body have more cell repair than an infant, doubling all its mass, has.

AdrienneP wrote:
These are the *general* guidelines of performance nutrition.


By your asterisks on general, I assume you mean it is not to be questioned. This is what I meant by my earlier comment that truth is truth - it is not democratic ( a lot of people believing something does not mean it is true - it is either is or is not on its own facts - I desire to know those facts.)

Many times conventional wisdom is correct. Maybe this is one of them and you are completely right and I am wrong. If that is the case, I would like to know. So, please share any studies that show that athlete needs 20 to 30% protein intake. Again, I would be very interested in study them because I want to gain the knowledge.

Note: Do not take my arguments personally. You are confident in your position, so I am questioning you because I want to learn.


Last edited by 9nines on Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:39 pm 
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9nines wrote:
Now look at an infant's prescribed food, human milk. Human milk has less than 7% of its calories as protein. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-B00001-01c201X.html 1 cup has 172 calories and 3 grams of protein (3X4)/172 < 7%.

How do infants double their mass, which includes much cell growth and repair (the bones, organs, skin - everything is doubling in six months) on 7% of its calories being protein, while an adult athlete needs 20 to 30%? Could an athlete adding maybe 5% to 10% mass, in 12 months really have a higher protein requirement (4 times higher) than an infant doubling its mass in six months? Maybe my analogy is flawed (how?) Please share any studies indicating how much protein athletes need. I would sincerely like to study them.


So.. how many cups of milk would you say an infant consumes in one day? About 5 cups? That's 15g of protein (which is also the RDA). A 6-mo old infant weighs about that, so although the baby is getting only 7% of its calories from protein, it is STILL getting around 1g per pound of bodyweight.

(On a side note about the RDA - RDAs are only put in place so that nutritional deficiencies can be avoided, like scurvy and rickets. They are only BARE MINIMUMS. Most individuals need more than what the RDA suggests.)

Also, infants are not all that active, so most of the nutrients they consume can go straight to growth. Most of the protein they consume can be utilized as a repair/growth mechanism.

AdrienneP wrote:
By your asterisks on general, I assume you mean it is not to be questioned. This is what I meant by my earlier comment that truth is truth - it is not democratic. Just because a lot of people say something does not make it true. Altough, many times conventional wisdom (what other people say) is correct. Maybe this is one of them and you are completely right and I am wrong. If that is the case, I would like to know. So, please share any studies that show the athlete needs 20 to 30% protein intake. Again, I would be very interested in study them because I want to gain the knowledge.


The asterisks are there because *general* means that the guidelines don't take special situations and individuals into account.

Let me go dig some up. :) I'LL BE BACH (says in my best Arnold voice.) :lol:

~ Adrienne

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Adrienne Priebe, CFT
MPS Fitness Training
http://www.yoadrienne.com


Last edited by AdrienneP on Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:43 pm 
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Here's the RDA chart:

Image
Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences--National Research Council

~ Adrienne

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:57 pm 
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AdrienneP wrote:
(On a side note about the RDA - RDAs are only put in place so that nutritional deficiencies can be avoided, like scurvy and rickets. They are only BARE MINIMUMS. Most individuals need more than what the RDA suggests.)


Actually by the admission of the setting organization that is wrong. The chief reason for setting RDAs is to guard against those diseases, in the majority of people. They are requirements for average (not chronically sick people) people to avoid malnutrition diseases. Also, most RDA are almost doubled for safety; they are not bare minimums.

I can not find a link now but the RDA setting organizations even states that the methodology I described above is what they do.

I goggled it quick and found this dietician site to state:

http://www.dietitian.com/rda.html

Summary:

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) were established to cover the nutritional needs of all normal, healthy persons living in the United States. Canada and some foreign countries each have their own RDAs. Canada has a Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI).

The Food and Nutrition Board of National Academy of Sciences set the values for the RDA's based on human and animal research. They usually meet every five years to review current research on nutrients.

A Recommended Dietary Allowance is established for protein, vitamin A, D, E, K and B6, B12, C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine and selenium. The recommended amount is set to cover 98% of all normal healthy persons in the United States. It does not cover the nutritional needs of people with illness or chronic disease. There is a margin of safety built into the RDAs. The average, healthy person can consume at least 67% of their RDA and still be adequately nourished.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:09 pm 
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Based on your table, my protein requirement [(155 pounds/176 pounds) * 63 ] would be 55 grams. Take the RDA safety buffer out so 67% of that would give me a 37 grams requirement.

I would never eat under that. I eat 2700 to 3000 calories a day. My diet is about 10% protein. So my range is naturally going to be 67 to 75 grams, on average. About three days a week, I eat soy yogurt, peanut butter, fruit and hemp protein shakes (again I admit the dogma is hard to break :shock: - I also love the taste of those shakes and they are a convenient way to get calories - I load with simple carbohydrates before weight lifting and end recovery with the shake and I like the quick dense calories it provides.) for another 25 to 30 grams, so my range is bumped on average another 12 grams a day but I would not considered that the same level of supplements I see advocated. It does help my peace of mind, in case I am wrong (I am opened minded and I want to know - so again please share athlete studies - were cause and affect are shown such as in the one I posted)) but it does not present the dangers that I feel are present in the high protein range (the 20 to 30% range.) In other words, some days of a 50% (10% increased to 15% total calories as protein) to me are prudent, as safety in case I am wrong but a 100% to 300% (10 to 20 or 30) would scare me (cancer, kidney problems, calcium etching due to the high acid)) and as I wrote before, hurt the vegan stereotype by implying the vegan diet can not supply enough protein on its own (no protein supplementing.)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:31 pm 
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AdrienneP wrote:

So.. how many cups of milk would you say an infant consumes in one day? About 5 cups? That's 15g of protein (which is also the RDA). A 6-mo old infant weighs about that, so although the baby is getting only 7% of its calories from protein, it is STILL getting around 1g per pound of bodyweight.


I would imagine the infant, growing at its rate, would need more protein per body mass than an adult body building. So I agree with your assessment but you miss my point about percentage.

From your post, you agree the baby is getting by with 7% protein, yet you advocated 20% to 30%, in cases where I would imagine the protein need would be less - body building where the adult is growing but no where near the rate of the infant. My main point was the percentage of calories as protein not the isolated amount of protein. If you need more protein, you probably need more fuel (protein is the third used macronutrient for fuel - the body will first use carbohydrates, then fat then protein, as its fuel - Diets like Atkins reverse this by causing ketosis - which also leads to the body eating own muscle more efficiently than it does in a normal state - just a guess but some body builders may be doing this to themselves from their high protein intakes), so just eat more and increase your grams of protein, as you increase calories, versus increasing the percentage of calories as protein, is my point. For example, if I usually get 10% of my diet as protein and get around 75 grams on a 3000 calorie diet, I can increase my protein intake by 50% by eating 50% more. On my heavy workout days, I probably do that (eat 4500 calories), as I eat about 50% more food. My protein intake then automatically jumps to around 110 grams. Again, my arguement was against the percentage (% of total calories as protein) not the isolated measurement of protein (intake of grams of protein.) Sorry, if I was not clear on that, earlier.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:57 pm 
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9nines wrote:
From your post, you agree the baby is getting by with 7% protein, yet you advocated 20% to 30%, in cases where I would imagine the protein need would be less - body building where the adult is growing but no where near the rate of the infant. .


The baby is growing so the baby needs a HUGE amount of calories for its size, but it STILL needs a certain amount of protein to make that growth possible. You're talking ~860 calories for a 15-lb (or so) human! That would be like an adult bodybuilder weighing 150lbs eating 8600 calories. 7% of that is.. 150 grams!

Adult athletes do not even come close to utilizing all the protein they consume for muscle growth. Like I said before, they use a lot of the amino acids for energy for heavy training sessions and other functions. (As you can see, protein consumption also depends on training intensity and lifestyle.) Only what's left over gets used to build!!

In the first post where I mentioned ratios, I mentioned those ratios were for weight (fat) LOSS and not growth. Even when you cut your calories for fat loss, you have to maintain the SAME level of protein for growth/repair after training, amino acid sparing during training and the essential functions in between.

Building *lots and lots* of muscle is NOT a *normal* state for human beings. We can do it, but it is not functional. Therefore, we do not fall under the same guidelines as *everyone else*. The RDA does not really apply to athletes because we are a special population. Muscle is very expensive for the body to maintain, so your body will be more than happy to give some up any chance it gets...

If you are not trying to build and not putting your body in any state that it needs to *heal* from, you need minimal protein.. about what the RDA suggests.

... and the percentage of protein is going to change, depending on what your athletic goals are. If you want to lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit and drop calories. If you want to gain, you need to eat more, so while you might be getting the same amount of protein in both situations, the ratio will be different.

I posted the original ratios because there was dicussion about the relationship between dietary fat and body fat loss.

~ Adrienne

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Adrienne Priebe, CFT
MPS Fitness Training
http://www.yoadrienne.com


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:14 pm 
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Here's a summary of a few studies:

http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/19/suppl_5/513S

Most of the studies agree that athletes need increased protein amounts and that they should get 1.2 - 1.8g/kg of protein per day, depending on sport and training intensity.

If I choose the higher end (1.7) and mutliply my kilograms by that, I get that my diet should be about 25% protein.

It's a very controversial topic at this point; there isn't enough information out there to prove it one way or the other. Speaking of which, do you have any studies indicating increased protein intake is detrimental to athletes?

~ Adrienne

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Adrienne Priebe, CFT
MPS Fitness Training
http://www.yoadrienne.com


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:21 pm 
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AdrienneP wrote:
Here's a summary of a few studies:

http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/19/suppl_5/513S

Most of the studies agree that athletes need increased protein amounts and that they should get 1.2 - 1.8g/kg of protein per day, depending on sport and training intensity.

If I choose the higher end (1.7) and mutliply my kilograms by that, I get that my diet should be about 25% protein.

It's a very controversial topic at this point; there isn't enough information out there to prove it one way or the other. Speaking of which, do you have any studies indicating increased protein intake is detrimental to athletes?

~ Adrienne


First, thanks for that study, I enjoyed it and learned many things. Sorry to sound arrogant but I found your study actually supports my postion (if eating enough calories, for fuel need, a 10% of calories as protein meets total protein needs.) . (Note: the higher end of the range you cited was shown for more cardiovascular leaning exercisers, versus body builders - For example, see Figure 1, of that study.)

Highlights, from your article, that are in agreement with my position:

1) The study states, "Although strength athletes can increase muscle growth with supplemental protein, this effect seems to attain a plateau at protein intakes (1.4 g/kg) far below intakes typical of experienced bodybuilders (Fig. 8 [26])."

It does add that creatine might increase that plateau but that is opinion not study findings.

So your study is indicating the same my study showed. 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight helps muscle gain but above that is marginal. My study showed .8 grams to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, so its upper range is above your study's. The 1.4 grams per kilograms equates to .65 grams per pound. My 10% protein and 3000 calories intake, gives me at least 75 grams of protein (and on workout days I get 110, as my calories are 50% more), which is close (workout days exceeds) what your study requirement would be. So a 10 to 12% protein, as total calories, and meeting your energy needs (total calories consume) will keep you in the range of both studies.

2) The report emphasizes carbohydrate intake for fuel. I am in total agreement with that. That is one of my arguments against increasing protein intake to the 20 to 30% range because to do that you are likely cutting back carbohydrates by the same amount caloric amount and robbing yourself of that more efficient fuel.

It reads: "Carbohydrate availability to exercising muscle is critical for intense muscle contraction, as it is a more efficient fuel (produces more adenosine triphosphate per unit of oxygen) than both fat and protein. In combination with the fact that the total carbohydrate stores in the body can be depleted in a single exercise bout, this makes carbohydrate the single most important exercise fuel. As a result, carbohydrate has been studied to a much greater extent than either protein or fat. However, inadequate carbohydrate for muscle contraction is also critical because its availability is inversely related to the rate of exercise protein catabolism (Fig. 2 [17]). Therefore, daily carbohydrate intake is of great significance for physically active individuals. Moreover, physically active individuals need to be much less concerned about excess dietary carbohydrate intake resulting in surplus body fat storage (and associated adverse health effects) compared to their sedentary counterparts because this substrate is used to replenish carbohydrates stores depleted by exercise training/competition sessions. In fact, rather than over-consuming carbohydrate, athletes typically have great difficulty replenishing carbohydrate stores following exercise."

3) As added commentary to 2) the article states: Fig. 2. Nitrogen excretion increases with prolonged, moderately intense exercise and especially so when carbohydrate stores are low. (Adapted from [17].)

That is in agreement with my position on carbohydrates. If you cut them below your fuel needs, your body is going to cannibalize its own muscle, after it depletes its carbohydrate stores. This hits on my idea that high protein intake might actually be detrimental to muscle development. What I project: You work out harder, you consume recent dietary carbohydrates then deplete your body's carbohydrate stores and then go into a mini ketosis burning your muscle for fuel.





Some added interesting points from the study you posted:

A) On overall energy needs, it states that body builders have the same requirements as the ones prescribed for sedentary people. See its Figure 1. It had weightlifters (I assume this means lighter weights, more repetitions) at 40% more, cross country skiers at almost double, From that trend, I assume it is stating that higher cardiovascular exercise demands more food intake than anaerobic ones (body building.)


B) The article states, Exercise Intensity, Duration and Type
Increasing exercise intensity and duration, at least with aerobic (endurance) exercise, causes increased use of protein, presumably as an auxiliary fuel [18–21]. Based primarily on nitrogen balance experiments, this results in an increased daily protein need of about 50% to 75% (1.2–1.4 vs. 0.8 g/kg) when compared to inactive individuals

I am in agreement with this. That is why high heart rate cardiovascular exercise is detrimental to muscle gain - runners, etc. are burning muscle. So body builders should watch their heart rates, when doing cardiovascular exercise and keep them fairly low (120-130 range), in comparison to runners hitting 150+. This might be concern for body builders engaging in HIT exercise.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:55 pm 
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AdrienneP wrote:

If I choose the higher end (1.7) and mutliply my kilograms by that, I get that my diet should be about 25% protein.


~ Adrienne


Are you eating 1700 calories daily?

Your website states you weigh 135 pounds, as I recall. A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds. So 1.7 grams per kilograms would be .77 (1.7 divided by 2.2) grams per pound. For 135 pounds that would be around 105 grams of protein. 4 calories per gram would mean 420 calories from protein. If that is 25% of your total calories that would mean that your total calories are1680. Based on your physique. you must entertain hardcore workouts. Can you really maintain energy and your physique at 1700 calories?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:53 am 
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9nines wrote:
Can you really maintain energy and your physique at 1700 calories?


Right now, yes. I am trying to cut a little body fat (as I said - this whole debate stemmed from my advice on how to lose), so I am maintaining a calorie deficit. When I am not doing this, I maintain at around 2000 calories a day. Actually, I eat 1700 calories about 5 days a week and then another 2 days I bump it up to around 2100 calories. This keeps my metabolism from dropping.

Trust me, I am not currently working out that hard. I lift heavy.. about 3 days a week and I do a little cardio sprinkled in (maybe an additional 60 minutes a week). I sit on my butt all day at work. :)

~ Adrienne

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Adrienne Priebe, CFT
MPS Fitness Training
http://www.yoadrienne.com


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