Research shows that a low protein diet results in reduced muscle building, while too much protein intake places a heavy load on the kidneys

By sports nutritionist Nilo Ghajar-Williams

jar of protein powder and food with protein, isolated on whiteA group of researchers assessed the protein requirements for strength athletes and found that a low protein diet consumed by these athletes resulted in reduced protein synthesis when compared to medium and high protein diets. Whole body protein synthesis was not different between the medium and high protein groups. However, in the high protein group, leucine oxidation increased, indicating a nutrient overload. This suggests that the high protein group consumed more protein than required by the body. To summarize, the protein requirements of athletes are higher than the sedentary population, in order to support muscle recovery and growth.

Diet Grams of protein per day for each category (as outlined in the study)
Low protein 0.86 g/kg of BW
Medium protein 1.4 g/kg of BW
High protein 2.4 g/kg of BW


Example: What does a medium protein diet (1.4g/kg of BW of protein) look like for a 180 lbs male?

180/2.2 = 82 kg à 82 kg * 1.4 g = 115 g of protein per day



  1. Tarnopolsky M. A., Atkinson S. A., MacDougall J. D., Chesley A., Phillips S., & Schwarcz H. P. (1992). Evaluation of protein requirements for trained strength athletes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 73, 1986–1995.