How can a drink contain 1.8 kcal energy while 0 g fat/carbs/protein?

How can a drink contain 1.8 kcal energy while 0 g fat/carbs/protein?

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How is it possible that the Red Bull Zero contains 0 gramms of fat, carbs and protein, but it still has 1.8 kcal of "energy". I always thought that the human body can gain energy only from 3 kinds of nutrients: fat, carbs and protein. Is there a 4th kind? Or they just display an energy value that's not accessible to the body?

The list of ingredients on the can mentions "Zuckerkulör," which is caramel colour, which can have 2 kcal/g, according to one producer.

Next, there is "Citronensäure," which is citric acid, which can, as other organic acids, have 2-3 kcal/g, according to this source.

There is also taurine, which is an amino acid-like compound, so it could, like proteins, have 4 kcal/g, but is, according to Taurine Metabolism in Man (Journal of Nutrition), poorly metabolized and probably has less than 0.2 kcal/g.

It is sometimes allowed, at least by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to round the amounts of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) smaller than 0.5 g per serving to zero, which is what they obviously did in this case, but they decided to keep the summary of calorie values of all ingredients exact.

It is usually said that only 3 types of nutrients contain energy: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Digestible carbohydrates (sugars and starch) provide 4 kcal/g. Undigestible, but fermentable, carbohydrates, such as soluble dietary fiber, sugar alcohols or polyols (maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, isomalt) and organic acids (citric, acetic acid, etc.), can provide 2 kcal/g of energy in average. On the other hand, some carbohydrates (such as "Sucralose" from the ingredient list) are neither digestible nor fermentable, so they do not provide any calories.

The "fourth" nutrient that can provide energy (7 kcal/g) is alcohol (ethanol), but is not considered a nutrient by some authors.

According to Food Label Accuracy of Common Snack Foods article (Obesity, 2014), the calories on the food labels should represent usable calories (metabolizable energy):

Of note, it is important to distinguish that food label calories actually represent metabolizable energy, which is total caloric content minus calories that are presumably not absorbed by the body and excreted as waste.

How can a drink contain 1.8 kcal energy while 0 g fat/carbs/protein? - Biology

June 2014 Issue

Athletes and Protein Intake
By Densie Webb, PhD, RD
Today&rsquos Dietitian
Vol. 16 No. 6 P. 22

Experts weigh in on whether the Recommended Dietary Allowance for highly physically active people is adequate.

Controversy exists among medical experts regarding the role protein plays in maintaining optimal health. They debate about when to consume it, how much to consume, and what type is best, especially for athletes and highly active people.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein, 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day, is designed to maintain nitrogen balance in the body for the average adult a negative nitrogen balance indicates that muscle is being broken down and used for energy. (RDAs for protein in children are higher on a gram-per-body-weight basis than for adults. RDAs also are greater for women who are pregnant [1.1 g/kg/day] or lactating [1.3 g/kg/day]).1

While maintaining nitrogen balance is critical for health, studies now suggest that the RDA may not be the amount of protein needed to promote optimal health. To achieve that, they say, more protein is needed, and studies now suggest that athletes, active people, and older individuals require even more.

Dietary proteins are in a constant state of flux in the body, being broken down into amino acids, transformed into other compounds, and sometimes reassembled into other proteins. They also are used for energy, a mechanism that increases when energy intake is low or when protein intake is inadequate. Muscle protein then becomes a source of energy, resulting in a negative nitrogen balance. This is a critical concern for athletes, who are regularly involved in energy-demanding activities.

It stands to reason then that athletes and active individuals would require more protein, and high-quality proteins, on a daily basis than those who spend their days sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen. (High-quality proteins contain all nine essential amino acids in amounts similar to amino acid requirements animal proteins are higher quality than plant proteins.) While adequate high-quality protein is critical for good health and optimal athletic performance, the amount needed isn&rsquot the one-size-fits-all recommendation the RDA suggests.

Today&rsquos Dietitian spoke with experts to determine the latest protein requirements for athletes and highly active people.

How Much Is Enough?
While it&rsquos generally accepted that athletes need more protein than sedentary people, recommendations vary significantly depending on the type of athlete, current body weight, total energy intake, whether weight loss or weight gain is the goal, exercise intensity and duration, training status, the quality of the dietary protein, and the individual&rsquos age.2 The general rule of thumb is 1.2 to 1.4 g/kg of body weight for endurance athletes and 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg of body weight for strength and power athletes, says Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, a nutrition consultant and writer and the co-owner of Mohr Results, a weight-loss company in Louisville, Kentucky. The greater the number of hours in training and the higher the intensity, the more protein is required.2 Other research has recommended as much as 2 g/kg of body weight to prevent muscle loss in athletes who have reduced their energy intake.3,4

While physical activity increases protein needs, it also increases the efficiency with which muscles use dietary protein, even in older individuals. One study found that a moderate increase in physical activity among a group of older subjects enhanced the response to protein intake, suggesting that increased exercise may help prevent and treat muscle loss that occurs with aging.5

What about the recreational athlete, otherwise known as the weekend warrior? &ldquoThe research shows that most people would benefit from added protein, from increased satiety to increased muscle synthesis,&rdquo Mohr says. &ldquoPeople generally consume only around 15% to 16% of total calories as protein, so there&rsquos certainly room to increase protein intake.&rdquo Some have suggested that recreational athletes should aim for daily intakes closer to 1.1 to 1.4 g/kg of body weight per day, 38% to 75% greater than the current RDA.2 Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, should be in the range of 1.2 to 2 g/kg of body weight, and strength athletes, such as weight lifters, should be in the range of 1.4 to 2 g/kg of body weight.2

According to Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, a sports nutrition counselor and the author of Nancy Clark&rsquos Sports Nutrition Guidebook, different protein recommendations aren&rsquot needed for men vs. women. &ldquo[They&rsquore] based on grams per kilogram of body weight,&rdquo she says. In addition, active people shouldn&rsquot focus on protein alone. &ldquoHave protein/carbohydrate combinations, protein to build and repair muscle tissue and carbs to fuel.&rdquo The ratio of protein to carbohydrate can vary greatly, depending on protein intake.

Unlike endurance training, single sessions of resistance exercise, regardless of workout length or intensity, don&rsquot appear to increase protein use during the workout itself. However, amino acid uptake after a resistance training session does increase, indicating that the amino acids are being used for muscle repair and construction. Protein utilization appears to be higher for individuals who are less fit.

When beginning endurance training, nitrogen balance may be negative for the first two weeks, and protein requirements may be higher in the first week of strength training to support new muscle growth. After one to two weeks of training, however, typically the body adapts and the protein utilization decreases. In general, adequate calorie and carbohydrate intake reduces the need for amino acid oxidation for energy and spares dietary protein and muscle tissue. Protein sparing is based on the concept that if adequate energy is consumed from carbohydrate and fat then dietary protein is available for protein-unique functions (ie, protein synthesis [tissue, hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, etc]). To protect muscle protein, consider counseling athletes to temporarily increase protein intake when starting a new training program or entering a new training phase.2

Type of Protein to Consider
The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that high-quality proteins be consumed. It highlights milk-derived whey protein isolate and casein and egg white and soy protein isolate as proteins that provide essential amino acids that are readily taken up by muscle to optimize nitrogen balance and muscle protein synthesis.6

Research suggests that of all the essential amino acids, leucine may be the limiting factor in initiating muscle protein synthesis, and that leucine-rich proteins may be the best way to boost muscle protein synthesis after intense physical activity.7 Some researchers suggest that protein quality based on leucine content is important when consuming small meals or when the total amount of protein consumed is less than optimal.7

The mixture of proteins in the American diet averages about 8% leucine. The range of protein thought to stimulate muscle protein synthesis after a meal is about 2.5 to 3.5 g.7 Dairy products, beef, poultry, seafood, pork, peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybeans are among the foods richest in leucine.8

What about protein powder supplements? &ldquoThey&rsquore not necessary,&rdquo Mohr says. &ldquo[But] are they convenient for those on the go looking for a quick, quality meal? Absolutely. Blend with a little milk, veggies, and nuts or nut butter and you have a great meal to go.&rdquo

When to Eat Protein
Just as important as the amount and type of protein athletes should eat is when they should eat it. As a result of physical activity, muscle breaks down. If protein intake is low, that muscle isn&rsquot replaced. Those who are acclimated to regular exercise experience less muscle protein breakdown.9 However, protein needs are greater during intense bouts of training. The general consensus is that protein ingestion after exercise, when muscle is most sensitive to nutrient intake, will boost muscle protein synthesis and recovery.10,11

Athletes aside, &ldquoMost people eat only about 10% to 15% of total protein in the morning, about 20% or so in the afternoon, and the remainder at dinner. Since our bodies don&rsquot store protein, spreading that intake more evenly throughout the day would be beneficial,&rdquo Mohr says.

&ldquoResearch has shown that adults need at least 30 g of protein at two or more meals to maintain healthy muscles,&rdquo says Donald Layman, PhD, professor emeritus in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. &ldquoSmall meals, such as breakfast or lunch, often contain less than 15 g of protein and provide no benefit to muscle health.&rdquo

A study recently published in the Journal of Nutrition found that muscle protein synthesis was 25% higher when protein was evenly distributed across breakfast, lunch, and dinner compared with a more typical pattern, when most protein was consumed at the evening meal, even when total protein intake was the same.12 Protein that&rsquos evenly distributed throughout the day may be especially important for older, physically active adults, as older individuals experience a resistance to muscle protein synthesis in response to meals containing less protein in other words, the protein threshold to trigger muscle protein synthesis is higher in older individuals.12

According to Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and a protein researcher, &ldquoThe same basic model of consuming a moderate amount of high-quality protein three times a day applies to different aged athletes. But moderate for different sized people might range from 15 g to 40-plus grams per meal.&rdquo

High-Protein Diets
Since added protein intake is critical for athletes and physically active people, should they consume a high-protein diet? Instead of recommending protein as grams per kilogram of body weight, the Institute of Medicine established an acceptable macronutrient distribution range for protein at 10% to 35% of total calories for adults older than 18.1 The Institute of Medicine defines the acceptable macronutrient distribution range as a range of intake associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases while providing adequate intakes of essential nutrients. The average protein intake in the United States of 15% of total calories is well within the acceptable macronutrient distribution range but well below recommended intakes for most athletes. 1,13 Even the 95th percentile of protein intake for US adults doesn&rsquot come close to the highest acceptable macronutrient distribution range for protein at 35% of total calories.14 Higher intakes of high-quality protein recommended for athletes would still be well within the acceptable macronutrient distribution range.14

Frequently, concerns are expressed about the possible negative health effects of high-protein intakes however, an upper limit for protein intake hasn&rsquot been established, though the Dietary Reference Intakes warn against exceeding the acceptable macronutrient distribution range.1 It&rsquos important to bear in mind that if calories are limited, high protein intake may displace other important nutrients.

Probably the most common concern expressed is that high-protein intakes may impair renal function. It&rsquos true that protein intake, beyond that which supports nitrogen balance, promotes urea formation, and can increase glomerular filtration rate and kidney nitrogen load. There&rsquos little evidence that the change in glomerular filtration rate can cause problems in healthy people, as the clearance of urea becomes more efficient with higher protein intakes.15 However, lower protein intakes, based on an individual&rsquos weight and the severity of their condition, are recommended for those with impaired renal function.

For healthy people, a recent study suggested a maximum intake of 2 to 2.5 g/kg of body weight per day, totaling 176 g of protein per day for an 80-kg (176-lb) individual consuming approximately 2,900 kcal daily.16 This translates to about 25% of calories from protein within the range of 10% to 35% recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the maximum of 35% by the acceptable macronutrient distribution range.

A recent study of overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes consuming a diet containing 90 to 120 g of protein per day found no effect on renal function compared with those consuming 55 to 70 g/day, suggesting that higher intakes aren&rsquot harmful.17

However, increased dietary protein can result in elevated urinary calcium, which may contribute to bone loss and the subsequent development of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Yet the role protein plays in bone health is complex. A recent systematic review found that the evidence was inconclusive regarding a significant relationship (either positive or negative) between protein intake and bone health, but that protein likely provided a small benefit to bone health.18 Moreover, evidence shows an association between dietary protein and increased peak bone mass in both young and older adults.19,20

An interaction exists between calcium and protein intakes when calcium intakes are low, a high-protein diet could be detrimental to bone. When calcium intakes are higher, protein appears to be beneficial. It has been suggested that protein intakes of greater than 2 g/kg of body weight per day should be avoided if calcium intake is below 600 mg/day.21

High-protein diets that consist of excessive intakes of 200 to 400 g/day can exceed the liver&rsquos ability to convert excess nitrogen to urea and lead to nausea, diarrhea, and even death.12 &ldquoI think the biggest message is to avoid the absurd—30-oz steak dinners or carrying around a gallon container of a protein drink all day,&rdquo Paddon-Jones says.

Developing an individualized nutrition plan for athletes should take into account the individual&rsquos health history, the sport he or she plays, weekly training regimens, time of competition, access to food, and travel schedules. When working with athletes, dietitians must gauge a person&rsquos readiness for change before offering guidance. Moreover, sports nutrition professionals should discuss the athletes&rsquo goals and concerns, answer questions, and ask for the athletes&rsquo participation in their meal planning.

— Densie Webb, PhD, RD, is a freelance writer and industry consultant based in Austin, Texas.

Protein-Rich Foods and Supplements
• Beef tenderloin steak, lean only (3.5 oz): 29 g

• NOW Pea Protein Powder (33-g scoop): 24 g

• Swanson Whey Protein Powder (23-g scoop): 20 g

• Solgar Whey to Go Powder (25-g scoop): 20 g

• BOOST High Protein Drink (8 oz): 15 g

• Kashi GOLEAN cereal (1 cup): 13 g

• Beneprotein Instant Protein Powder (7 g scoop): 6 g

— Sources: Reference 8 and company websites

Protein Specific Guidelines
• Develop a meal plan that will supply adequate calories, carbohydrate, and protein each day.

• Distribute the protein equally across meals.

• Emphasize high-quality protein.

• Base protein intake on weight, not on percentage of calories.

• Base protein intake on the individual&rsquos sport and intensity level.

• Recommend that active, older individuals boost protein intake, as some may require more to help preserve muscle mass.

• Suggest protein powders to individuals who need added protein on the go and whose calorie intake is low.

1. Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press 2002.

2. Fink HH, Burgoon LA, Mikesky AE. Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Athletes: Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett 2009.

3. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 201129(Suppl 1):S29-38.

4. Colombani PC, Mettler S. Role of dietary proteins in sports. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 201181(2-3):120-124.

5. Timmerman KL, Dhanani S, Glynn EL, et al. A moderate acute increase in physical activity enhances nutritive flow and the muscle protein anabolic response to mixed nutrient intake in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 201295(6):1403-1412.

6. Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 20074:8.

7. Layman DK. Protein nutrition, meal timing, and muscle health. In: Berdanier CD, Dwyer JT, Heber D, eds. Handbook of Nutrition and Food. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press 2013:861-867.

8. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Service website.

9. Poole C, Wilborn C, Taylor L, Kerksick C. The role of post-exercise nutrient administration on muscle protein synthesis and glycogen synthesis. J Sports Sci Med. 20109(3):354-363.

10. Phillips SM. Dietary protein requirements and adaptive advantages in athletes. Br J Nutr. 2012108(Suppl 2):S158-167.

11. Burd NA, West DW, Moore DR, et al. Enhanced amino acid sensitivity of myofibrillar protein synthesis persists for up to 24 h after resistance exercise in young men. J Nutr. 2011141(4):568–573.

12. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults [published online January 29, 2014]. J Nutr. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185280.

13. Energy intakes: percentages of energy from protein, carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol, by gender and age, what we eat in America, NHANES 2009-2010. US Department of Agriculture website. Accessed March 28, 2014.

14. Fulgoni VL 3rd. Current protein intake in America: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003–2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 200887(5):1554S-1557S.

15. Walrand S, Short KR, Bigelow ML, Sweatt AJ, Hutson SM, Nair KS. Functional impact of high protein intake on healthy elderly people. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008295:E921-E928.

16. Bilsborough S, Mann N. A review of issues of dietary protein intake in humans. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 200616(2):129-152.

17. Jesudason DR, Pedersen E, Clifton PM. Weight-loss diets in people with type 2 diabetes and renal disease: a randomized controlled trial of the effect of different dietary protein amounts. Am J Clin Nutr. 201398(2):494-501.

18. Sahni S, Broe KE, Tucker KL, et al. Association of total protein intake with bone mineral density and bone loss in men and women from the Framingham Offspring Study. Public Health Nutr. 201329:1-7. doi:10.1017/S1368980013002875.

19. Heaney RP, Layman DK. Amount and type of protein influences bone health. Am J Clin Nutr. 200887(5):1567S-1570S.

20. Bonjour JP. Dietary protein: an essential nutrient for bone health. J Am Coll Nutr. 200524(6 Suppl):526S-536S.

21. Bonjour JP. Protein intake and bone health. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 201181(2-3):134-142.


What are calories?

Calories are a way of measuring the amount of energy in food and drink. When we consume more calories than we burn off, our bodies store this energy as fat.

Calories in food and drink come from four sources:

  1. Protein – 4 calories per gram
  2. Carbohydrates (including sugar) – 4 calories per gram
  3. Fat – 9 calories per gram
  4. Alcohol – 7 calories per gram (or 56 per unit of alcohol)

Calories in non-alcoholic beer vs alcoholic beer

There’s almost always no fat in beer, so the calories in it come from alcohol, carbohydrates and protein.

And, as there’s little to no alcohol in alcohol-free beer, it’s much lower in calories than an equivalent alcoholic beer.

  • 225 calories in a 500ml bottle of standard Adnam’s “Ghost Ship” (4.5%) vs 115 in a 500ml bottle of Adnam’s “Ghost Ship Alcohol-Free” (0.5%)
  • 139 calories in a 330ml bottle of standard Heineken (5%) vs 69 calories in a 330ml bottle of Heineken 𔄘.0” (0%)
  • 122 calories in 330ml bottle of Carlsberg (3.8%) vs 73 calories in a 330ml bottle of Carlsberg 𔄘.0” (0%)
  • 132 calories in a 330ml bottle of Bitburger Pils (4.8%) vs 73 calories in a 330ml bottle of Bitburger “Drive” (0%)

The amount of calories in alcohol-free beer varies depending the amount of carbohydrates and protein it has. This depends on its base ingredients and how it’s produced.

For instance, wheat beers tend to have more protein while beers that have been fully fermented before having the alcohol removed will likely have less carbohydrates (in the form of sugar) than beers that use a yeast that doesn’t ferment all available sugars.

Also, some alcohol-free beers contain up to 0.5% alcohol. This equates to about 15 calories per pint in addition to the calories provided by protein and carbohydrates.

Therefore, while alcohol-free beers are generally lower in calories than beers that contain alcohol, the actual amount of calories varies.

Calories in non-alcoholic beer vs non-alcoholic drinks

As well as being lower in calories than standard beer, alcohol-free beer has fewer calories than many alternative soft drinks.

For example, most alcohol-free beers have about 10 to 35 calories per 100ml. Meanwhile:

  • tonic water has about 21 calories per 100ml
  • skimmed milk has about 37 calories per 100ml
  • orange juice has about 46 calories per 100ml
  • Cola has about 42 calories per 100ml

So while you won’t get some of the nutritional benefits that come with drinks like fruit juice and milk when you drink alcohol-free beer, it’s still a handy low-calorie alternative if you choose a lower-calorie option.

Alcohol-free beer has nutritional benefits too.


Water is the most abundant constituent of the human body, accounting for one-half to four-fifths of body weight, depending mainly on body fat content. Accordingly, body water, as a percentage of body mass, is higher in men than in women and tends to fall with age in both.

Figure 11-1 shows the routes and approximate magnitudes of water intake and loss in an environment cool enough to prevent sweating. The normal daily turnover of water via these routes is approximately 4% of total body weight in adults and much higher, 15% of total body weight, in infants. As Figure 11-1 shows, even in the absence of visible perspiration, approximately one-half of the turnover occurs through what is called insensible water loss, i.e., water lost from the lungs and skin. These insensible losses can all be increased under certain conditions, including high temperatures, high altitude, and dry air. Exertion under any of these conditions can cause up to a 10-fold increase in water loss from skin and lungs. Diarrhea can increase intestinal loss dramatically.


Routes and approximate magnitude of water intake and outgo without sweating. From NRC, 1980b. M is minimal urine volume at maximal solute concentration. Ox is water of oxidation.

Figure 11-1 includes an estimate of minimal urine volume required when urinary solute concentration is maximal (about 1,400 mosmol/ liter in the healthy adult and 700 mosmol/liter in the infant). Because the kidney must excrete waste products, the solute load𠅌omposed of the nitrogen-containing breakdown products of protein metabolism (principally urea), sulfates, phosphates, and other electrolytes�termines the minimal volume of water required for urine formation. Normally functioning kidneys can adjust urine osmolarity from 40 to 1,400 mosmol/liter, depending both on water intake and on dietary solute load. Despite the kidney's ability to compensate, its limitations require the effective use of the thirst sensation to maintain water balance. If the sensation of thirst is not met by water consumption, or if the thirst mechanism is inoperative because of intense, sustained exertion, especially at a high altitude (Buskirk and Mendez, 1967), dehydration will eventually result. This can become life threatening when more than 10% of body weight is lost.


Although water, consumed as water, is a major source of liquid in some parts of the world, much of the water consumed in the United States is taken in the form of other beverages. Median daily intake of water as such among respondents in the 1977� Nationwide Food Consumption Survey was 2.8 cups (USDA, 1984). In 1981, daily per capita milk consumption was approximately one and one-third cups, per capita coffee and tea consumption was about one and one-half cups, and soft drink consumption was one and three-fourths cups per capita. In addition, many solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain from 85 to 95% water.

Estimate of Requirements

The primary determinant of maintenance water requirement appears to be metabolic (Holliday and Segar, 1957), but the actual estimation of water requirement is highly variable and quite complex. Because the water requirement is the amount necessary to balance the insensible losses (which can vary markedly) and maintain a tolerable solute load for the kidneys (which may vary with dietary composition and other factors), it is impossible to set a general water requirement.

Adults For practical purposes, 1 ml/kcal of energy expenditure can be recommended as the water requirement for adults under average conditions of energy expenditure and environmental exposure. However, there is so seldom a risk of water intoxication that the specified requirement for water is often increased to 1.5 ml/kcal to cover variations in activity level, sweating, and solute load.

Special attention must be given to the water needs of the elderly whose thirst sensation may be blunted. Even though these people may be less physically active, they may still have a high water requirement, especially during the summer. If uncorrected, water depletion with heat exhaustion, resulting from inadequate replacement of fluid losses, can eventually cause a loss of consciousness and heat stroke (NRC, 1980b).

Pregnancy and Lactation Pregnancy is associated with an increased need for water because of the expanded extracellular fluid space, the needs of the fetus, and the amniotic fluid. However, calculations indicate that the increment amounts to only about 30 ml/ day. A lactating woman, on the other hand, requires an increased volume of water to match that secreted in the milk. Since milk is 87% water and average milk secretion is 750 ml/day for the first 6 months, the extra fluid required would be less than 1,000 ml/day.

Infants and Children Infants must be treated as a separate category for several reasons: their large surface area per unit of body weight, their higher percentage of body water and its high rate of turnover, the limited capacity of their kidneys for handling the solute load from high protein intakes required for growth, and their susceptibility to severe dehydration due in part to their inability to express thirst. It is prudent, therefore, to recommend an average water intake of 1.5 ml/kcal of energy expenditure for infants. This figure corresponds to the water-to-energy ratio in human milk and common formulas and has been well established as a satisfactory level for the growing infant.

Excessive Intakes and Toxicity

Toxicity results from the ingestion of water at a rate beyond the capacity of the kidneys to excrete the extra load, resulting in hyposmolarity. Such a condition is rarely observed in a normal healthy adult. The manifestations usually include a gradual mental dulling, confusion, coma, convulsion, and even death.

Powerlifting Supplementation: What Supplements Should Powerlifters Use?

Now that we’ve covered those mega important macronutrients, you may be asking, what about all those powerlifting supplements out there?

There’s no lack of supplements out there telling you that they will boost your performance, but these are research backed: creatine monohydrate, caffeine, and beta-alanine.

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is a compound found in plants such as coffee, tea, and cocoa.

It’s stimulating to your nervous system. When it reaches your brain it increases alertness. It can also help increase performance during powerlifting training.

A comprehensive scientific review noted that caffeine ingestion may enhance strength in the squat and bench press. Optimal doses are likely to be 2 to 6 mg per kilogram body weight.

Another study found that caffeine improved exercise performance by 11.2% and lowered feelings of perceived exertion by 5.6%. Meaning that you have that extra push to get you through a tough workout.


Aim to take caffeine about 60 minutes pre-exercise, depending on how it affects your stomach.

For quick caffeine sources such as gum, aim to take it about 5 to 10 minutes before the start of exercise. If you’re planning to work out for an extended period, it may be helpful to repeat the dose.

When you’re doing powerlifting training, you may only want to consider caffeine for sessions with the highest intensity. This is because if you have it to frequently, your body can develop a tolerance to it therefore you may not see as many benefits when you take it and train.


Aim to get natural sources of caffeine whenever possible.

However, if you’re opting for a capsule form, make sure to consult your physician before giving it a go.

Keep in mind that not everybody responds well to caffeine.

Try your best to avoid stimulants at least six hours before bedtime to prevent your deep sleep from being impacted.

If you recognize negative symptoms such as anxiety, shakes, irritability, caffeine may not be the right option for you.


2. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

A “branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure. These amino acids include leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

BCAAs can help you improve your athletic performance, prevent fatigue, and reduce muscle mass breakdown. They can be helpful for both increasing muscle size as well as maintaining muscle mass.

In terms of preventing or decreasing soreness, the science is inconclusive. Previous research has shown that BCAAs can potentially reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.

One study compared the effect of BCAAs plus carbohydrate, versus carbohydrate-only sports drinks after an intense workout. Similar levels of perceived soreness and associated markers were found for both groups.


3. Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine is a compound formed in protein metabolism.

It’s present in many of your tissues and is involved in muscle energy and contraction. It supplies nutrients to make ATP during intense workouts. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) carries energy within your cells.

In a review of over 22 studies, when subjects supplemented with creating while doing resistance training, they averaged 8% greater increase in muscle strength and size when compared to a placebo. When creatine supplementation was added to resistance training, there was a 14% greater average of weightlifting performance when compared to placebo.

According to research conducted by WebMD , creatine can help athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy during exercises such as powerlifting.

But it’s important to note that the scientific research on creatine has been mixed. Some people’s muscles respond well to it while others don’t.

If you are going to try creatine, Healthline recommends using the loading method. Consume 20 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for 5-7 days, followed by a standard dose of 5 grams per day. A lower dose of 5 grams per day for a few weeks can also increase creatine stores.

Since creatine has been suggested to have significant performance benefits, aim for 1-2 grams from natural food sources if you don’t take a supplement.

If you’re interested in learning more, read our in-depth guide on whether you can get stronger without creatine .

Protein Calculator

The Protein Calculator estimates the daily amount of dietary protein adults require to remain healthy. Children, those who are highly physically active, and pregnant and nursing women typically require more protein. The calculator is also useful for monitoring protein intake for those with kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, or other conditions in which protein intake is a factor.

  • Exercise: 15-30 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
  • Intense exercise: 45-120 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
  • Very intense exercise: 2+ hours of elevated heart rate activity.

What are proteins?

Proteins are one of three primary macronutrients that provide energy to the human body, along with fats and carbohydrates. Proteins are also responsible for a large portion of the work that is done in cells they are necessary for proper structure and function of tissues and organs, and also act to regulate them. They are comprised of a number of amino acids that are essential to proper body function, and serve as the building blocks of body tissue.

There are 20 different amino acids in total, and the sequence of amino acids determines a protein's structure and function. While some amino acids can be synthesized in the body, there are 9 amino acids that humans can only obtain from dietary sources (insufficient amounts of which may sometime result in death), termed essential amino acids. Foods that provide all of the essential amino acids are called complete protein sources, and include both animal (meat, dairy, eggs, fish) as well as plant-based sources (soy, quinoa, buckwheat).

Proteins can be categorized based on the function they provide to the body. Below is a list of some types of proteins 1 :

  • Antibody&mdashproteins that protect the body from foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, by binding to them
  • Enzyme&mdashproteins that help form new molecules as well as perform the many chemical reactions that occur throughout the body
  • Messenger&mdashproteins that transmit signals throughout the body to maintain body processes
  • Structural component&mdashproteins that act as building blocks for cells that ultimately allow the body to move
  • Transport/storage&mdashproteins that move molecules throughout the body

As can be seen, proteins have many important roles throughout the body, and as such, it is important to provide sufficient nutrition to the body to maintain healthy protein levels.

How much protein do I need?

The amount of protein that the human body requires daily is dependent on many conditions including overall energy intake, growth of the individual, and physical activity level. It is often estimated based on body weight, as a percentage of total caloric intake (10-35%), or based on age alone. 0.8g/kg of body weight is a commonly cited recommended dietary allowance (RDA). This value is the minimum recommended value to maintain basic nutritional requirements, but consuming more protein, up to a certain point, may be beneficial, depending on the sources of the protein.

The recommended range of protein intake is between 0.8 g/kg and 1.8 g/kg of body weight, dependent on the many factors listed above. People who are highly active, or who wish to build more muscle should generally consume more protein. Some sources 2 suggest consuming between 1.8 to 2 g/kg for those who are highly active. The amount of protein a person should consume, to date, is not an exact science, and each individual should consult a specialist, be it a dietitian, doctor, or personal trainer, to help determine their individual needs.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein, based on age

Protein Needed (grams/day)
Age 1 - 313
Age 4 - 819
Age 9 - 1334
Age 14 - 18 (Girls)46
Age 14 - 18 (Boys)52
Age 19 - 70+ (Women)46
Age 19 - 70+ (Men)56

Extra Protein Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation

Safe Intake
(grams / day)
Additional Energy
Protein : energy
Pregnancy trimester 113750.04
Pregnancy trimester 2101,2000.11
Pregnancy trimester 3311,9500.23
Lactation First 6 months192,8000.11
Lactation After 6 months131,9250.11

Foods high in protein

There are many different combinations of food that a person can eat to meet their protein intake requirements. For many people, a large portion of protein intake comes from meat and dairy, though it is possible to get enough protein while meeting certain dietary restrictions you might have. Generally, it is easier to meet your RDA of protein by consuming meat and dairy, but an excess of either can have a negative health impact. There are plenty of plant-based protein options, but they generally contain less protein in a given serving. Ideally, a person should consume a mixture of meat, dairy, and plant-based foods in order to meet their RDA and have a balanced diet replete with nutrients.

If possible, consuming a variety of complete proteins is recommended. A complete protein is a protein that contains a good amount of each of the nine essential amino acids required in the human diet. Examples of complete protein foods or meals include:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken breast
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lean beef
  • Tuna
  • Turkey breast
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Buckwheat
  • Hummus and pita
  • Soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame beans)
  • Peanut butter on toast or some other bread
  • Beans and rice
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp and chia seeds
  • Spirulina

Generally, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are complete protein sources. Nuts and seeds, legumes, grains, and vegetables, among other things, are usually incomplete proteins. There is nothing wrong with incomplete proteins however, and there are many healthy, high protein foods that are incomplete proteins. As long as you consume a sufficient variety of incomplete proteins to get all the required amino acids, it is not necessary to specifically eat complete protein foods. In fact, certain high fat red meats for example, a common source of complete proteins, can be unhealthy. Below are some of examples of high protein foods that are not complete proteins:

  • Almonds
  • Oats
  • Broccoli
  • Lentils
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Grapefruit
  • Green peas
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms

As can be seen, there are many different foods a person can consume to meet their RDA of protein. The examples provided above do not constitute an exhaustive list of high protein or complete protein foods. As with everything else, balance is important, and the examples provided above are an attempt at providing a list of healthier protein options (when consumed in moderation).

How many calories do you need?

A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to the energy people get from the food and drink they consume, and the energy they use in physical activity.

Calories are listed in the nutritional information on all food packaging. Many weight loss programs center around reducing the intake of calories.

This MNT Knowledge Center article focuses on calories associated with food and drink, as well as the way the human body uses energy. MNT covers what a calorie is, how many calories humans need each day, and how to get calories in a way that benefits overall health.

Share on Pinterest The nutritional information on all food packaging will advise how many calories it contains.

Most people only associate calories with food and drink, but anything that contains energy has calories. 1 kilogram (kg) of coal, for example, contains 7,000,000 calories.

There are two types of calorie:

  • A small calorie (cal) is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram (g) of water by 1º Celsius (º C).
  • A large calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram (kg) of water by 1º C. It is also known as a kilocalorie.

1 kcal is equal to 1,000 cal.

The terms “large calorie” and “small calorie” are often used interchangeably. This is misleading. The calorie content described on food labels refers to kilocalories. A 250-calorie chocolate bar actually contains 250,000 calories.

The United States government states that the average man needs 2,700 kcal per day and the average woman needs 2,200 kcal per day.

Not everybody needs the same number of calories each day. People have different metabolisms that burn energy at different rates, and some people have more active lifestyles than others.

The recommended intake of calories per day depends on several factors, including:

  • overall general health
  • physical activity demands
  • sex
  • weight
  • height
  • body shape

The human body needs calories to survive. Without energy, the cells in the body would die, the heart and lungs would stop, and the organs would not be able to carry out the basic processes needed for living. People absorb this energy from food and drink.

If people consumed only the number of calories needed every day, they would probably have healthy lives. Calorie consumption that is too low or too high will eventually lead to health problems.

The number of calories in food tells us how much potential energy they contain. It is not only calories that are important, but also the substance from which the calories are taken.

Below are the calorific values of three main components of food:

  • 1 g of carbohydrates contains 4 kcal
  • 1 g of protein contains 4 kcal
  • 1 g of fat contains 9 kcal

As an example, here is the breakdown of how a person would get calories from one cup of large eggs , weighing 243 g:

23.11 g x 9 kcal = 207.99 kcal

Protein: 30.52 g

30.52 x 4 kcal = 122.08 kcal

Carbohydrate: 1.75 g

1.75 x 4 kcal = 7 kcal

243 g of raw egg contains 347 kcal. 208 kcal comes from fat, 122 kcal is taken from protein, and carbohydrate provides 7 kcal.

Fast food in American diets

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in 2013 showing that 11.3 percent of calories consumed by people in the U.S. come from fast foods.

Nutritionists and healthcare professionals say this figure is too high.

As people get older, they tend to get fewer of their daily calories from fast foods. Fast foods make up only 6 percent of the daily calorie intake of older adults.

However, with the number of highly calorific meals served in restaurants or aimed at younger individuals, it is important that people pay close attention to where they get their calories.

When should you eat?

The time of day at which a person eats can shape how effectively their body uses calories.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University wrote in the journal Obesity that a large breakfast containing approximately 700 kcal is ideal for losing weight and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

A large breakfast may help to control body weight. When people eat matters as much as what they eat.

Empty calories are those that provide energy but very little nutritional value. The parts of food that provide empty calories contain virtually no dietary fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, dietary minerals, or vitamins.

According to, a diet management tool from the USDA, empty calories come mainly from solid fats and added sugars.

  • Solid fats: Although these exist naturally in many foods, they are often added during industrial food processing, as well as during the preparation of certain foods. Butter is an example of a solid fat.
  • Added sugars: These are sweeteners that are added to foods and beverages during industrial processing. They are filled with calories. In the U.S., the most common types of added sugars are sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.

Added sugars and solid fats are said to make foods and drinks more enjoyable. However, they also add many calories and are major contributors to obesity.

Alcohol can also contribute empty calories to the diet. One normal serving of beer can add 153 kcal to a person’s intake for the day.

If beer is not your drink of choice, you can use this calorie calculator provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to work out how many calories alcohol adds to your diet.

Sources of empty calories

The following foods and drinks provide the largest amounts of empty calories:

Solid fats and added sugars

Added sugars

Sugary drinks are the leading source of empty calories for people in the U.S.

More than half of all people in the U.S. have at least one sugary drink each day.

There are ways of sourcing products with less solid fat or empty sugars. Rather than choosing the standard hot dog or a fatty cheese, for example, a person could choose low-fat options for either.

However, even the lower-fat options are no replacement for calories consumed from sources that also provide nutritional benefit. Rachel Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association (AHA), shared the following with MNT:

“ Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one single source of calories in the American diet and account for about half of all added sugars that people consume.

Most Americans don’t have much room in their diets for a completely nutrient-void beverage. One recent study showed that drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage a day increases your risk of high blood pressure.

It’s better if you can avoid them altogether and instead consume water, fat-free or 1 percent fat milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and low-sodium vegetable juices.”

The intake of empty calories can be avoided or dramatically reduced by incorporating fresh, healthy food and drink into the diet.

Calories seem to be linked only to weight gain and obesity, but they are vital for health. They only pose a health risk when people consume more than the recommended amount.

When thinking about calories, you should not be considering just your diet but also your level of physical activity. A high intake of calories can be countered with regular, high-intensity exercise.

Rule #6: Use a Protein Powder Blend Like Pro JYM

For over a decade, I've recommended focusing on using whey protein powders. And that advice remains the same, just with a little tweak to it. Whey is definitely the king of protein. For one, it's rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). It also provides special peptides and microfractions that other protein sources or straight-up aminos can't. In fact, a recent study comparing whey protein to an amino acid mix that provided the same exact amino acids that whey provides showed that whey outperformed the amino acids.

Whey also happens to be the fastest-digesting protein you can consume, which means it delivers its critical BCAAs, peptides and microfractions to your muscles ASAP. This is important for energy during the workout as well as for muscle growth after. So yes, the first protein you want to concern yourself with is whey, especially before, after and/or during workouts as well as in the morning and at any point between meals where a protein shake will do.

However, the advice to drink JUST whey is no longer the best option.

The better option is to drink whey with a slow-digesting protein, particularly micellar casein. Research shows that adding casein to whey prolongs the anabolic window that whey creates. Whey spikes muscle protein synthesis, but casein keeps it spiked for longer. Micellar casein is casein in its natural form found in milk. It has been shown to provide a slow and steady supply of aminos for as long as seven hours. This is due to the fact that casein literally forms a clot when it's in the stomach.

To visualize this, consider when you mix a whey protein powder compared to when you mix a casein powder. The whey tends to mix very easily while the casein forms clumps in the fluid. This is similar to what happens in your stomach when you consume casein. Although casein may be bad for palatability when drinking it as a shake, it provides benefits when these clumps form in your stomach. These clumps decrease the surface area of the casein that's available to digestive enzymes. The enzymes must digest the casein clumps one layer at a time, much like peeling the layers of an onion.

Hence, as I mentioned earlier, casein provides a slow and steady supply of aminos to keep protein synthesis extended for longer and decrease muscle protein breakdown. Remember, muscle grows when protein synthesis is greater than muscle breakdown. Casein actually works on both ends to promote growth. One easy way to get micellar casein that you may not have realized is from protein powders and drinks that provide milk protein isolate or milk protein concentrate. This is why I included milk protein isolate in Pro JYM.

It's also a good idea to add in a protein source that digests at a medium rate &ndash one that's slower than whey but faster than casein. This bridges the gap, so to speak, between whey and casein to provide a fast yet steady and long-lasting supply of amino acids to your muscles. Two of the best proteins to consider here are egg protein and soy protein. Not only do these proteins digest at a different rate than the milk proteins whey and casein, but they provide other benefits that the milk proteins don't. And no, soy does not decrease a man's testosterone levels or increase estrogen, as research confirms.

I realize that many men and women don't want to consume soy for other reasons. One issue may be the genetic modification many soy plants have undergone. Although it now appears that these genetically modified plants are safe for consumption, there's still much we don't know. So, if you're opposed to soy for whatever reason, I highly recommend using egg protein with whey and casein. Egg protein provides higher amounts of sulfur-containing and other aminos that can aid muscle growth and overall health. This is the main reason why I use egg protein instead of soy in Pro JYM.

A Complete Breakdown of the Nutritional Content of Semen

To swallow or not to swallow: that is the question. You can only really answer it for yourself, but we aim to help you make that decision an informed one. Here, we list every property found in an average splooge—protein, carbs, fat, cholesterol, etc.—and analyze what it means for you to ingest it in terms of recommended daily allowances.

The real truth is that the nutritional composition of semen is extremely subjective and varies depending on a man's age and diet. The numbers that follow are rough averages based on a study of the physical and chemical properties of semen—published in a 2005 issue of the Journal of Andrology—that looked at a half-century's worth of research and semen samples. (Additionally, we've referenced material published in The RE/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids .)

There's a lot of misinformation out there about the composition of ejaculate, particularly regarding how many calories are in a typical serving of man milk—which just so happens to be one of the more common inquiries about spunk. A Google search of "semen calories" returns over 1.2 million results. Answers vary widely , but most sources peg it somewhere between 5 - 25 calories per serving.

However, a typical ejaculation—with an average volume of 3.4 ml—contains less than 1 calorie. Just like Diet Coke! This calorie count of semen was calculated using the "4-4-9" formula of macronutrients (in which there's 4 calories per gram of protein, 4 calories per gram of carbs, and 9 calories per gram of fat).

The Institute of Medicine suggests adults eat 20 to 35 percent of their daily calories from fat. Since fat provides 9 calories per gram, calculate your fat needs by dividing 20 to 35 percent of your calorie requirements by nine. Based on these recommendations you should eat 400 to 700 calories from fat, or about 44 to 78 grams of fat, each day when following a 2,000-calorie diet. To reduce your risk for heart disease, choose healthy unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, fish oil, hummus, avocados, nuts and seeds instead of high-fat meats, shortening, butter and full-fat dairy products.

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.