Protein for Athletes

How much protein should athletes consume?

Bodybuilders have long known that consuming extra protein makes it easier to add muscle. Yet low protein dieting can enhance immunity against viruses and bacteria, and extends lifespan in animals.

The Perfect Health Diet, because we’re positive toward saturated fats and starches, will often lead to lower protein consumption than other Paleo diets that restrict fatty or starchy foods. So it’s natural that some athletes and bodybuilders have asked how to optimize protein intake.

Robert recently asked about this, but let’s look specifically at the case of Advocatus Avocado:

I believe my performance improved (albeit marginally–the differences aren’t large) when I allowed my protein/carb/fat ratios to remain consistent despite my high caloric intake, which is ~3,600 calories/day. In other words, I had a sense of better performance when I lowered my fat% to around 65 and allowed around 200g/day of protein (I work out 2-3x a week for an hour).

At 3,600 calories per day, 65% fat is 2340 calories; 200 g protein is 800 calories; that leaves 460 calories carbs. How do these compare with Perfect Health Diet recommendations for athletes?

Nitrogen Balance, Exhaustion of Benefits, and Toxicity

There are a few magic numbers for protein intake that we want to be aware of:

  • Nitrogen balance. Nitrogen comes into the body in dietary protein and leaves the body in urine as ammonia, urea, and uric acid after proteins are metabolized. So when a person is in nitrogen balance, the amount of dietary protein matches the amount of metabolized protein, and the protein content of the body is unchanged. Very likely, the muscle content is unchanged too.
  • Exhaustion of benefits. We want to find the “plateau region” for nutrients. Athletes want to know: at what level of protein intake does protein no longer help build muscle?
  • Toxicity. At what level of protein intake does protein begin to damage health?

Luckily Ned Kock of the superb Health Correlator blog has done much of the work for us in his post “How much protein does one need to be in nitrogen balance?.”

He presents this chart, from a book on Exercise Physiology [1]:

There’s a great deal of variability across persons. Some people are in nitrogen balance at protein intake of 0.9 g/kg/day; others need as much as 1.5 g/kg/day. At 1.2 g/kg/day, half the sample was in nitrogen balance.

Various factors influence the interpretation of this data:

  • The sample was of endurance athletes. Endurance exercise increases protein needs, so most people would reach nitrogen balance at lower protein intakes. Resistance exercise doesn’t require as much protein: Experienced bodybuilders are typically in nitrogen balance at 1.2 g/kg/day. [2]
  • Most of the sample probably ate a high-carb diet. Glucose needs were met from dietary carbohydrates. Low-carb dieters would need additional protein for glucose manufacture.
  • As Ned states, in caloric deficit, protein needs are increased; in caloric surplus, protein needs are decreased. If you’re restricting calories for weight loss, expect to need a bit more protein to avoid muscle loss.
  • Supplementing leucine “increased protein synthesis and decreased protein breakdown” [2], thus leading to nitrogen balance at lower protein intakes.
  • The point of nitrogen balance is dynamic: if everyone in the sample ate 0.9 g/kg/day, then they’d eventually get into nitrogen balance at 0.9 g/kg/day. The body adjusts to conserve muscle at given food availability.

The average person needs much less protein to be in nitrogen balance. The US RDA for protein, 0.8 g/kg/day, was set so that 97.5% of Americans would be in nitrogen balance. [2] But just to be conservative, and because we’re developing advice for athletes, let’s consider 1.5 g/kg/day as the protein intake that brings our athletes into nitrogen balance.

What about the protein intake that exhausts benefits?  At what intake is muscle synthesis no longer promoted?

Ned, citing a review paper [2], offers the following answer: “[P]rotein intake beyond 25 percent of what is necessary to achieve a nitrogen balance of zero would have no effect on muscle gain.”

On my reading it’s not so easy to infer a clear answer, but let’s go with this. If so, then muscle gains would be exhausted at 1.25*1.5 = 1.875 g/kg/day even for the most strenuous athletes.

What about toxicity?

We deal with this in our book (p 25). At a protein intake of 230 g/day (920 calories), the body’s ability to convert ammonia to urea is saturated. [3] This means the nitrogen from every additional gram of protein lingers in the body as ammonia, a toxin.

Clearly marginal dietary protein is toxic, via ammonia poisoning, at this intake level. A reasonable estimate for where toxicity begins is between 150 to 200 g/day.

Putting it together: A prescription for athletes

Let’s say our athlete is an 80 kg man. Then maximum muscle gain will be achieved at a protein intake of 1.875*80 = 150 g/day. Toxicity will begin somewhere between 150 to 200 g/day. So the “plateau region” where all the benefits, and none of the toxicity, are achieved is between 150 g/day and some protein intake not much above 150 g/day.

The plateau region is quite narrow! What this tells us is that athletes should consume about 150 g/day protein.

This assumes a high-carb diet, so that no protein is needed for gluconeogenesis. The body utilizes about 600 calories/day of glucose, plus another 100 calories per hour of intense training.

With carb intakes below 600 calories/day, additional dietary protein would be needed, because protein would be consumed nearly 1-for-1 with the missing carbs.

So we can summarize these results as follows:

  • On a high-carb diet (>600 calories/day), 600 protein calories/day maximizes muscle gain.
  • On a low-carb diet (<600 calories/day), 1200 carb+protein calories/day maximizes muscle gain.

Looking back at Advocatus Avocado’s personal experience, he eats a low-carb diet with 460 carb calories per day. We predict therefore that he would need 740 protein calories a day to maximize his muscle gain (plus up to another 100 calories per hour of training, to replace lost glycogen).

Advocatus says he needs 800 protein calories/day to maximize muscle gain. Close enough for blog work!

At these protein intake levels, Advocatus is probably experiencing mild ammonia toxicity. He might slightly improve his health by eating a few more carbs, and cutting his protein intake a bit.

He might also find that leucine supplementation would reduce his protein needs a bit.

Overall, however, I think his experiences are consistent with our framework for understanding nutritional needs. Those who are content with maintaining an ordinary person’s muscle mass can get by with relatively low protein intakes of 0.8 g/kg/day or less. But muscle-building athletes need high protein intakes, around 1.9 g/kg/day, to maximize the rate of muscle gain. If they eat low-carb, they may need even more protein. Such high protein intakes are likely to exceed the threshold of toxicity.


[1] Brooks, G.A., Fahey, T.D., & Baldwin, K.M. (2005). Exercise physiology: Human bioenergetics and its applications. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

[2] Wilson, J., & Wilson, G.J. (2006). Contemporary issues in protein requirements and consumption for resistance trained athletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 3(1), 7-27.

[3] Rudman D et al. Maximal rates of excretion and synthesis of urea in normal and cirrhotic subjects. J Clin Invest. 1973 Sep;52(9):2241-9.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hi Nick,

    The logic is indirect, autophagy is a key innate immune mechanism against intracellular pathogens and protein restriction upregulates autophagy.

    Search Pubmed for “autophagy immune” and you’ll get some leads on the immune angle, and “autophagy protein restriction” will give leads to the other half of the argument, mostly derived from the longevity literature.

    Another aspect of this is that amino acid sequestration is another key part of the innate immune response. Interferon-gamma leads to sequestration of tryptophan for instance. Amino acids are needed for viral and protein replication, so minimizing the amount floating around in cells can slow down infection progression.

    Best, Paul

  2. Hi Paul, I’ve read you interesting article, but in your 150 g, do you include a vegetal protein too?

    I eat a lot of carb and vegetal protein are about 50 g/day. My weight is 60-65 kg so I should eat 110-120 g/day, 60-70 from animal source and 50 from vegetal source.

    Is it right?

    • Hi Marco,

      Yes, all sources of protein are included.

      110-120 g/day would be a good protein intake for a strength-oriented athlete, and higher than our recommendation for others.

  3. Hi Paul,

    You theorise that moderate-high protein diets can cause toxicity by saturating ammonia-processing capabilities.

    You suggest that it may be possible to keep protein synthesis high on a lower protein diet by using supplements such as BCAA’s or Leucine, which seems to indicate by process of elimination that you feel these supplements do not cause the ammonia toxicity problems that a high protein diet could.

    Do you have any research to show this?



  4. Hi Rob,

    All amino acid contribute to nitrogen and ammonia, including BCAAs and leucine.

    I want to make clear that what you are calling a “lower protein diet” is what I call a “high protein diet” — near 600 calories / 150 g per day. At this level of protein intake, I believe it is unhealthy to just keep adding whole protein. Rather, stimulus to muscle synthesis is better obtained by (a) adding carbs and/or (b) altering the mix of amino acids without changing the amount of total protein by slightly decreasing whole protein and slightly increasing BCAAs or leucine.

    I’ve presented the reasoning, with evidence for each step, in the book. It’s basically a simple diminishing returns and increasing toxicity argument.

  5. Thanks for the response Paul,

    I have recently dropped my protein intake a bit from the 1g per lb I used to have when I was powerlifting and weightlifting. I now consume about 0.8g per lb which at a relatively lean bodyweight of 156.2lbs is about 125g protein a day. On top of this though I am taking 15g BCAAs before training.
    I have matched my protein with 125g carbs, although some of those carbs are from moderately starch veg like beetroot and some green beans and sugarsnap peas.
    All other calories (about 60%) are from fat (£0% from oily fish, some nuts, eggs and cheese, 30% from pure MCT’s)

    I’m presuming this should allow a decent rate of protein synthesis and recovery, but i will have to wait and see.

    So now that I have established from your response that BCAAs and leucine have an ammonia load, is it possible that BCAAs or leucine would have LESS of an ammonia load than whole food protein?

  6. Hi Rob,

    I think what you’re doing is great.

    There’s certainly some variation in the nitrogen to mass ratio in the different amino acids, but I don’t think it’s all that significant. I haven’t calculated it.

  7. Dear Paul,I don´t want to bother you with basic questions, but after reading the book and these excellent articles on protein consumption, I´m still a little bit confused about the way you count protein.
    Do you take acount for raw meat or cooked meat when you talk about 1/2 to 1 pound of meat as the plateau range to reach 250 to 500 calories protein? Thanks so much, I look forward to your clarification¡

    Best, Christian

  8. Hi Christian,

    That’s generally for cooked meat. The data is available at; you can look up specific cuts, often with different methods of cooking.

  9. Thank you very much Paul!. Now on I will also take in account the protein from vegetables too, as a former comment in this thread has remembered to me . Till now I was just counting my protein intake from meats, eggs and dairy.I´ll have to make some adjustments for a low protein choice¡

    Best, Christian

  10. Really interesting posts the old standard of 1g/lb for athletes needs a bit more thought and this perfect. I have been eating closer to 180-200g at a bodyweight of 190 pounds. I will lower this to 150 total including BCAA While keeping my Carbohydrate at about 175 as I am exercising about and hour a day.

    I have been thinking a bit on cycling protein, perhaps just eating no protein or carbohydrate one day per week (coconut oil) to promote Autophagy.


    P.S. My wife and I both read your book. We are also both going to reread it as it deserves at least that.

  11. Thanks, Stephen. Best of luck to you and your wife.

  12. Anonymous - pingback on April 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm
  13. Dear Paul

    I completely agree with the review on your book given by Chris Kresser. It certainly is ,in my opinion, the best book on nutrition out there. I’ve bought copies for my entire family.

    I’m an amateur bodybuilder and I’ve been struggling to gain muscle mass for the past year. I’ve been on high carb and high protein diets but barely gained any muscle mass, only fat and water mass.

    I’ve read your book and greatly increased my saturated fat intake from butter and whole eggs while simultaneously removing all grains, excess omega-6 and fructose from my diet. I’m getting leaner and my muscles are developing better.

    What’s really surprising is that my calorie intake is higher and I’m losing fat mass!! About 400 calories more per day. (I keep a very accurate record of my calorie intake).

    I’ve noticed that my acne has flared up which I assume is due to the increase in saturated fat. I’ll give 3 weeks for my testosterone production to normalise. If it doesn’t it may be the casein protein in butter (although the protein content in butter is 0.3g per 100g – rather low). Do you have any idea what might have caused the acne flare up?

    I notice you recommend for nutrient values. Although I recently came across the software
    “USDA Food Search For Windows” Version 1.0
    It’s very handy, you can download a free copy here

    or the direct link here

  14. Hi Matt,

    It’s great to hear of your success!

    Very likely the acne is due to an increase in fat-soluble toxins being imported from the gut, possibly aggravated by higher testosterone. This probably reflects a pre-existing mild gut dysbiosis which the fattier diet is revealing, and should improve in time as your gut becomes less leaky.

    You can do a few things to help. Some foods, like potatoes, may help increase the rate of toxin excretion. Activated charcoal or bentonite clay can also help. Improving liver glutathione status may help, as well as extra vitamin C. Bone broth soups with lots of gelatin from attached joint tissue may improve gut integrity.

    Finally, improving the gut flora with fermented foods and probiotics, and immunity with sun exposure (D/A/K2 optimization) should help. Zinc, pantethine, vitamin A, and some other nutrients also support skin health.

    Food sensitivities like casein could also matter.

    Thanks for the tip about the USDA food search program.

    Best, Paul

  15. Matt! (And Paul!)

    My major problem with all these “alternative” diets (PHD/Paleo/WAP and so on) is that I find it hard to get my excess calories. I’m into power lifting and strength training. First of all, I’m not primarily interested in gaining mass or building muscle – I’m more interested in lifting heavier and better (the mass comes second as a result of heavier loads on the bar).

    Trouble is, when excluding grains, sugar and “bad” fats – I’m left with complex carbs, and no “easy” way to get more calories.

    Some staple foods in my diet is:
    Grass fed beef meat
    Organic fish
    Grass fed beef liver
    Bone broth
    Fermented vegetables
    Coconut fat and Ghee
    Root vegetables

    I’m not good with milk or sugar at all, I’ve had serious trouble with candida but it has been better since I’ve started eating fermented veggies.

    I’d say I’m properly fed with nutrition but I’m lacking the caloric intake needed to maintain progress in my lifting.

    (I’m 184 cm tall, and currently my morning weight is 70,4 kilos – a weight that I’ve had for more than two years now.)

    – My question to both Matt and Paul is: is there an easy way of eating loads of calories on a non-toxic and healthier diet? I know I’ll have to increase the amount of food that I eat but maybe you have some advice on how to do it?

    Kind regards

  16. Hi Alex,

    Eating well does reduce appetite. Your appetite is trying to make you healthy rather than large, and once you are well nourished it asks you to stop eating.

    Here are a few things that may help you get more calories and lift better:

    – Make your food tasty. To every meal, add an acid (vinegar, lemon juice), salt, or a salty acid (fermented fish oil, fermented vegetable brine). Mix fat and carbs.
    – Emphasize carbs more than protein.
    – Supplement leucine / BCAAs to shift the amino acid mix a bit.

    Best, Paul

  17. Hi Alexander

    I understand your problem, but training to be a power-lifter is not a strict as that for a body-builder.

    You are simply not eating enough to gain excess weight. You will need at least 3500 kcal/day to gain the weight (fat and muscle) that you are looking for.

    Excellent advice on calorie intake and bodyfat is given in Starting Strength 3rd Edition by Mark Rippetoe (if you don’t own a copy shame on you). There’s a good section on nutrition. I love Mark, he’s a very blunt writer.

    If you are not currently recording your calorie intake daily, I suggest you do. Get a cheap kitchen scale and measure your portions of food, use a database of nutritional information (see my previous post for a software tool) and calculate your calorie intake.

    Some people severely under estimate their calorie intake (and some over estimate to). You might be surprised to find that you don’t consume more than 2200 kcal/day. (At your current height and mass you are probably eating close to this amount per day.) This is too low for mass gains.

    Another good book (for interest) is Super Squats by Randall J Strossen. This book was written in 1989 but is still an inspirational read. Chapter 2 describes the lifting and eating power of some renowned power-lifters. The book is only 90 pages you can read it in an hour.

    To get your excess calories I suggest you focus on fat – butter/ghee and the fatty cuts of beef/lamb. There’s no real other alternative. Fat is the most dense source of calories. The saturated fat from butter will help with testosterone production to!

    If you feel uneasy eating butter/ghee directly, put it in a blender with food you like – use your imagination. Think of this as the “milk” you can’t drink.

    Don’t forgot
    “If man made it, don’t eat it” – Jack Lalanne

    Butter and coconut oil are exceptions 🙂

  18. Hi Paul,

    Does the carb timing theory make sense to you? I’ve been hearing for years now that the best time to consume starchy carbs is within a couple of hours of intense workout. This is apparently also the best time to take supplemental creatine and other supplements that you’d like to have ‘pulled into’ muscle via the insulin gateway.


  19. Most of the discussion here goes to “daily” intake.

    What about a macro balance over several days with carb and calorie cycling on training days (as is seen in many programs)?

    My ignorant assumption is that 1 very high carb day would provide enough glucose for 1-2 low-carb days (assuming training is not too intense).

    Here’s an example using very simple numbers. I’m 70kg@12%bodyfat, aiming for 2550kcal/day:

    * Fat: 150g (53% @ 1350kcal)
    * Protein: 150g (24% @ 600kcal)
    * Carbs: 150g (24% @ 600kcal)

    The following would, over 7 days, come to the same totals as above.

    Low-carb day (4/week)
    * Fat: 185g
    * Protein: 150g
    * Carbs: 20g

    High-carb day (3/week)
    * Fat: 100g
    * Protein: 150g
    * Carbs: 325g

    • Hi Sean,

      Carbs aren’t stored very long in the body — there is enough for about 20 hours of usage. So a multi-day period of carb restriction leads to protein wasting.

      Alternate-day carb fasting accompanied by a high protein intake such as 150 g/day will not lead to any deficiency conditions, so it is a reasonably healthy approach. But I think you could do better with a bit more carbs and less protein, which I would expect to improve the gut flora and also reduce adrenal stress.

      • Paul – Thanks. I will adjust my protein down a bit. I’m in the progress of gaining weight and had been hitting between 190-230g.

        I know many folks who do fine with that, but due to my lack of a gallbladder I feel my body as a whole is more susceptible to toxin build up. Such as the cystic acne I easily get due to slowed digestion.

        Where can I reference the 20 hour glucose usage you mentioned?

  20. To Paul and Matt:

    Hello again, it’s been a while and my weight has gone up – (last post was 70,4 kilograms, now I’m at 83,4 kg!). I eat lot’s of potatoes and rice, beef, lamb and salmon and vegetables. And loads of butter!

    I wanted to thank you both for your advice, I’m now doing the starting strength program (3rd week into it) as a little project, also drinking 2 liters of milk a day (about half a gallon).

    I might just have a small problem though, recently I’ve been approved for a pollen allergy-treatment (hyposensibilization) and in the middle of this I found out I might be allergic to peanuts and or eggs (blood samples is going to be taken today and the results will get back in two weeks). I can live without peanuts/peanutbutter – but to be honest, no eggs might break me.
    Do you have any good substitute – bot for proteins and vitamins/minerals?

    Kind regards Alexander

    • Hi Alex,

      Definitely stay away from peanuts — nut butters and tree nuts are much better — and I would stop eating egg whites (meat or fish instead), but I would continue to eat the egg yolks unless you get a very strong reaction.

      Egg sensitivities tend to come and go, so you can hope that with time and digestive healing you’ll tolerate them better.

  21. Hi Paul,
    After reading this post and watching your AHS safe starches panel (kudos on both), I am curious about the following:

    I do none of that Crossfit/Metabolic conditioning/interval training(heart pumping) work and only pure strength dedicated work through gymnastics/movement with the goal of gaining more relative bodyweight strength (not necessarily more hypertrophy as in body building; muscle gain is fine so long as the focus is on maximizing relative bodyweight strength a la gymnasts).

    For the intake of macronutrients, should they be based on “ideal” Lean body mass that we wish to achieve or is it more of a blanket recommendation?

    What would you suggest my intake for these elements (should the prescription be general (ie: 600 calories for any person) or as some ratio using your “ideal” lean body mass that you wish to achieve? ie: 1 gram/kg of ideal LBM)

    1) carb
    2) whole protein
    3) BCAA
    4) leucine

    Thank you for any input you can provide here!

    • Hi erich,

      It doesn’t matter much whether you choose lean or whole body mass since we recommend being near the middle of the healthy protein range and adjusting for taste, so we think you’ll naturally find the right protein intake.

      Carb: 600 calories + as needed to support extended exercise.
      Protein: For most people 1 g / kg body weight is a good number. In those seeking to maximize muscle mass, this could be augmented by BCAA/leucine; or additional protein could be eaten.

      Since you want less mass but a high ratio of strength to bodyweight, you would be one of the persons most likely to benefit from BCAA/leucine supplementation.

  22. So the one thing I still wonder about after reading this, does it matter if your body uses the protein or not when considering ammonia production?

    In other words, every gram of protein that is taken up by the body will result in x grams of ammonia to be converted into urea, no matter if you use the amino acids for muscle repair/building, glucose production or peeing out?

    • The protein only releases nitrogen if it is metabolized for energy. Excretion of amino acids or their usage in tissue doesn’t release nitrogen.

      • So will the body metabolize protein if ample carbs are available?
        If not, does that mean protein toxicity disappears for high-carbers?

        • Eating carbs does reduce protein metabolization. That enables high carbers to eat less protein, and does reduce ammonia toxicity. However, I think at normal levels of protein metabolism the ammonia is not really a problem — the liver can convert it to urea fairly well. It’s when you start getting up to very high protein intakes (so that you also have the problem of unabsorbed protein metabolized by gut bacteria releasing waste toxins) that toxicity from protein becomes a problem.

          • Hmm I wonder if that translates into a higher carb recommendation for gout patients? Or is there a different mechanism at work there…

          • Gout is about purines which are derived from adenosine (of ATP) or DNA/RNA. So protein doesn’t figure strongly into it, rather ATP-depleting foods like fructose and alcohol strongly promote it. Excess protein is mostly refused by the digestive tract and may be metabolized by gut bacteria, releasing nitrogen/ammonia from the gut; so it is more important to reduce protein intake than to increase carbs.

  23. I’ve been eating this way for some time and hugely appreciate the work you’ve been doing. Since starting, however, I’ve found I’ve been quite a bit thirstier than usual. Is this indicative of anything I should be concerned about?

    • Hi P,

      That’s unusual – whole foods are water-rich and usually when people switch to a natural whole foods diet they find they drink less water.

      I would make sure you have a sufficiency of electrolytes (tomato-potato for potassium, salt, magnesium, bone broth for calcium) and try to replace any flour-based products like rice crackers with whole foods. If you are urinating excessively due to adrenal stress, eat a protein-and-potassium breakfast (eg egg, tomato, potato) instead of intermittent fasting.

  24. Hi Paul,

    It seems you prefer supplement leucine instead of whey, which also contains leucine.But taking leucine only can cause insuline spike. Why not whey protein, which I think is a more “natural” food?


    • Whey is fine. Actually, fish, meat, and eggs are better than whey. BCAA mixtures are better than leucine-only as a supplement.

      If I name specific amino acids, it is because of biology research indicating that they matter. It is not meant to imply that one should obtain these nutrients as purified amino acids.

  25. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be
    on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked
    while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  26. Hi Paul,

    Aside from very specific applications for high training volume athletes, do you any reason that BCAAs should be consumed on their own versus with one of your meals during the day?


  27. Dear Paul,

    May I ask about your opinion on cyclical carb restriction programs, like CarbNite or CarbBackLoading from a health perspective?

    Doesn’t the ketogenic state prevent muscle breakdown, while the negatives of constant ketosis (dry eyes etc.) are negated by the carb refeeds every 5-7 days?

    Thank you,

  28. Excellent article. On a tangentially related question, for someone who want to focus on building muscle, are there any specific changes to recommended micro-nutrient intake to promote muscle synthesis/recovery or will just hitting the higher end of recommendations (protein, fats, various nutrients) cover all of those areas just fine?

    • Hi Peter,

      I think for building muscle, you should generally increase calories by about 25% on workout days, and can increase protein from about 15% of energy to about 20%. So a typical macro intake would be 30% carbs 20% protein 50% fat. On a weight loss diet it might go as far as 40% carbs 25% protein 35% fat, due to fat restriction, but don’t go lower fat than that.

      You can also adjust the timing of meal intake a bit to associate meals closely with exercise. Eat a protein snack just before a workout and then a full meal soon afterwards.

      • Thanks for the reply. Very useful info, especially the elaboration from what was in the book. I was curious if there were any micro-nutritional adjustments you feel would aid/benefit building size (akin to recommending extra eggs/folate for pregnant women) like extra calcium because of the correlation between bone-size/density and lifting (or is that a myth?). All the literature out there is solely focused on macro-nutrients (especially protein) so any insight there would be great. Otherwise I figure eating the upper end of recommended nutrient levels from the book should suffice.

      • Great info – my questions is, how do I determine my calories on a non-workout day vs a workout day. There are calculators online that say I should be eating aprox 2500 calories to gain 2 lbs a week. Should I be eating that daily, or only on workout days?

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