Official dietary guidelines generally recommend that everyone should get between 10-20% of their daily energy from protein, and some health authorities even argue that high protein diets (>20%) have adverse effects on health. Even though people who are very physically active have higher protein needs, the recommendations still apply as these individuals usually consume more total calories. However, if we look at the human dietary patterns throughout our evolutionary history, it’s clear that the average protein intake in most countries today is on the low side. While this doesn’t mean that high protein diets are necessary optimal, the mismatch between the typical protein intake in the western diet and the average protein intake in ancestral diets, in combination with the scientific evidence showing the benefits of “high” protein diets for weight loss, muscle growth, and prevention of several types of chronic diseases, suggests that the official recommendations are lower than optimal for many people. This is especially true for strength trainees and other physically active people who want to maximize protein synthesis and gain muscle and strength.
Eirik Garnas is the creator and owner of Darwinian-Medicine.com. His longstanding interest in nutrition, medicine, and health, topics he has spent a significant amount of time reading up on, was spurred by his desire to enhance his athletic performance and physique and overcome various health problems that had come to dominate many aspects of his life. Eirik is formally trained as a nutritionist and holds a bachelor's degree in Public Nutrition and a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition. Additionally, he is a science writer, health coach, and personal trainer schooled at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. During the years he's been working in the health/fitness sphere, Eirik has gone through several structured courses in order to improve his coaching skills and worked with a number of clients, both via the web and in real life. Over the past decade, Eirik has also written for a variety of health and fitness magazines and websites. You can read more about Eirik here, contact him here, and book a Skype consultation with him here.