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The protein "myth" continues to flourish, just like it has done since the time of Milo from Crotona way back in the 6th century before Christ. You probably heard the story of how Milo would put a young calf on his back and carry it around the Olympic stadium every day.
When the same calf was a 4-year-old bull Milo was still carrying the bull around the stadium. After he won wrestling titles at 5 Olympic games and other sacred festivals, Milo was considered to be the strongest men in all of ancient Greece. Milo's application of progressive resistance by lifting the growing calf daily, developed his strength. Milo's daily consumption of meat was recorded at around 20lbs a day. But the point is that ever since then the protein myth has abounded in all weightlifters, bodybuilders, strength athletes and their trainers.
Following the fitness boom of the 80's we saw protein powders promoted like it was the new wonder-drug. Ads tempting consumers to purchase some protein powders in huge garbage can-sized quantities. Clearly, science has been put on the back shelf, resulting in a host of fallacies and myths springing up in sports nutrition.
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board have clearly stated way back in 1980 that for sedentary adults the RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 0.8 grams per kilogram (kg) of lean bodyweight. For infants and children their RDA would be doubled or tripled because of rapid growth rate.
We will not explain how the researchers came up with this RDA which stunned the bodybuilding community, but the explanation is freely available online. Exercise obviously adds a whole new dimension to the RDA argument because the body, will increase it's need for protein, if it can't rely on dietary sources, it'll take from its own stores or feed off itself, resulting in catabolic breakdown and not anabolic building, meaning you are losing muscle and not gaining it.
Research done by sports scientists trying to find the ideal protein RDA for people who exercise clearly indicates that 0.8g/kg lean muscle is insufficient for anyone who exercises on a regular basis. Dr. Peter Lemon, who did this research said that it has been clearly demonstrated that according to several different studies, anyone involved with strength training of any kind should eat about 1.7 or 1.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of bodyweight a day.
There are countless studies available online which show various results, some rather conflicting but generally protein intake should be doubled when doing strength training. A study done in San Francisco at the Letterman Army Institute of Research clearly showed that the subjects eating a higher protein intake (2.8 g/kg/day), doing intense strength training, gained an incredible 3.28 kg (7.2lbs) of lean body mass in 40 days.