Protein intake on big-outing days

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I’m eating a diet that is 30% calories from protein, 20% from fat and 50% from carbs. my question applies all the time, while cutting or bulking Some days I lift and do a long trail run or rock climb where I burn 1000 calories or more. Should I stick to getting 30% of calories from protein on those days (can be upwards of 300g of protein), or limit protein intake to 1g per lb of body weight and increase my other macros? If I should limit my protein, then should I be filling out those calories based on the intensity of the outing (e.g. 50-50 fat-carbs if in zone 2, 25-75 fat-carbs if zone 4)?
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  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,702 Member
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    Well . . . I'd say kind of not exactly any of the above.

    Personally, I think it's a good idea to estimate protein and fat needs in grams, and treat those as minimums. (This is assuming there's no health condition complicating nutritional needs.)

    This is an evidence based source for estimating protein needs, from a site generally regarded as neutral:

    https://examine.com/protein-intake-calculator/
    https://examine.com/guides/protein-intake/

    The ranges recommended by the calculator will usually contain the values that the most common rules of thumb suggest. (The guide notes that if a person is very overweight, it's OK to use a sensible goal weight as a basis for protein estimates.)

    For myself, because both protein and fats contain "essential nutrients", I mostly use carbs to balance calories after getting my protein and fats minimums (and letting those go up above the minimums when I feel like it and it doesn't interfere with any other nutritional goals, like micronutrients).

    Carb intake seems to be somewhat subjective. Some people find that carbs spike their appetite, so keep them lower. Other people find that too few carbs tanks their energy level, so they chose to eat more of them. It's true that many/most athletes find carbs useful as workout fuel.

    Personally, speaking as a long term recreational short-endurance athlete, I seem to feel best around 50% carbs +/-, but don't follow that obsessively closely. I do sometimes shift the carb content of meals/snacks depending on planned workouts (more carbs if more intensity/duration coming up).

    But I've never done a really strict "if this zone for this long then X amount of carbs" kind of thing. My coaching education included some (not lots) of nutritional information, and I didn't see any really structured carb formulas like that in that context. For myself, I experimented, made choices based on how I felt.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,009 Member
    edited April 29
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    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,801 Member
    edited April 29
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    You want to set up your macro goals in grams and not percentages. If you’re extremely overweight use more towards your target weight in the equations and not your current weight for protein and fats.
  • ethanwilkes
    ethanwilkes Posts: 5 Member
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    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

  • ethanwilkes
    ethanwilkes Posts: 5 Member
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    @AnnPT77 @tomcustombuilder thank you so much for your comments, super helpful! I’ll switch to grams and adjust intake on big outings as I learn a bit more about what feels good out there. 🫡
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,801 Member
    edited April 29
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    @AnnPT77 @tomcustombuilder thank you so much for your comments, super helpful! I’ll switch to grams and adjust intake on big outings as I learn a bit more about what feels good out there. 🫡
    Those high energy output days carbs will be what you want to bump up

    Also, the reason for grams is that you want to keep your protein at the upper levels as you lose fat and begin to lower your calorie target. % and protein gets lowered

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,702 Member
    edited April 29
    Options
    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

    I'll let Neanderthin speak to his carbs point.

    I suspect he's hinting that high glycemic index (GI) and refined carbohydrates (ultra-processed foods, for example) have down-sides. I think that (whether he does or not ;) ), but I don't demonize or avoid carbs. I eat a lot of carbs, but most of them are from veggies, fruits, and other whole foods.

    I don't demonize sugar either, even refined added sugars (common granulated white sugar, as one example). But many people eat too much sugar/added sugar, according to health authorities. I do eat added sugar, but relatively quite low amounts of it, usually. The mainstream suggestion is no more than 10% of calories from added sugars, I believe.

    Personally, I'm more concerned to get good things into my eating, vs. taking supposedly bad things out. I find that if I prioritize getting good overall nutrition within calories, it sort of automagically limits things a lot of people would consider bad.

    But that's just me.

    When it comes to protein, if the majority of your protein is coming from meat, fish, seafood, eggs, relatively less-processed dairy foods - animal sources, basically - bioavailability and absorption (plus completeness in essential amino acids, EAAs) shouldn't be a huge concern, as far as I know.

    I'm not the right person to speak to nuance within animal-source foods, though, because I'm vegetarian, specifically ovo-lacto vegetarian (for almost 50 years so far), i.e., I eat dairy (quite a lot, in practice) and eggs (not many, just by taste preference).

    Plant proteins tend to be less bioavailable than animal proteins, and many are EAA-incomplete. That's not absolute.

    I think vegans/vegetarians (or even omnivores who rely on plant sources for a fair fraction of their protein) should (1) get relatively more grams of protein routinely to compensate for those things, and (2) inform themselves generally about issues around EAA-completeness and bioavailability of plant proteins. I'm not going to belabor that here, because purely going on statistical incidence within the developed-world population, I'm going to guess that you're more likely an omnivore and getting much of your protein from animal sources.

    FWIW, I don't encourage anyone to become vegan or vegetarian for health reasons or for weight loss. I don't believe those ways of eating are inherently more healthful, and they're certainly not a guarantee of weight loss. (I was an overweight/obese vegetarian for decades myself :grimace: .) There are good reasons (IMO) to chose to be vegan or vegetarian, but health or weight loss aren't among them. Good overall nutrition (IMO) can be achieved within those ways of eating, but they require a bit more knowledge, attention, and care. (Omnivores don't automatically get good nutrition just by being omnivores, either, of course.)

    Just my views and opinions, as always.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,543 Member
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    Studies have shown little if any benefit above 0.7g per pound. If you increase your calories because of high activity days, no you don't need more protein. If your protein sources are of poorer quality, perhaps some vegan sources, then bump that goal a bit higher.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,009 Member
    edited April 29
    Options
    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

    I was being flippant ethan, and I apologize, truly. Your actual question is impossible to answer, especially if we're breaking it down into percentages. If eating more carbs during more intense exercise works for you then sure, why not, everyone will have a different experience though. Personally when I'm about to play some pretty intense hockey a steak gives more energy, life and endurance than pasta.
  • ethanwilkes
    ethanwilkes Posts: 5 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

    I'll let Neanderthin speak to his carbs point.

    I suspect he's hinting that high glycemic index (GI) and refined carbohydrates (ultra-processed foods, for example) have down-sides. I think that (whether he does or not ;) ), but I don't demonize or avoid carbs. I eat a lot of carbs, but most of them are from veggies, fruits, and other whole foods.

    I don't demonize sugar either, even refined added sugars (common granulated white sugar, as one example). But many people eat too much sugar/added sugar, according to health authorities. I do eat added sugar, but relatively quite low amounts of it, usually. The mainstream suggestion is no more than 10% of calories from added sugars, I believe.

    Personally, I'm more concerned to get good things into my eating, vs. taking supposedly bad things out. I find that if I prioritize getting good overall nutrition within calories, it sort of automagically limits things a lot of people would consider bad.

    But that's just me.

    When it comes to protein, if the majority of your protein is coming from meat, fish, seafood, eggs, relatively less-processed dairy foods - animal sources, basically - bioavailability and absorption (plus completeness in essential amino acids, EAAs) shouldn't be a huge concern, as far as I know.

    I'm not the right person to speak to nuance within animal-source foods, though, because I'm vegetarian, specifically ovo-lacto vegetarian (for almost 50 years so far), i.e., I eat dairy (quite a lot, in practice) and eggs (not many, just by taste preference).

    Plant proteins tend to be less bioavailable than animal proteins, and many are EAA-incomplete. That's not absolute.

    I think vegans/vegetarians (or even omnivores who rely on plant sources for a fair fraction of their protein) should (1) get relatively more grams of protein routinely to compensate for those things, and (2) inform themselves generally about issues around EAA-completeness and bioavailability of plant proteins. I'm not going to belabor that here, because purely going on statistical incidence within the developed-world population, I'm going to guess that you're more likely an omnivore and getting much of your protein from animal sources.

    FWIW, I don't encourage anyone to become vegan or vegetarian for health reasons or for weight loss. I don't believe those ways of eating are inherently more healthful, and they're certainly not a guarantee of weight loss. (I was an overweight/obese vegetarian for decades myself :grimace: .) There are good reasons (IMO) to chose to be vegan or vegetarian, but health or weight loss aren't among them. Good overall nutrition (IMO) can be achieved within those ways of eating, but they require a bit more knowledge, attention, and care. (Omnivores don't automatically get good nutrition just by being omnivores, either, of course.)

    Just my views and opinions, as always.

    Amazing, thanks again! I get protein from chicken, turkey, fish, and whey protein generally, carbs from whole grains, fruits and veggies. So seems like I shouldn’t need further adjustments besides the switch to grams you recommended before and the “minimum” treatment for fat and protein. I could go more veg in the future for environmental reasons so I’ll hang on to that expertise!
  • ethanwilkes
    ethanwilkes Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

    I was being flippant ethan, and I apologize, truly. Your actual question is impossible to answer, especially if we're breaking it down into percentages. If eating more carbs during more intense exercise works for you then sure, why not, everyone will have a different experience though. Personally when I'm about to play some pretty intense hockey a steak gives more energy, life and endurance than pasta.

    I kind of suspected ha. No worries! I feel like these other folks helped me solve my issue by switching to grams (since, as you correctly pointed out, percentages were incompatible with proper nutrition these days). That makes sense though, my thinking was at low exertion I’d be burning a higher percentage fat than carbs vs higher exertion but it seems like it’s unclear if there’s a preferable ratio for those “extra” cals. I appreciate your point about doing what feels good for sure!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,702 Member
    Options
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    You need to determine the bioavailability and absorption rates of both the protein and the carbs you consumed. :#
    neanderthin! I’m naive enough to not understand this comment, could you give me just a bit of clarification or a source I could read to help me understand? Appreciate your comment!

    I'll let Neanderthin speak to his carbs point.

    I suspect he's hinting that high glycemic index (GI) and refined carbohydrates (ultra-processed foods, for example) have down-sides. I think that (whether he does or not ;) ), but I don't demonize or avoid carbs. I eat a lot of carbs, but most of them are from veggies, fruits, and other whole foods.

    I don't demonize sugar either, even refined added sugars (common granulated white sugar, as one example). But many people eat too much sugar/added sugar, according to health authorities. I do eat added sugar, but relatively quite low amounts of it, usually. The mainstream suggestion is no more than 10% of calories from added sugars, I believe.

    Personally, I'm more concerned to get good things into my eating, vs. taking supposedly bad things out. I find that if I prioritize getting good overall nutrition within calories, it sort of automagically limits things a lot of people would consider bad.

    But that's just me.

    When it comes to protein, if the majority of your protein is coming from meat, fish, seafood, eggs, relatively less-processed dairy foods - animal sources, basically - bioavailability and absorption (plus completeness in essential amino acids, EAAs) shouldn't be a huge concern, as far as I know.

    I'm not the right person to speak to nuance within animal-source foods, though, because I'm vegetarian, specifically ovo-lacto vegetarian (for almost 50 years so far), i.e., I eat dairy (quite a lot, in practice) and eggs (not many, just by taste preference).

    Plant proteins tend to be less bioavailable than animal proteins, and many are EAA-incomplete. That's not absolute.

    I think vegans/vegetarians (or even omnivores who rely on plant sources for a fair fraction of their protein) should (1) get relatively more grams of protein routinely to compensate for those things, and (2) inform themselves generally about issues around EAA-completeness and bioavailability of plant proteins. I'm not going to belabor that here, because purely going on statistical incidence within the developed-world population, I'm going to guess that you're more likely an omnivore and getting much of your protein from animal sources.

    FWIW, I don't encourage anyone to become vegan or vegetarian for health reasons or for weight loss. I don't believe those ways of eating are inherently more healthful, and they're certainly not a guarantee of weight loss. (I was an overweight/obese vegetarian for decades myself :grimace: .) There are good reasons (IMO) to chose to be vegan or vegetarian, but health or weight loss aren't among them. Good overall nutrition (IMO) can be achieved within those ways of eating, but they require a bit more knowledge, attention, and care. (Omnivores don't automatically get good nutrition just by being omnivores, either, of course.)

    Just my views and opinions, as always.

    Amazing, thanks again! I get protein from chicken, turkey, fish, and whey protein generally, carbs from whole grains, fruits and veggies. So seems like I shouldn’t need further adjustments besides the switch to grams you recommended before and the “minimum” treatment for fat and protein. I could go more veg in the future for environmental reasons so I’ll hang on to that expertise!

    In my understanding, those are high quality, bioavailable protein sources.

    That sounds like a good overall plan to me. :)