Coach Jack explains protein requirements!
So I get a lot of pushback from other “experts” as well as many of my clients about protein requirements on Keto. I will now address the issue.
First point I want to bring up is based on the whole idea of fasting. I am not a fan of fasting for many reasons but it raises exactly the point I want to make. There are many documented cases of people fasting for extended periods of time. There is an article posted to the NIH where a patient was followed for 382 days of a medically supervised fast. This man consumed nothing but water, vitamins and electrolytes for over a year. He lost a massive amount of weight and reported only minor health concerns which cleared themselves up with minor and temporary supplementation of vitamins and/or minerals. This man lost virtually no lean mass. The amount was negligible.
Now keeping that in mind, if this man was able to fast for over a year with no protein intake at all, why on earth do we think that we will strangely start catabolizing lean mass if we don’t eat at least half our body weight in protein? Does that really make any logical sense?
Our body’s have an abundance of amino acids and proteins available. We are constantly recycling proteins as well. This is what autophagy is. When proteins in cells become damaged or stop functioning optimally it is broken down into its base components and added back to the amino acid pool for recycling. Now these are no longer complete sources of protein but so long as we are intaking some forms of complete protein they will be able to fulfil the need. This greatly reduces the amount of protein we require to repair our lean tissue. Add to this the fact that Ketones are amazingly protein sparing you have the recipe for a vastly reduced protein requirement.
Now I don’t agree with vegans or vegetarians very often but there is one point they make that I 100% agree with. Excessive protein is damaging and has potential to increase the risk of cancer and aging. I believe it is from the China study where they say that optimal protein is about 10% of calories. I tend to be pretty close to that. I prefer 10-13% but that is ballpark. This seems to be where I see the most success is in this range. For myself and my clients. Protein is insulinagenic for one. It causes a spike in insulin which is the enemy to weight loss and it also stimulates the mTOR pathway in a detrimental way.
mTOR is arguably the most important pathway in the body. It senses all nutrient sensors and makes a judgement on wether a cell replicates or stays alive longer and replicates at a more opportune time. Cells can’t have it both ways. They can either replicate a lot or they can stay alive for a long time. mTOR is in charge of this decision and the decision is primarily factored by protein intake. mTOR is also linked to increased risk of cancer and more rapid spread of cancer. If cells are rapidly and frequently replicating there is far greater chance they will replicate in an irregular way. Irregular cell replication is Cancer. One of the best ways to help with cancer is protein restriction. In addition, the more cells replicate the faster they age. You want to reduce the effects of ageing, you reduce mTOR. The video below is a great discussion on mTOR.
So now with us knowing that we can fast for prolonged periods with no protein and not lose lean mass and that protein actually stimulates insulin and increases risk of cancer and speeds up the aging process, can we please get off of this crazy idea that we absolutely need tons of protein. Lets stop listening to the bro science and start thinking about life and longevity.