Protein – How Much? The never ending discussion.

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 A recent meta-analysis of 49 prior studies with 1863 participants was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The conclusions were not surprising.

I’ve always used the rule of 1 gram of protein per pound of Lean Body Mass. So for a guy – like me – weighing 180 pounds with 20% body fat, you would top out at 140+/- grams of protein per day.

Their conclusion: 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight. 180 pounds = 81.6 kg x 1.6 grams = 130 grams. Not a significant difference in calculation. Another way of looking at it – .70 grams of protein times your body weight.

Summary/conclusion Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size during prolonged RET [Resistance Exercise Training] in healthy adults. Increasing age reduces and training experience increases the efficacy of protein supplementation during RET. With protein supplementation, protein intakes at amounts greater than ~1.6 g/kg/day do not further contribute RET-induced gains in FFM [Fat-Free Mass].

Let this be your guide to how much protein you need to maximize your gains from exercise.

One more concept – don’t forget Gluconeogenesis: a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from certain non-carbohydrate carbon substrates, such as protein. Too much protein generates glucose and undermines Ketosis.

One more post script: This only applies if you are actually doing Resistance Training.


Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis – Part 2


On February 20, 2015, I wrote a post entitled Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis a Linkage Found.

The heart of that post was my awareness that my Psoriasis had really eased up as I spent more time on a VLCHF – Ketogenic diet. It was not something that happened overnight – but I eventually realized that areas that were of concern, were no longer a problem – my elbows being one area. I can’t pin point the time – it was not quick – just gradual and probably took a year or more.

When I brought this to my Dermatologist’s attention – she pooh-poohed me telling me that diet has nothing to do with psoriasis. I later found articles indicating that one component of psoriasis was inflammation. At least I had some explanation of why my patches had abated. A Ketogenic Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet.

That dermatological practice had dissolved. One retired, the other no longer does skin checks. Today I had my first skin check in about a year or so. The new Doc listened to my tale and was a bit surprised. He did admit that the latest thinking is that Psoriasis is related to inflammation. 

He examined my body from all angles. Doc – any dry patches – “nothing worth doing anything about.”

My journey with “dry skin” actually started with my audiologist who – upon examining my ear, said : “You have a lot of dry skin in your ear canal.” And – that started the process of curing my TMJ.

I periodically had what we thought was TMJ. It turned out to be an irritated patch of psoriasis in the ear. I would scratch, put the hearing aid in – and it would end up inflamed. That inflammation was enough to push the jaw out of alignment.

I now have a liquid med to put a drop in an itchy ear. Not sure if it is a psoriasis patch or just an itch. Doesn’t matter – I need to make sure that it does not become inflamed. This does not happen often – but when you wear hearing aids – it is a problem that may occur.

I would never say that following a Ketogenic Diet will cure Psoriasis. But – Damn – it sure seems to have helped me – a helluva lot. What do you have to lose.


Dietary Myths: Salt – Saturated Fat – Protein


I came across this article on Men’s Health: The 3 Things the Government Got Wrong in the New Dietary Guidelines

  • Sodium isn’t Evil
  • Neither is Saturated Fat
  • You’re not eating too much protein

Their comments are interesting – if not things we already know.  Here’s the bottom line on Salt.

That said, it’s been known for the past 20+ years that people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods.

Why? Because it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters.

In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does.

And it turns out, the average guy consumes 3,100 mg of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.

If you are eating a Very Low Carb, High Fat diet, you already know that Dietary Fats are not the enemy. But – What about Saturated Fats?

A 2010 review of 21 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no conclusive evidence that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.

According to a review in the European Journal of Nutrition, a diet high in fat from dairy products such as butter may even raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while having no effect on levels of potentially harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol.

For me, the more interesting report was about Protein. The issue of just how much is enough or too much has been battered around this Blog for ages. There seems to be no one right answer, but – note the following:

Protein Chart

And no, that extra protein won’t wreck your kidneys: “Taking in more than the recommended dose won’t confer more benefit. It won’t hurt you, but you’ll just burn it off as extra energy,” Dr. Tarnopolsky says.

We already know that a significant portion of amino acids in that steak will be converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. If you are not a “Highly Trained Athlete” – then keeping your Protein consumption closer to 100 grams is probably the better way to go – particularly if you want to be in Ketosis.

This chart gives us a different view point on those “expensive” Protein Shakes sold at most Gyms.


Keto Adapted Endurance Athletes


Endurance athletes who ‘go against the grain’ become incredible fat-burners

Elite performance on diet with minimal carbs represents paradigm shift in sports nutrition

By: Emily Caldwell

Published on November 16, 2015 The Ohio State News Room published

The study, the first to profile elite athletes habitually eating very low-carbohydrate diets, involved 20 ultra-endurance runners age 21-45 who were top competitors in running events of 50 kilometers (31 miles) or more.

“These low-carb athletes were spectacular fat burners,” said lead researcher Jeff Volek, professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. “Their peak fat burning and the amount of fat burned while running for three hours on a treadmill was dramatically higher than what the high-carb athletes were able to burn.

I love reading this stuff.  Seriously, the overwhelming belief is that you cannot be an effective endurance athlete without Carbs.  Most of the attempts at disproving the value of eating Low Carb, never deal with those who are actually Keto adapted.  This one does.  Why – because the researcher is Dr. Jeff Volek.

I’m not going to quote the entire article here, click on the link and read it. But – this is the part that I love.

Another key finding: Despite their low intake of carbs, these fat-burning athletes had normal muscle glycogen levels – the storage form of carbohydrates – at rest. They also broke down roughly the same level of glycogen as the high-carb runners during the long run, and synthesized the same amount of glycogen in their muscles during recovery as the high-carb athletes.

“This was completely unexpected, but now that we have observed it we have some novel ideas why this is the case. We can only speculate on the mechanism behind it,” Volek said.

Muscle glycogen was discovered in the 1960s to be a critical energy source for athletes, which led to decades of emphasis on high-carb diets to support energy needs during intense exercise. But Volek said the body has an elegant system to support glycogen levels even when carbohydrates are limited in the diet.

So this raises the question – is Carb Cycling necessary to replenish glycogen stores in your muscles?  It doesn’t look like it.

If you are a science nerd – which I am not – here is the link to the underlying research published on line in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental.


The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

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I subscribe to the Weekly Dose from T-Nation.  No – I am not a muscle-bound big gun guy.  I am lucky if I can stop the clock from taking away all of my strength.  This Weekly Dose had an article entitled: The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets by Brad Dieter, PhD.

I do not always agree with their articles.  Actually – oft-times I find them of no real value for me.  This time, the article about Ketogenic Diets piqued my interest.  I’ve linked the author’s LinkedIn bio so you can see his background and judge his ability to make the statements that he does.

Here is the upfront synopsis:

Here’s what {he says} you need to know…

  1. Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism.
  2. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates.
  3. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis.
  4. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source.
  5. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass.
  6. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively.

I’m not going to analyze his article.  I’ll leave that for the science guys – but – there are no footnotes, no citations, no references to the information he relies upon for his conclusions.  

Please – if you are going to write something that references studies – reference the damn studies.

I do know this – I hope that I am in ketosis most of the time.  I sure as hell am not relying upon glycogen in my muscles to do my exercises.  I am not relying upon stored glycogen to fuel my aged brain.  Eight years of strength training and Ketosis has never failed me.

I guess the one statement that ruffles my feathers is:

Ingesting protein above certain quantities is glucogenic and will prevent you from staying in ketosis. In practical terms, consuming protein at or above .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis.

There is no question that excess protein can undermine ketosis.  But where does he get an absolute number.  This was thrown in to strike a chord with those weight lifters and body builders who rely heavily on protein consumption.  Hit that chord and they will not touch a ketogenic diet.

I would really like the opinions of others as to this article and its conclusions.