Originally Posted by ShyBoy
of course protein is integral to building muscle,but i personally have tried different diets,varied the amount of meals,amount of protein and nutrient timing,and found that the amount of protein that is needed is greatly exaggerated eg 40 grams per meal
Yes, protein is necessary, but even vegetarians get enough protein to build muscle. Here's an interesting study taken from "How Much Protein"
We can look at the research that explored the effect of resistance training on vegetarians as another way to assess the need for protein. Not only do vegetarians eat somewhat below average intakes of protein, they also obviously do not eat any animal meat, which in the sports nutrition world are largely considered to be the most "anabolic" of all protein sources.
In a study published in the scientific journal "˜Medicine Science, Sports and Exercise', 2 groups of people were asked to follow weight-training programs [Burke DG, 2003].
Both groups followed the exact same high volume, heavy load resistance training workout program for 8 full weeks. The only difference between the groups was that one group consisted of people who have all been vegetarians for at least the last 3 years of their lives. They were either lacto-ovo (milk and eggs only) or even stricter forms of vegetarians. The other group consisted of people who ate the traditional North American diet consisting of all forms of meat.
The vegetarian group ate almost 450 less calories per day than the nonvegetarian subjects, while the non-veggie group ate around 1.75 times more protein than the veggie subjects (79 grams per day versus 138.5 grams per day). Neither group took any form of post-workout supplement other than creatine.
From there, the two groups were each divided in two again. This time with people either taking creatine or not taking any form of supplement. So the study design ended up looking like this:
* Group 1: VEGETERIAN + NO CREATINE
* Group 2: VEGETRAIAN + CREATINE
* Group 3: NON-VEGETARIAN + NO CREATINE
* Group 4: NON-VEGETARIAN + CREATINE
By the end of this study all four groups had gained similar amounts of lean mass (between roughly 2-5 pounds, the exact amount we would expect from a resistance training program of this length). The only group that was significantly different was the vegetarian plus creatine group, who gained slightly more muscle than the non-vegetarian plus creatine group.This research illustrates that muscle growth is possible without eating high amounts of protein, and also suggests that once minimum protein (and calorie) requirements are met, adding more protein and more calories does not seem to increase the total amount of lean mass that is gained from a resistance training program.