Is It Possible To Consume Too Much Protein
Its possible to consume too much of any nutrient and what our body doesnt need to burn for energy, it will store.
Our kidneys are involved in the processing of the protein in our diet, and extremely high levels of protein can be harmful over time. However, studies show that up to 3.5g/kg bodyweight per day does not cause negative side effects.4
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If youre concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
1. Table, M. . Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids . National Academy Press: Washington, DC, USA.
2. Nutritiondata.self.com. 2020.SELF Nutrition Data | Food Facts, Information & Calorie Calculator. Available at: < https://nutritiondata.self.com/> .
3. Rieu, I.,Balage, M.,Sornet, C., Giraudet, C., Pujos, E., Grizard, J., & Dardevet, D. . Leucine supplementation improves muscle protein synthesis in elderly men independently of hyperaminoacidaemia. The Journal of physiology, 575, 305-315.
4. Astrup, A. . The satiating power of proteina key to obesity prevention?.
Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claires ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.
Find out more about Claires experience here.
The Best Protein Sources For Muscle Gains
Now that we’ve shown you how much protein you need to eat, you’ll want to know which protein sources are the best options.
There are a lot of different food sources out there that are rich in protein. If you’re looking for the most optimal and popular protein sources, we recommend chicken, red meat, eggs, fish, and whey protein powder.
However, some studies did compare the amount of muscle protein synthesis between soy, casein, and whey protein. They concluded that whey protein has the most significant muscle protein synthesis response during exercise recovery.
If you’re struggling to hit your daily protein intake, check out our Huge Whey. This protein powder packs nearly 25 grams of protein per scoop, which will be very useful to help you hit your daily macronutrient goals.
Lets Start With The Basics: Why Is Protein So Important
Any type of rigorous exerciseand specifically strength traininginduces a continuous breakdown of muscle fibers. Thats actually how we build and grow the muscle tissue: Lifting creates microtears in the muscle fibers and causes the subsequent rebuilding of those fibers for lean body mass maintenance or achieving muscle and strength gains. Our bodies turn to proteinspecifically amino acids which are the building blocks of proteinfor this muscle growth and tissue repair.
So right off that bat, athletes require more protein than the average person. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is only 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight per day for the average person.
If youre thinking that sounds a lot lower than you expected, thats because it is. The RDA is set as the amount of protein that is needed by the general population in order to prevent protein insufficiency. Preventing insufficiency and ensuring optimal intake are two very different things, and any expert worth their weight would rarely advise simply aiming to prevent insufficiency.
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How Much Protein Per Day To Gain Muscle
How much protein should you have per day is, it really depends on what your health goals are. Im going to break things down into two categories.
- Number One, How much protein do you need on a regular basis to generally heal and for your body to regenerate?
- Number Two, How Much Protein Per Day To Gain Muscle?
How Much Protein Do I Need To Build Muscle For Men And Women
- 10 minute read
According to the United States Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily allowance for protein is 56 grams per day for adult men and 46 grams per day for adult women.
However, these nutritional guidelines are designed to prevent starvation, not for building muscle.
If youre a physically active person, scientific research shows that your minimum protein intake requirements could be more than double the official guidelines.
Along with eating enough calories and training regularly, consuming plenty of protein is one of the most important things you can do to gain muscle.
And as youll learn in this guide, protein quality counts, too.
Keep reading to learn how to calculate your optimal protein intake for building muscle , how much protein to eat at each meal, how much protein is too much, and more.
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Effects On Weight Loss
Studies show that increasing your intake of protein can benefit weight loss through several mechanisms.
For starters, it can increase your metabolism, which can bump up the number of calories that your body burns throughout the day (
One study in 27 people showed that consuming higher amounts of protein for 12 weeks led to greater feelings of fullness, decreased late-night cravings, and less preoccupation with food, compared with a control group .
However, while protein may help support weight loss, its important to consider the other ingredients in your protein shake.
Although ingredients like nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, and nut butter may be healthy and nutritious in moderation, theyre also very calorie dense and could cause weight gain if consumed in high amounts.
Moderating your intake of these ingredients can help keep the calories from stacking up and turning your healthy protein shake into a high calorie indulgence.
Increasing your intake of protein could support weight loss. However, some ingredients in your protein shake may be high in calories, which could lead to weight gain.
Only You Can Tell How Much Carbs Your Body Needs
First of all, can you measure the exact amount energy you consume everyday? Probably not! Hence, it is impossible to know much energy youll need in a day. But, what you can do is analyse. It is a simple process:
- Begin with high amount carbs diet for 2-3 weeks.
- Analyse the difference in the belly and face fat.
- If your belly fat increased considerably then you are eating more carbs than you need.
- If your belly fat is almost the same and your muscles size has increased, then that is the carb amount suitable for you.
- If neither your belly fat and nor your muscles size increased then you are eating less.
- If fat has increased then lower the carbs intake a little bit and analyse for 2-3 weeks.
- If fat has decreased than increase the carbs intake a little bit and analyse for 2-3 weeks.
- Repeat this until your belly fat is not increasing and your muscle size is increasing.
This is the only way to know the carb requirement. There is no hard and fast rule, every individual is different, so is their carbs requirement.
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Muscle Protein Synthesis Vs Muscle Protein Breakdown
Amino acids are also used for muscle protein synthesis – the process of repairing and maintaining muscles after intense use.
When muscles are used during exercise or strenuous activity, it creates micro-tears and leads to muscle protein breakdown . Amino acids are then shuttled to your muscles to start repairing this damage and synthesizing new tissue to replace the damaged ones.
This process doesn’t automatically lead to bigger muscles , but it can make your muscles stronger or adapt to the type of training that caused the tears in the first place .
MPS is why protein, and strength training, in particular, are so essential for maintaining and building lean body mass.
Are 100 Grams Of Protein A Day Enough
Protein requirements differ vastly from person to person theres even evidence that the older you get, the more protein you require due to the inability to utilize amino acids.
If you are not engaged in any activity every week, 100 grams of protein a day could be enough. The average human only requires 0.4 grams per lb of bodyweight. If you are engaged in training or weight lifting of any sort, this will not be enough.
To maximize your performance and muscle gains, you will need to eat between 0.9 and 1.36 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight.
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How Do I Calculate How Much Protein I Need Finding Your Target Protein Intake
The general rule for calculating the minimum amount of protein that you need is 0.36 grams of protein per pound that you weigh, or 0.8 grams per kilogram that you weigh. The range is 0.8-1 gram per kilogram for healthy adults, and 1-1.2 grams per kilogram for an elderly person. Following that guideline, a 150-pound person would need a minimum of 54 grams of protein per day. Another way people can calculate their protein requirements is by dedicating a percentage of their total calories per day to the three macronutrients. Consuming around between 10-25% of your total calories from healthy protein sources is the general rule of thumb.
Its important to note that this calculation does not include any other factors, such as activity level or muscle building goals. Sticking to the higher end or calculating protein based on your weight is a good idea if you are looking to add muscle. For best results, talk to a nutritionist or keep reading as we dig in deeper to determine a good daily protein intake for those seeking to build muscle.
Health Benefits Of A Low
The benefits of a low-protein diet mostly apply to people with specific health conditions or diseases, rather than those who are generally healthy.
Excess protein is typically broken down by the liver, producing a waste product called urea, which is excreted by the kidneys .
This helps improve protein metabolism and prevents a buildup of urea in the bloodstream.
Having high levels of urea in the blood causes symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and changes in mental status .
It may also be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and death in those with heart failure (
Some research has also found that low-protein diets may be associated with several health benefits for the general population.
According to one review, restricted protein intake in middle-aged adults was associated with increased life expectancy and reduced risks of chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes .
However, more studies are still needed to evaluate the potential long-term benefits of protein restriction in healthy adults.
Summary Reducing protein intake can be beneficial for those with conditions like liver and kidney disease, phenylketonuria and homocystinuria. One review also reported that it may increase longevity and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
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Will Protein Make Me Gain Weight
Too many calories from any source can make you gain weight. If you want to gain muscle, you will likely see the number on the scale increase.
Muscle tissue holds water while fat does not this is why you might see changes in your body composition but not see weight loss. Too much protein more than your body needs can be stored as fat for later usage and also lead to weight gain.
If You Are Looking To Build Muscle And Training A Lot What Other Nutrients Do You Need To Think About
Protein is important, but building muscle happens because of a combination of resistance training and eating a diet that contains enough energy and carbohydrate to meet your requirements. If you concentrate on having a high protein intake without enough carbohydrates then that protein gets used as energy instead, not to build muscle. A varied diet including foods containing carbohydrates is key because muscles rely on carbohydrates for fuel.
Including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and keeping your intake varied, will ensure a wide range of vitamins and minerals are also included in your diet.
Finally, staying hydrated is essential for performance. Stay hydrated throughout the day and especially before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration and maximise performance.
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This Is How Much Protein You Need To Build Muscle
Everyone knows we need protein to build muscle, but how much is enough?
Let’s face it, protein and muscle-building go hand-in-hand. The macronutrient is vital for muscle tissue repair and is full of amino acids: the building blocks of strength. But, with sources, calculations and advice varying wildly, few men actually know how much protein they need to maintain muscle and to keep building bulk.
And without that knowledge the caricature of the gym bro guzzling a protein shake that’s surgically attached to him is allowed to live on. Well, no more. We’re here to tell you exactly how much protein you need in your diet to build muscle, as well as explain how you can calculate a protein intake that’s personalised to you and the foods you can add to your diet to up your protein numbers, if that’s necessary.
According to the NHS, the daily reference intake of protein is 50g, but that doesn’t take into account the differences between people, so it doesn’t change whether you’re 6 ft 9 or 4 ft 4, nor does it allow for the difference in need between someone who weighs 80 kilos compared with someone who weighs 200 kilos. But there are ways to work out how much protein you need. And all you have to do is keep reading to find out how.
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How Much Protein Per Meal To Build Muscle
The short answer to how much protein per meal? is to divide your daily protein intake evenly across your meals for the day.
- If you’re eating 250g protein and 3 meals per day, you would eat 80-85g protein per meal.
- If you’re eating 160g protein and 4 meals per day, consume 40g protein per meal.
As always, dont worry if youre a few grams over or under.
Current evidence suggests that your daily protein intake makes a bigger difference than per-meal intake or protein timing, so the most important part is probably getting your total daily intake right.
However, protein absorption is complicated, and theres probably still an advantage to consuming relatively large quantities of protein at each meal whenever possible.
Heres what the research shows:
- A 40-gram fast-acting whey protein post-workout shake resulted in 20% more muscle protein synthesis compared to a 20-gram shake.
- Compared to a meal with 40 grams of beef protein , a similar meal with 70 grams of beef protein increased whole body anabolic response more, apparently by decreasing muscle protein breakdown.
- Finally, consuming at least 25-30 grams of protein per meal, minimum, results in better appetite control, increased metabolic rate, and improved health.
To sum up, contrary to the old advice to eat a lot of small meals throughout the day, there may actually be an advantage to concentrating your protein intake into relatively few meals to allow for more protein at each meal.
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Why Protein Is Important For Weight Loss
As well as being good for building strength, protein also plays an important role in losing weight. Evidence suggests that eating protein can both increase the number of calories you burn, by stimulating your metabolic rate, as well as reduce your appetite, meaning you’re less likely to put on pounds in the first place. What’s more, a study by researchers at Maastricht University reported that even a modest increase in protein, from 15% to 18% of calories, reduced the amount of fat people regained after weight loss by 50%.
What The Science Says
Some older studies suggest that an intake of at least 1.6 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight is needed to maintain lean mass with strength training .
More recent studies suggest intakes as high as 1.8 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight .
And a larger and more recent review of the research determined that for most, there aren’t any beneficial effects of eating more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram or 0.72 grams per pound of body weight .
All of these recommendations fall within the range suggested by the American College of Sports Medicine that suggests 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight , which would translate to 81 to 136 grams for a 150-pound adult.
Your ideal protein needs can also depend on your overall calorie intake.
Your macro diet ratio may have an impact on body composition when looking at a surplus or restriction of calories. A narrative review of the research and smaller studies have suggested that higher protein intakes between 2.2 to 3.4 grams/kg during a large calorie surplus results in lower gains in body fat – promoting more muscle overall .
So, looks like the debate continues around how much protein is actually needed to gain more muscle and we may not get a definitive answer any time soon, due to the multitude of individual differences among us all.
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How Much Protein Is Really Enough
Popular belief is that in order to build muscle you must consume up to 1.0g of protein per pound of bodyweight. That might seem high to some of you, and for others it might seem too low. So, how much protein should you eat per day to build muscle? Really, it depends.
Research shows that the average trainee looking to build muscle can benefit from getting between 0.6g to 1.1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The exact amount thats right for you will depend on your goals, genetics, and the rest of your diet, but aiming to hit between those targets should be sufficient for most people.2
For example, a relatively fit 180lb man should aim to consume between 108g and 198g of protein daily for muscle gain.2
If you are overweight and trying to reduce your body fat, I recommend that you aim to consume your target bodyweight in grams of protein. For instance, if a 225lb man wants to reduce his bodyweight to 180lbs through proper training and nutrition, he should consume a base of 180g of protein per day.4 At the same time, lowering your carbohydrate and fat intake is extremely important as well!