Weight gain during base and how to control

It looks like there is plenty of good info above so I will only try to add my relevant personal info:

Me = 104kg, high metabolism
Current FTP = 278, Max HR = 165
Training: @ End Week 5, Base Build 2, Low Intensity

Nutrition wise I follow conventional eating of food groups with extra protein, mostly meat. One change I made was POST RIDE NUTRITION. I have found that immediate, post-ride nutrition helps control my hunger.

I came up with this recipe for a during and post ride beverage and typically I drink 500ml after a 1 hour ride and 1L after a 1.5 hour ride. My workouts are 90% evening so I eat dinner after my workouts which is where I get my post-ride protesting from. The carbs for the drink and my dinner protein and other nutrients seem to consistently provide to what I need. I used to get leg cramps during the night but the drink also seems to have helped eliminate that problem.


Too much protein can damage the liver and the kidneys. If you are peeing it away, then it was filtered by your kidneys to get the point of being generated as a waste product. Thus, strain was placed on the kidneys for no reason. If you look at it from the aspect of not metabolizing muscle, then yes, protein is the answer. Body builders use from 2.6-3.3 g/Kg of body weight.

My perspective is if muscle is being metabolized, then I can increase my protein intake in small amounts to stop the metabolization process and that the muscle mass will return during my recovery weeks. By doing this, I minimize the strain I’m placing on priceless internal organs. Muscle is much easier to come by than nephrons (functional unit of the kidney).

My side of the “error on the side of caution” concerns protecting the kidneys and the liver. Your are correct, less than 2g/Kg shouldn’t hurt anyone, and I am more concerned about people going way overboard, like you mentioned, and hurting themselves. Kidneys ain’t cheap :slight_smile:.

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Knee injurys are a bugger. Suffered one last year which didn’t help the scales. Good luck!

fwiw, my reading (I won’t go as far as research) suggests that too much protein is only an issue for people with already damaged/ diseased kidneys, and there isn’t the evidence to support that high protein diets actually damage kidneys.

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In the absence of existing kidney disease/impairment, are there studies showing very high protein supplementation actually hurts the kidneys over time?

The recent podcast covered some of this as a way to maintain muscle during base/weight loss and as an important issue for masters athletes to maintain high protein intake.

Welcome and pop into the Ironman 2019 thread when you get a minute :slight_smile:

Your body is overcompensating to the sudden increase in activity. It’s totally normal. Best approach is to fuel your training while you’re training…not wait until later and then eat everything you can lay your hands on.

Early days you will eat more than you need, over time you’ll find you don’t need much extra, if any, over your normal diet.

Don’t fall into the calories in/calories out trap either, once you’re settled into your training just look at the extra protein you might need.


A quick search found this short reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15558517 The final few sentences sum up my point of view. There are no significant studies stating a high protein intake will damage the kidneys. This view is currently held as theory. This article is 14 years old so there might be some studies I haven’t seen yet.

The appropriate amount of protein supplementation is up to the individual athlete. I am a low carbohydrate high fat diet athlete. As such, my main focus is on nutrient density. Protein is a key component to my recovery and racing fuel. Maybe I should amend my original phrase to say “, Determining the proper amount of protein intake is unique to the individual athlete and is quite important.”

Be Well and Ride On!

Interestingly the latest sigma nutrition podcast is on the evidence as to the risks of high protein diets. It does mention that there’s no evidence of high protein damaging the kidneys. It does say that the evidence suggests (rather than prove) that high protein diet can damage gut health, but only in the absence of sufficient fibre and polyphenols. So high protein not the issue, single source may be an issue. That maybe worth a listen if you’re on high protein high fat, low carb if the low carb doesn’t include plenty of fruit and veg.


Interesting thoughts on some time restriction near the end too - they suggest 12-15 hour window between evening meal and breakfast. I’m not sure how I’d make that work for evening training sessions, and doesn’t seem to be convincing evidence, yet.


Two years ago I was about 187 pounds. Today I am happy to report that I am 140 pounds and I am very happy with that.

I agree with much of what was said before.

The two things; Food Quality and maybe the use of MFP to begin with to educate your self. Sometimes we don’t realize how much food we eat on daily basis until we actually track it

Also, read a lot, again educate yourself. I think once you educate your self on that best for you in terms of nutrition, then I think you are going to find easy to lose weight. At least that has been my experience. But everybody is different

Lastly, I used to fool my self by saying that I had a healthy diet. I had cholesterol problems and things like that. it was until I started to educate my self that I realized that I had a really bad diet. . So again, educate your self

hope it helps


I was just reading Chapter 13 of Beyond Training by Ben Greenfield. He mentions the importance of maintaining a proper nitrogen balance. An excessive amount of protein (about 1,000 calories per day) will lead to a build up of ammonia in the body because it can no longer be converted to urea and excreted out of the body. According to Ben, this is extremely stressful on the internal organs, especially the kidneys. He recommends .55 g/Kg of protein daily for maintenance and .70 g/Kg for gaining muscle as well as after hard training sessions. He also mentions that some athletes need a little more protein and some a little less.

How do we know if we are receiving the correct amount of protein? We need to test our nitrogen balance which can be done with an OTC urine test if my memory serves me correctly. A catabolic state means we have too little protein and an anabolic state means we are receiving enough.

Having thought through the topic of protein amount for the past few days, I’ve realized the composition of the protein itself is what really matters. I.g. essential amino acids appear to be the key.

Thanks for the link to the podcast. I will give it a listen.

Be Well and Ride On!

(Greenfield, Ben. Beyond Training. Pg. 307-308)

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