Sorry if the topic overlaps with some parts of previous threads but I couldn't find a specific one. Tried the forum search + google search.
I've written in some previous post about the debated official protein RDA of 0.83 g kg-1 d-1, which has remained unchanged for a while now, 15 years I reckon.
Now, aside from generic statements, I was missing something more specific and scientific upon the reccomended protein intake of vegans, those who only eat plant-based sources of protein.
I could find only a few references. The official RDA (original studies metanalysis from Rand et al., 2003) does not differentiate protein sources and the studies are usually based on mixed protein sources).
- Davis-Melina, 2014, 'Becoming Vegan' book (excellent handbook by the way). They reccomend, based on limited literature, +10% on the official RDA, that is about 0.9 g kg-1 d-1. This because apparently the fibrous matrix allows less assimilation of protein than the matrix of animal based products.
- Jack Norris website, with just a few references. From such references, Jack Norris suggests a value in the region of 1 to 1.1 g kg-1 d-1 for vegans
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and Dietitians of Canada 2009 statement for vegetarian athletes is +10% than omivorous ahtletes: 1.3 to 1.9 kg-1 d-1, the upper values of the range related to strength sports.
I've already set my cronometer minimum threshold for protein to 1 g kg-1 d-1, but considering that I'm exercising with weights, I might need more, like 1.1. It makes sense that I'm in the upper percentiles of the statistical distribution, since to mantain my bodyweight I need at least 2400 kcal per day with a mass of 65 kg (not a big dude).
Now, that starts posing problems from the standpoint of adherence. My first choice is fruit & vegetables, so when I should switch to denser food I tend to loose appetite and can only eat modest amounts (the penalty for eating more being stomach burning, excessive bloating and fullness, physical and mental distress). I can adhere to 1 kg-1 d-1 but higher values would demand higher hunger levels.
I see this issue from two different perspectives:
- Hunger is naturally adjusted based on the bodily needs, so my present level of hunger should reflect what I need and I should not try to adjust anything, just following the instinct
- Hunger is stifled by high fiber and calorically sparse food, so that I cannot hope to gain muscle mass if I do not privilege caloric dense and protein rich vegan food.
I wonder if any of you guys came across the same problem (I know Todd has evaluated that but his diet is not vegan).
- Should I eat proteic food first (legumes, tofu,) and vegetables after, making sure I meet the RDAs for vegans who exercise
- Should I eat less fruit and vegetables so that the hunger is not so stifled but adopting very micronutrient rich fruit and vegetables
- Should I add some vegan protein isolates to soymilk so that I reach soon my RDAs and forget about it?
Any of the above solutions has its pros and cons.
My ratios presently are on the average: 50/40/10 carbs/fats/protein