Q: How much protein should CrossFitters eat per day?
A: Most estimates put the average minimum daily protein requirement at about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass. That’s considered maintenance, meaning that it’s just enough to prevent progressive loss of bodyweight. If you eat less protein than that per day, your body will gradually metabolize its tissue until it establishes an equilibrium for the amount of protein input that you are getting. One hopes that happens before you die!
Obviously, I don’t condone your wasting away, so you gotta eat more protein! Science and common sense both tell us that the more activity you’re engaged in, the more food you need to eat. The more muscle you want to maintain or build, the more protein you must take in. Therefore, you must scale your macronutrient volume and proportions to the type and amount of activity you engage in, along with your goals, whether they be performance or aesthetic based. For athletic individuals the recommended daily protein intake is usually bumped up to 1.5 grams per kilo of bodyweight. In my opinion that’s overly conservative. I would err toward more or even above two grams of protein per kilogram of body mass.
Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete, www.MHPStong.com. IM