Protein intake for building muscle mass

on 11/2/13 1:54 am

Hello everyone.  For those of you trying to maximize muscle gain, how much protein do you consume daily? I now weigh about 150lbs.  From what I understand, that means I should be consuming about 150g  or more of protein each day.  However, as a post-DS'er, my body only absorbs roughly half of the protein I consume.  Does that really mean I need about 300g of protein per day?  Even with double scoops in my protein shakes, that's going to be about 8 shakes per day (maybe minus 1 or 2 depending on the meals).  Considering the body needs time to process the protein, how does one consume so many shakes while still leaving a few hours in between each "dose"?  Or am I misunderstanding something? Any advice would be much appreciated!

A bit about me: I had DS about 3 years ago and went from 300lbs to 140lbs, then regained to 150lbs (thank goodness).  However, I'm still too skinny and have been working out for the past year to build more muscle in the hopes of tightening up some of the loose skin (among other things).  I've been consuming 3-4 shakes per day of 40g each, and have definitely noticed increased muscle size.  The weird thing is, the scale hasn't moved much.  Not sure why that is, but it's one of the reasons I'm wondering if I need to double my shake intake.

on 11/2/13 5:57 am - Northern, CA

Ignore the scale. Once you are in the normal range, body composition is the important thing. If you look good in the mirror and have good labs and are healthy, that's what's important.

Anyway, if you are only absorbing half the protein you consume, then consuming 300 g is the same as consuming 150 g and plenty of people consume 150 g of protein a day with no issues. They don't require special timing or anything like that. Just count the shakes with 40 g of protein as if they had 20 g and go from there.

In addition to your 120 g a day from shakes, how much protein are you getting from meals?

HW - 225 SW - 191 GW - 132 CW - 122
Visit my blog at Fatty Fights Back      Become a Fan on Facebook!
Starting BMI 40-ish or less? Join the LightWeights

on 11/2/13 2:44 pm


My daily protein intake from meals varies, but I expect it averages 30-40g/day.  As I was searching through these forums for answers, some actually said that 300g was too much and could cause problems.  On any other forum, I would have discounted such advice because it doesn't apply to someone with an altered digestive system.  However, considering this is a wls forum, I thought I should confirm that. 

300g does seem like an awful lot.  And there is that problem of not having enough time to absorb each shake.  Maybe I should add 3 scoops for 60g (effectively 30g for me).  That would be about 4-5 shakes which sounds a bit more doable. Does anyone else here consume twice their weight in protein grams daily?  If so, in what quantities per serving and how many servings daily?

on 11/2/13 4:07 pm, edited 11/2/13 4:08 pm - Northern, CA

But it's not 300 g. It's only 150 g.

If you were absorbing 300 g, that would be a lot and it would make your kidneys work pretty hard. But you aren't absorbing it because of the DS. For RnY, they only malabsorb about 20-30% of calories and it wears off after a few years. Lapbands and sleeves don't malabsorb anything. So just because someone says "that sounds like a lot", doesn't mean they understand DS math. mail

Also, you keep mentioning how much time it takes to absorb things. That doesn't really matter either. It takes about 16 hours to absorb all the calories from a steak. But that doesn't mean you can't eat other things a few hours after your steak and have them absorb.

That's because your intestines are like a conveyor belt... So they are absorbing all along them. Before your DS, your intestines were about 36 feet long -- the length of a school bus. But now they are shorter and that's why you don't absorb all the protein. But the food definitely takes more time to pass through than the time between meals.

You should probably also post on the DS boards where people understand your altered anatomy better and have some of the same issues. Most of the people here have bypass so they aren't eating double their weight in protein because they are absorbing 70-100% of what they eat. I have a sleeve so I absorb 100% of what I eat. So I'm not in the same position you are in.

To answer your question, I weigh around 129-125 and I try to get at least 100 g of protein a day and I usually average around 125. So I am eating about 1 g of protein per pound of body weight.

I should probably eat more though because my serum protein levels are low. But I can't get more in without gaining or not getting in enough of the other stuff I want to eat like veggies and stuff. But I think my situation is rare.

HW - 225 SW - 191 GW - 132 CW - 122
Visit my blog at Fatty Fights Back      Become a Fan on Facebook!
Starting BMI 40-ish or less? Join the LightWeights

on 11/2/13 4:42 pm

Thanks for the input.  I thought about posting on the DS boards, but I wasn't sure how many bodybuilder-types frequent that board.  It's good to know that processing time is not much of an issue.  In that case, I think I will triple scoop :) 

Most Active
weekly work out 6;19;17
highlandbear · 6 replies · 56 views