Most bodybuilders and others interested in fitness and building muscle know that consuming a high protein diet is vital. For years scientists insisted that those engaged in intense exercise needed no more protein than a person who didn't do any physical activity at all. This made no sense from the start since those who are active and seeking added muscle clearly need more protein to build that muscle. More recently, the scientific consensus is that those who are seeking added muscle do need to eat at least twice as much protein as a sedentary person. The suggested daily requirement for protein in those who are sedentary is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Many vegan advocates say that even that amount is too much. They likely take that position because it's more difficult to obtain sufficient protein from a plant-based diet compared to consuming an animal protein-based diet. This isn't to say that vegans, who exclusively consume only fruits and vegetables, cannot ingest enough protein from those foods. What is needed are the elemental forms of protein or amino acids. If a vegan eats enough food, they likely will get enough protein. However, the biological value of that protein, including the capacity to build added muscle mass, never equals that of animal-based protein. According to recent studies, those who want to add more muscle mass need to ingest a range of protein from 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight to 2.7 grams per kg/BW. If you are on a reduced-calorie or carbohydrate diet, the protein needs are increased since added protein helps to maintain muscle mass under dieting conditions. As such, under dieting conditions, the suggested protein intake may increase to 3 grams per kg/BW.
A plethora of myths and misinformation surrounds protein intake. For example, many websites still suggest that consuming a higher protein intake will cause kidney disease. This notion is based on a theory by a physician who observed that people suffering from kidney failure showed a reduced ability to metabolize and excrete nitrogen (from protein) waste products, such as urea. So he extrapolated that data from people with renal failure to those with normal kidney function. In fact, those with normal kidney function have no difficulty processing large amounts of protein. On the other hand, there is some truth to that long-held belief that a high protein diet can harm the kidneys. Those who are obese or even bodybuilders carrying a lot of weight who use large doses of anabolic steroids are prone to some types of kidney disease. This tendency to kidney disease is worsened if they ingest a very high protein diet. Thus far, kidney disease has not been common among bodybuilders, and those that did experience serious kidney problems often had a genetic predisposition to the disease that might have been worsened by their use of high dose anabolic steroids and diuretic . . .