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Finding your Optimal Protein intake for a Ketogenic Diet

Does excess protein turn into sugar? Is extra protein on a ketogenic diet something to fear? Tackling a frequently asked question that is , quite frankly, getting OLD.

Protein is NOT equal to sugar – excess protein has some amino acids which can be converted to glucose through a process that is energetically costly. A study done on individuals on a carbohydrate driven diet showed that eating 50g of protein results in about the same glucose production as drinking WATER.

Excessive protein will be oxidized for energy, but if you go over your requirements for protein by 20 grams that is NOT the same as eating 20grams of glucose – this is a myth that confuses many people.

More protein than .8g/lb of lean body weight does not increase muscle protein synthesis (muscle building), but eating a bit more fish to get more DHA into your body will not harm your ability to burn fat and get lean!


29 Replies to “Does excess protein turn into sugar on a Ketogenic Diet? Keto confusion.”

  1. I think you need to research MPS (muscle proteinsynthesis), your muscles can absorb 0,4g of protein / kg of bodyweight per serving or meal…any more than that (to a certain extent obviously) will be used by other tissues like your brain, hair, nails, peptides, enzymes etc. This will be sufficient to activate MPS which will then be quite stable for 2-4 hours…this will be your next window of oppurtunity to take in 0,4g of protein / kg of bodyweight; I personally have 5 servings of protein. I personally spike insulin right after my workout; studies have proven that leucine + sugar = incredible insulin spike. Insulin will stimulate synthesis and muscle glycogenesis. These are just some of the different takes on bodybuilding. I do fast sometimes to let my body get used to burning fat as an energysource rather than mainly carbohydrates. The rest of the day I try to only eat complex carbohydrates with a low GI, so insulin wouldn't spike that much each and every meal. Also; GH is released in times of Fasting. So yes I use the exact same strategies to get shredded…but once I want to build up some size I just go right back to my standard 5 servings of protein/day and a lot of complex carbohydrates. Btw; Leucine, the other BCAA's, essential amino-acids are keypoints to look for…and all are ridiculously high in my whey protein powder. The total amount of protein is kind of a mistery if you ask me. Different studies show different outcomes. However, 2g of protein / kg of bodyweight (just under 1g / lb) is the most common result so I just stick to that. I think you have never heard of 'gluconeogenesis'? However, it seems that this process kicks in based on demand, not abundance of a nutriënt…but the demand is: low blood Sugar and being short on carbs…which you are. Your body can use all of the amino acids except lysine and leucine to make glucose. Research, not even once.

  2. if protein did not turn into sugar you would die its not a Myth if you eat like a Lion and your liver is depleted of Glycogen over a period of time and the body had absolutely no metabolic processes in place to make glucose your brain would shut down and your red blood cells would have zero fuel to function

  3. This was so extremely helpful.  Thank you for explaining this subject.  I was so tired of hearing this come up without any basis behind it.  I also like your point about the levels of ketones and when they are truly necessary and that higher levels do not mean MORE weight loss.  They leave the body when not used.  Thank you Thank you!!!

  4. I enjoy wathcing your content and tried the keto diet…. But I think it is just not made for me. I didn't enjoy eating meat/fish every day, I missed my fruits, various vegetables which have high cb. I need to lose weight right now but I gues for a long term succes, keto will not be my choice. I would just lose to much of things I like.

  5. @PrimalEdgeHealth my question is what about eating 50g of protein in one meal even though that's not even half of what I need. Would that kick me out of ketosis for a few hours or my body would manage those 50g through out the whole day until my next meal while staying in Ketosis?? I NEED ANSWERS PLEASE!!!

  6. I'm gaining fat on this diet, and I'm only eating twice a day. I have 5 eggs with each meal, and between 3/4 lb — 1.0 lb of ground beef ( with sufficient fat content, as well). I've actually put on some muscle, but I can't seem to get the last layers of fat off of my stomach. I'm wondering if I should do more cardio at the gym, but I don't want to eat into my muscle growth, which I have done in the past. I seem to have a strange metabolism, where I can gain muscle fast, but at the expense of gaining unwanted body fat with it. I figured eating only two meals a day would be fine, but so far it's not working the way I had hoped. Anybody have any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

  7. Here's my thought on protein turning to sugar…  I think if you have successfully applied the keto diet so that your body looks for fat to burn instead of sugar; in other words, your body has successfully  switched over from burning glucose to fat, then you don't need to worry. Your body is looking for fats as its fuel. However, if your body has not switched over to burning fats and still looks for glucose, then too much protein is not a good thing. Since I don't even like sweet foods (never have, even as a child) then I'm a fat burner since I don't eat sweets. When I was very small and all through my teens, if I ate, say, a candy bar, I would vomit. I just thought it tasted gross and it made me sick to my stomach. Everybody thought that was odd, but it seemed normal to me. All through my adult years I never eat sweets because I DON'T LIKE THEM.

  8. What is considered lean muscle? I'm 385 lbs and working out and am trying to hit ketosis. My goals are <30g of carbs 90 g of fat and 190g of protein. With me being much larger and also working out, wouldn't it make sense to eating the amount of protein I am? Also will I still hit ketosis with a 7-8% carbs 50% protein 40% fat when again I'm working out and larger?

  9. okay okay…. im 24 and 5 7.. i weigh 125 130 ish……
    how much protein then do i need. THIS IS SO CONFUSINGGGG
    i've been a raw vegan/vegan for 7 years or so….
    i'm just doing tons of coconut oil avocado eggs and FISH.. god FISH IS DIVINE….
    i'm still in so much confusion to what and how much to eat. all these grams and stuff……

  10. How embarrassing for you that there are actual studies that go against what your whole video is about. Where are your peer reviewed studies, guy? Maybe you should listen to a keto researcher, Phinney, who actually has degrees in this.

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