High-protein diet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from High protein diet)
Jump to: navigation, search
Examples of high-protein foods are tofu (shown above), dairy products, fish, and meat.

A high-protein diet is often recommended by bodybuilders and nutritionists to help efforts to build muscle and lose fat. It should not be confused with low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins Diet, which are not food-energy–controlled and which often contain large amounts of fat.

While adequate protein is required for building skeletal muscle and other tissues, there is ongoing debate regarding the use and necessity of high-protein diets in anaerobic exercise, in particular for weight training and bodybuilding.

Health effects[edit]

Extreme protein intake (in excess of 200 g per day), coupled with inadequate intake of other calorie sources (fat or carbohydrates), can cause a form of metabolic disturbance and death commonly known as rabbit starvation.[1] Even when consuming other calorie sources, consuming more than 285 g of protein per day (for an 80 kg person) may be unsafe.[2]

Relatively little evidence has been gathered regarding the effect of more moderate long-term high intake of protein on the development of chronic diseases.[3] Increased load on the kidney is a result of an increase in reabsorption of NaCl. This causes a decrease in the sensitivity of tubuloglomerular feedback, which, in turn, results in an increased glomerular filtration rate. This increases pressure in glomerular capillaries.[4] When added to any additional renal disease, this may cause permanent glomerular damage.

As is apparent from the list below, many high-protein foods (indeed, most low-carb foods with protein) are fairly low in fiber. This can lead to discomfort if additional roughage is not added to the diet.

High-protein foods[edit]

High-protein foods include:

Food Protein fraction by mass
Soy protein isolate 88%[5]
Boiled green soybeans 12%[a][6]
Whey protein concentrate up to 89%
Whey protein isolate at least 90%
Peanuts 24%[b][6]
Steak 27 to 34%[c][6]
Chicken breast 31%[d][6]
Salmon fillet 25%[e][6]
Tuna (canned) 19%[f][6]

Protein and weight training[edit]

Protein is described as essential by advocates of the high-protein diet, which includes a large proportion of the bodybuilding community; it is claimed to provide the muscle with amino acids required to repair the damage done by anaerobic exercise. High protein consumption leads to increased levels of IGF-1,[7] a hormone which, among other things, increases muscle protein synthesis. Some consume protein supplements after bodybuilding workouts, as they provide a quick and easily consumable protein source. Alternatively, meat, beans, or other high-protein foods are consumed.

It is possible to maintain a strict vegan high-protein diet, though due to the lower protein density of plant-based foods this requires a larger absolute volume of food compared to a non-vegan diet; simply put, vegans must consume a lot more food to get a lot of protein.[8] Legumes and soy foods are two vegan sources with high protein content per calorie. Vegans may engage in protein combining to obtain a complete mix of amino acids.[9]

Although some testing shows that the body will absorb and use a greater amount of protein after "bodybuilding" type exercises than under more sedentary circumstances,[10] and some studies on weight training show clinically significant gains in muscle with a very high protein diet when compared to more moderate intake, in some studies increased protein intake fails to translate into functional differences in strength or muscle size.[11] However, consistently consuming less protein than an individual's body requires (approximately 0.7g/kg/day for a sedentary individual)[12] causes loss of existing lean body mass, even with an excessively caloric diet.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boiled and drained. 22.23 per 180 g
  2. ^ Dry roasted. 6.71 per 28.35 g
  3. ^ Separable lean. 22.92 to 29.19 per 85 g
  4. ^ Meat only. 26.68 per 86 g
  5. ^ Sockeye, cooked, dry heat. 21.59 per 85 g
  6. ^ Light, canned in water, drained solids. 16.52 per 85 g


  1. ^ Bilsborough, Shane; Mann, Niel (April 2006). "A review of issues of dietary protein intake in humans" (PDF). International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 16 (2): 129–52. PMID 16779921. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Bilsborough, S.; Mann, N. (April 2006). "A review of issues of dietary protein intake in humans". International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 16 (2): 129–152. PMID 16779921. 
  3. ^ "Protein: Moving Closer to Center Stage". Harvard School of Public Health. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Walter F., PhD. Boron. Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approach. Elsevier/Saunders. p. 771. ISBN 1-4160-2328-3. 
  5. ^ "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28: Basic Report: 16122, Soy protein isolate". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25: Protein ( g ) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure, sorted alphabetically" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  7. ^ The CR Way by Paul McGlothin and Meredith Averill pg 16 "Many studies of growth regulation in adults and children show that protein intake increases IGF-1 levels - independent of calories."
  8. ^ Pilon, Mary (4 January 2012). "Sculptured by Weights and a Strict Vegan Diet". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss". Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Lemon, P. W. R.; Tarnopolsky, M. A.; MacDougall, J. D.; Atkinson, S. A. (August 1992). "Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders" (PDF). Journal of Applied Physiology. 73 (2): 767–75. PMID 1400008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Tipton, K. D.; Wolfe, R. R. (2004). "Protein and amino acids for athletes" (PDF). Journal of Sports Sciences. 22 (1): 65–79. PMID 14971434. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140554. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Estimated Average Requirements". Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Bray, George A.; et al. (January 2012). "Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating: A Randomized Controlled Trial". Journal of the American Medical Association. 307 (1): 47–55. PMC 3777747Freely accessible. PMID 22215165. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1918. Retrieved 9 August 2013.