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"How much protein...?" SparkPeople.com article



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http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1963

The question of how much proteein and an equation to calculate it comes up often. The article covers quite a bit. The last paragraph on the first page points out that, when the weight is fat, the equation becomes irrelevant.

I'm not recommending anything, as I'm a pro. Just passing it along.

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Very interesting article, thank you for sharing.

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I like this article -- it seems reasonable, striking a balance between the "you need 100 grams of Protein a day or you will wither and die" school and the "everyone eats too much protein, eat under 50 grams daily or your kidneys will fall out of your body" group.

People recovering from weight loss surgery -- or just about any surgery -- do benefit from lots of extra protein to speed healing. And I've certainly found that sticking to a high protein diet with adequate fat and Fiber helps me maintain my weight, and to lose I just need to dial down the calories from that general plan. But to me high protein isn't insanely high, and I've never bought into the mindset that Protein Powder is like a magic pixie dust and the more of it you sprinkle all over everything, the faster you lose weight. The truth is that protein powder has calories and as long as you are getting adequate nutrition, just adding more and more and more protein powder will simply slow your weight loss down because you are adding more and more and more calories.

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I was told that our bodies can only absorb 30 grams of Protein at a time. Does anyone know if this is right. They said if you take in more than 30grams at a time it is wasted and your body just eliminates it.

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@@shedo82773 according to this article, which appears to be from a reputable source, 30 grams may be the max your body can absorb for the purpose of building up muscles. But your body uses Protein for all sorts of essential processes, including burning it for energy or storing it as fat if needed, and for those purposes the body retains and uses all the protein you put in, above and beyond 30 grams at one time. It's just that it won't use the surplus to build up big beefy rippling muscles.

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/know-your-nutrients/how-much-protein-can-the-body-absorb

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I was told that our bodies can only absorb 30 grams of Protein at a time. Does anyone know if this is right. They said if you take in more than 30grams at a time it is wasted and your body just eliminates it.

We hear this claim a lot, but I can never find a legitimate source for it. To me, it doesn't pass the "smell" test of reasonableness. From an evolutionary perspective, it doesn't make sense that we would have evolved (or were created, if one is of that mind,) that way, as in the good old days we might chase down an antelope and gorge on it for dinner, and then not have any substantial Protein for several days. I can certainly buy that after 30g, or some such amount, that the next 30g might only be 80% absorbed, and the next 30g maybe 60 or 70%. That would be more consistent with nature and our general biochemistry. I can also buy that rapidly absorbed supplements may have a limit, with excessive amounts just overwhelming our body's ability to absorb in the time allotted, but such limits on real food sources just don't make a lot of sense.

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When it concerns bariatrics here is my questions (that never got answered by any medical professional):

After surgery why aren't recommendations for Protein based on that persons' gender, age and weight? When I've read serious discussions on the subject, it is always divided in those 3 plus exercise.

Why is there the lifetime requirement of 60 grams? It should be MORE after surgery, and then go down when you are not healing. What about the concerns of higher bowel cancer rates from too much Protein? I've seen one medical research paper that said less protein and more fiber is needed.

Professionals push a lot of protein but not fiber also. Beans for example are good but get 'demonized' due to calories. They give you fiber you need, especially getting older, for a healthy intestinal track.

I think they really need to get off the 60 grams for every person and come up with a formula for the first X months (1, 3 6, 9, 12, whatever) after surgery, and then base it on what you do. If you are more active, adjust for that. We should not be making a blanket "gram" statement when people are different.

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A LOT of bodybuilders take major issue with this theory and say it doesn't hold Water in practice. There is a practice among a lot of bodybuilders called "intermittent fasting," which is being used to continue building muscle while "cutting" (losing fat). This practice involves eating all of your day's calories within a limited window...and fasting the rest of the time. So a lot of guys are eating hundreds of grams of Protein within a six or eight hour period, and each of those meals exceeds 30g of Protein. They claim that if it were true that the body could only absorb 30 grams "at a time" (and there is great debate about what exactly "at a time" constitutes) then there's no way intermittent fasting would work.

Honestly, there's a great deal about how the body works that dieticians and medical science don't really have figured out. But on something like this, bodybuilders put a TON of trial and error into finding out what works and it's pretty well-documented online, so I tend to believe that the 30g/protein "at a time" thing is a bit dubious. But I do think it probably has a lot to do with your activity level and metabolism, too. So maybe for us, 30g/protein per sitting is more reasonable. I don't think that's one size fits all, though.

I was told that our bodies can only absorb 30 grams of protein at a time. Does anyone know if this is right. They said if you take in more than 30grams at a time it is wasted and your body just eliminates it.

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When it concerns bariatrics here is my questions (that never got answered by any medical professional):

After surgery why aren't recommendations for Protein based on that persons' gender, age and weight? When I've read serious discussions on the subject, it is always divided in those 3 plus exercise.

Why is there the lifetime requirement of 60 grams? It should be MORE after surgery, and then go down when you are not healing. What about the concerns of higher bowel cancer rates from too much Protein? I've seen one medical research paper that said less protein and more fiber is needed.

Professionals push a lot of protein but not fiber also. Beans for example are good but get 'demonized' due to calories. They give you fiber you need, especially getting older, for a healthy intestinal track.

I think they really need to get off the 60 grams for every person and come up with a formula for the first X months (1, 3 6, 9, 12, whatever) after surgery, and then base it on what you do. If you are more active, adjust for that. We should not be making a blanket "gram" statement when people are different.

We do see some variance with many practices, primarily in the form that women should get 60-ish (or 60-80) g of protein while men should get 80ish (or 80-100) g, though given that women have long been the primary demographic for WLS, it is easy to see how some practices have simply settled on something around 60g in their published documents, and them might pull the guys aside and tell them to get more.

As to phasing the protein in or out as one progresses from surgery, my conclusion is that it probably doesn't matter much. Classically, protein demands can increase by 50-100% after major trauma, including major surgery. Since we haven't seen the bariatric world take to this, my main conclusion is that what we are going through really isn't "major" surgery. That is, after all, one of the prime benefits of laparoscopic surgery. There may also be a factor that getting the basic maintenance level of protein in is hard enough early after surgery that they didn't bother, and found that patients healed fine without the added protein. When I went through plastics, they did make sure that we got the protein boost, as that is indeed much more traumatic surgery than our basic WLS.

Our basic protein maintenance requirements are most closely based upon out lean body mass, which is why typically guys need more than the ladies - guys ideally carry less fat and more muscle and are typically taller than women. That is the primary variation that needs to be addressed, and most practices do so in simplified form by using the 60/80 rule. The model promoted in the article (and noted for not being good for overweight people) is a very gross simplification - the better models use "ideal" weight, such as so many grams per lb or kilo of ideal weight, with ideal weight varying by gender and height and sometimes age, though age doesn't seem to be a major factor beyond puberty; the elderly often have problems simply because they don't eat as much as they use to, so should alter their protein/fat/carb balance.

The model that I like best so far works to estimate actual protein demand, with the basic assumptions being that our muscle mass is replaced every six months, so how much protein is needed daily to satisfy that basic maintenance requirement? In general terms, it works out fairly close to the basic gross guidelines that we always hear, with the smaller ladies typically in the low to mid 50's with taller ladies in the 60's and guys tending to be in the 80's and 90's. My 150ish lb of lean mass (which is a little higher than average for my 5'10" frame) takes about 105g to maintain, according to this model. Then, if one is wanting to build muscle mass (and do the work required,) adding 10lb over six months would require another 40ish or so g per day.

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