Are You the 35%? Protein Requirements 101

A survey of over 1000 people aged 18 and over done by CLIF Builder’s and Kelton Research showed an astonishing 35% of of Americans knew how much protein they needed.

35% of American are Clueless to Protein Requirements?!

Other Findings:

  • 76% knew how often they needed to exercise
  • 69% knew their ideal weight range

As a side note, the study uncovered serious misconceptions about the important of carbohydrates after a workout.  Get this.. 43% of Americans thought by eating carbs after a workout they would cancel out the benefits.  89% reached for a protein snack without consideration for replenishing carbohydrates.

Let me share my thoughts on this.

While it was done by a supplement (food) company and just a survey and not a study, I find all too often in my own dealings with clients they either over consume protein at the expense of carbohydrates or they simply have no idea how to find out how much protein they need for their goals.  Many of my clients (before they meet me) focused on protein and some fats but reduce carbohydrates and skipped them after weight training.

Somebody who is a recreational athlete at best needs less protein than an adult male bodybuilder looking to gain muscle.  In my studies, I think most calculators over prescribe protein to the point it’s just plain silly.

1g per 1lb of Body Weight: It’s a Good Start

How much protein do you need?  The golden rule of 1g per 1 lb of body weight is a good start.  You can really bury yourself in studies that suggest a low range of 1.2g to 3g per kg of body weight.  In the end, they are just formulas and it will depend on you but a good place to start is 1g per 1 lb of body weight.  You’ll get more than some research suggests but far less than hardcore bodybuilding sites which end up being protein pushers.

CLIF provides a neat protein calculator in the link below but it’s below what I’ve found the most current low end research to suggest which is 1.8g per kg of body weight.  Even CLIF in my opinion only used a single source and isn’t giving you enough protein depending on your goals.  Confused?  Don’t be.

How Much Protein Do I Need:

  • 1g per 1 lb or 1g per 1kg?
  • Quick Protein Calculator
  • The Best Time to Take Protein

If you dread all these calculators, just go with the 1g per 1lb of body weight per day.  You’ll meet your needs to almost any serious activity that involves maintaining to building muscle.

Regarding carbohydrates, I’m always amazed at how many of my own bodybuilding friends will suck down 50g of protein and a wee bit of carbs after an intense workout but their focus is 90% if not more on PROTEIN.


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Source:  CLIF Press Release

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding

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One Response to "Are You the 35%? Protein Requirements 101"

  1. Powertec Home Gym:
    March 28, 2012 08:57 am

    There’s a lot f formulas to follow now a days and it is so confusing if you are a beginner. 1lb of body weight per day is a good start to follow on my workout journey. Thanks a lot!

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