So a prominent youtuber was having trouble with the cut period. The cut period in body-building is when the bodybuilder attempts to burn as much fat as possible to “get cut” to get lean. This can be a difficult period because most bodybuilders it seems are eating calorie deficit diets and eating diets that are extremely high in protein and in my opinion too high in fat. This means that their carbohydrate intake suffers.
I think this is a key reason why bodybuilders should be eating less protein because when you’re on a low calorie diet you want every calorie to count. Protein should not be consumed if it is going to be used as energy. According to a Dr. Graham the amount of protein that’s used on a daily basis for energy is somewhere around 4-10 calories. The rest of the protein is used for building various things from enzymes to muscles to… being shit out.
If you read the previous article about How Much Protein You Need to Build Muscle right here: http://www.fullbellyfitness.com/?p=15 then you remember that the numbers basically show that for the average person at 5’9.5” should require only around 56 grams of protein for all of their needs.
Any excess of 56 grams is likely NOT to be needed and at best will either be used as energy or excreted as feces. I’m not going to go into why excess protein is a harmful at the moment but let’s just point out the obvious – that protein doesn’t provide immediate energy.
According to Dr. Linda Strause (and all standard nutrition texts), a professor at UCSD, only carbohydrates act as immediately available energy. That big juicy steak is not going to replenish your glycogen tanks nor will it inspire you to exercise more, maybe a nap though. Anyhow, since carbs provide immediate energy and protein just sits in your gut waiting for you to go through a difficult process to break it down, when bodybuilders decide they’re going to cut down their total calories and keep their ratios favoring plenty of protein… they suffer.
We need energy. We are used to having a certain amount of energy available and when that diminishes we know something is wrong. So when you decide you’re suddenly going to cut out plenty of your energy so that you can get lean, the body is not going to be happy.
It is like cutting the allowance of a kid that’s used to spending it all. Carbs are instant energy and you use them for the most part. If you’re not getting fatter, you’re using your carbs. Don’t lower your carb intake. So that’s why bodybuilders should: eat as minimum protein as possible to meet their needs.
Don’t just go for the 2 grams per kilo or whatever it is the protein powder companies want you to buy, figure out your minimum. Keep in mind what was discussed here: http://www.fullbellyfitness.com/?p=15 it is very unlikely that you can use anywhere near 2 grams per kilo let alone fully using 1 gram per kilo.
Here’s the added benefit of keeping the protein at tiny surplus as opposed to a bloating glut: more carbs = more efficiency with protein digestion. The reverse is true as well, the less carbs you have to work with the more protein you need.
So let me know if you’re trying any of these high protein diets or if you’re a low protein high carb favoring lifter and we can put together more data. As it stands it seems most people are buying the hype, but their numbers don’t add up. There’s no reason to think that just because a person is going to the gym that they suddenly need massive amounts of protein that we know for a fact are not being built as muscle. If you want the math for that go back to http://www.fullbellyfitness.com/?p=15.
P.S. Check Out http://youtube.com/fruitandstrength for a person that’s go solid strength and has been doing so on what others might consider a very very low protein diet.