How Much Protein Intake For Muscle Gain

Whey Protein And Vegan Pea Protein Are Life Savers

Daily Protein Intake: How Much Protein To Build Muscle?

The most anabolic type of protein is whey protein. Other proteins are effective, but tend to have different amino acid profiles, most notably a decreased amount of leucine, the most anabolic of all amino acids.

If you follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and/or are intolerant of whey protein, vegan proteins and BCAA supplements can be beneficial.

We make both types of proteins here at transparent labs, and no, our whey protein and vegan protein are not like the others

Check out our ultra-pure and natural grass fed whey protein isolate and concentrate here. We also have certified organic vegan protein consisting of pea and rice protein with no artificial sweeteners!

External Studies

Camp Total Calorie Consumption

Camp Total Calorie Consumption focuses on protein as one of the parts of an overall balanced diet. The thinking here is that carbs and fats are just as important as protein and cant simply be substituted altogether.

With bulking and shredding, for example, protein tends to take centre stage, whereas you actually need quite a lot of carbohydrates for sustained muscle growth too. Carbs are the main energy source of the human diet and play an important role in muscle growth and restoration. Fats also give your body energy, in addition to playing an important role in cell growth and protecting the organs. A specific group of fats known as essential fatty acids are particularly important as they help regulate blood pressure, the immune response and liver functioning. You therefore need to ensure you include all three in your diet, and thats why you might want to set your protein goals based on your total calorie intake.

Protein Consumption Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis

but the exercise bit is important!

Okay, as youve probably realised, the fuel were taking about here is protein. Protein is the basic fuel required to maximise the morphological changes in the muscle. Its not quite that simple though, we need some other stimuli

An acute exercise stimulus, particularly resistance exercise, and protein ingestion both stimulate muscle protein synthesis and are synergistic when protein consumption occurs before or after resistance exercise.

Jäger et al

So weve developed a muscle hypertrophy programme for a patient the resistance exercise will stimulate MPS great. But is the person consuming sufficient protein to properly fuel the adaptation? This might be a particularly pertinent question in some patient populations, perhaps those patients and athletes worried about weight gain whilst injuredand may thus restrict their calorie intake.

The quote above means that combination of protein and resistance exercise results in greater stimulation of MPS than either in isolation. So, if youre looking for optimal adaptation i.e. achieving the best input-output equation, then this is worth considering with your patients. The amount of protein ingested is particularly important on MPS post exercise.

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Thermic Rates Of Foods

The three macro nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, all have different thermic rates.

The thermic effects of food is the amount of energy required to to process and digest the food. It is estimated that upwards of 10% of your total daily energy expenditure is simply from digesting the food you take in.

  • Carbohydrates: 5-15%
  • Proteins: 20-35%

This helps explain why replacing carbohydrates and fats with more protein results in more weight loss/less fat gained).

The amount of thermic activity required varies in conjunction with the amount of physical activity.

How Much Protein Per Meal Can You Use To Build Muscle Mass

how much protein do you need to build muscle?

Key Points:

  • Your body can absorb all the protein you give it. However, not all of it is used to build muscle if you eat a huge amount of it in one sitting.
  • You can use roughly 30 grams of protein per meal to build muscle at rest. After a workout, you can make use of up to 40 grams if you have just completed a half-or full-body workout. If youve only worked a muscle or two, you reach that ceiling at 20 grams of protein.
  • If you eat more than the amounts mentioned above in a single meal, nothing bad happens. Your body will still use the protein, only not to build muscle. Instead, you increase protein synthesis in your gut, skin, liver, and other organs and decrease the protein breakdown in your body.
  • Consider spreading your protein intake out over the day if you want to maximize your chances of building as much muscle as possible.
  • If you are older than, say, 60, you need more protein per meal to build muscle properly. Shoot for 40 grams of more every meal, post-workout or not.
  • Does any of this matter if youre not a high-level strength athlete or bodybuilder? Possibly not. Its probably not worth the effort to go too far beyond comfort and convenience for the normal gym rat. Total daily protein intake > any timing and distribution tricks.

How much protein can the body absorb per meal? That might very well be one of the most frequently asked questions in exercise and nutrition.

What does the science say?

Also Check: How Many Grams Of Protein Should You Have Per Day

Which Form Of Protein Is Best

Protein food sources such as meat, fish, dairy, beans and nuts, are all good sources of protein but due to their amino acid make up, along with other nutrients contained within, all will have varying digestion rates. The change in amino acid profile is also used to assess the quality of a protein. Food sources such as dairy, meat and fish all contain the ideal balance of the essential amino acids to support protein synthesis.Whey protein, often found within protein powders is part of the dairy family, as it is derived from the cheese making process. The bonus of Whey protein is that not only is it a complete protein, but it can also be ingested in exactly the amount you are looking for, without unnecessary extra fat or calories that you might not want. You can see from the table below it is also a fast digesting protein.

When To Eat Protein

Timing your protein hits is vital to optimise your gains. Your body cant process more than 25 to 35g of protein per serving, so scoffing six steaks at dinner is a waste. Its not about having shedloads all at once, say Reid. And anyway, your most important protein hit is the one after your gym session.

You want that immediate stimulus, says Reid. Within the 30-minute window post-workout youre looking to optimise the repair and regeneration process. Thats when you want rapidly-absorbed whey protein, either by chugging a shake or a pint of milk. Reid also recommends a skinny latte for a pre-gym boost: Youve got the caffeine kick, the protein in the milk and if you try a banana with it, a bit of carbohydrate.Pairing your protein with carbs is good sense. After exercise your body produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which break down proteins, fats and sugars. When theyre coursing through you, youre not building muscle. When you get some recovery nutrition in it counters those stress hormones, says Reid, switching your body back into repair mode and kickstarting growth.

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Whats Protein And Why Its Essential For Muscle Gains

In simple words, Protein is the building block of all major functions happening inside your body and serves as a fuel providing as much energy as 4 kilocalories per gram.

This one nutrient alone plays a major role in determining your overall health and well-being. If you keep your foundation strong with adequate daily protein intake then you are doing yourself a huge favor by keeping your bodily functions always at top levels.

Protein Facts

For our purpose of muscle gains here, what makes protein essential is its high amino acid profile and its ability to preserve your muscle mass with adequate daily intake. Protein is found in each and every cell in the body and is crucial for growth and maintenance.

There are many benefits of eating a high-protein diet for maintaining and increasing muscle mass. That means that once you start working out regularly with progressive overload as the main focus in your training, your body needs more protein to repair the damage done to your muscles in the gym and then actively repair that damage using protein as the main nutrient. This crucial process then results in muscle gain once the body is finished repairing the muscle damage.

A calorie surplus diet when combined with high protein intake results in faster muscle gains. On the other hand, when your goal is to maximize fat loss while maintaining muscle, a higher protein diet will be the only thing preventing muscle loss when eating in a calorie deficit .

So How Much Protein Do You Need

Muscle Building | Protein intake per day for muscle gain – How much protein do I actually need

For any guy who’s cut his teeth on the gym floor and with several years of training behind them could theoretically get away with less daily protein. That’s because, the closer you are to your genetic limit in terms of muscle growth, the slower the gains will come. And the slower your rate of growth, the less protein you need to support that growth. Understood?

In short, if youre trying to gain muscle, or even if you just want to hold on to the muscle you have while you drop fat, 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass is plenty.

You can eat more if you like. However, bear in mind that its not going to make much difference to the speed at which you gain muscle and will make a difference not only to your bank balance, but potentially your waistline too.

Read Also: How Can Vegans Get Protein

Maintaining Muscle Mass While Dieting

The majority of the fitness community agrees that in order to gain muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus, and to lose body fat, a calorie deficit. Because of these requirements, it is commonly believed that you cannot gain muscle while losing weight. This is a topic for another article, however, for the average person and diet, we are going to stick with the traditional understanding.

Note – There are a number of niche and advanced diets that have evidence to suggest otherwise .

For most, the goal here should be maintaining muscle mass while losing body fat through caloric deficit dieting. This is why bodybuilders are constantly alternating between bulking and cutting diets. They build muscle while consuming a calorie surplus and maintain that gained muscle while cutting fat by caloric deficit.

The required protein intake for maintaining muscle mass can be seen in the chart below.

Note – As we learned earlier, consuming higher amounts of protein does not seem to have any negative side effects, AND provides a slight boost to preventing excessive fat gain during a caloric surplus diet. So its probably best to aim for the upper end range.

Notice how the required protein amounts for those looking to burn fat at current healthy weights are the same for people looking to build muscle.

This is because the anabolic effect of a high protein diet is absolutely essential to prevent muscle loss during caloric restriction .

The 1g/lb Myths Origin

Why is it then that everybody says you need to consume 1g/lb? Aside from the facts that there dont need to be any good reasons for why people believe in a myth, that myths tend to perpetuate themselves via conformism and tradition, and that the fitness industry is flooded with myths, here are some plausible grounds for the confusion.

People copy the dietary practices of pro bodybuilders on androgens. Steroids enable you to build muscle protein far more rapidly than natural trainees. People based their recommendations on the flawed nitrogen balance studies back from when the world was still flat. The more is better heuristic. There are so many studies showing protein is good for you, its hard not to think more of it is even better. Supplement companies have an obvious financial incentive to make you want to believe you need more protein than you really do. There are actually several industry-sponsored studies showing absolutely miraculous benefits of consuming more protein . People cant be bothered with decimals and just round up to the nearest convenient integer, which so happens to be an easy to remember 1.

Often, more is better, but at some point its just too much.

Read Also: When Should I Take Whey Protein

What Is The Best Protein To Build Muscle

The best proteins to build muscle are those that contain all of the essential amino acids the building blocks for protein that the body cant make on its own which are called complete proteins.

Varying your protein sources in your diet can help assure you get a wide range of amino acids. Research shows that protein sources high in the amino acid leucine can increase muscle growth.3 Dairy foods, like whey protein, are high in leucine.

Your Body Needs Protein

How many grams protein per day to build muscle ...

You can get protein in a variety of forms, chicken, fish, beef, whey protein, quinoa, some vegetables. Biggest thing is that you take in the correct amount.

All of us need to consume amino acids – these are the building blocks of proteins. Your muscle proteins require a variety of amino acids.

Essential amino acids are found in food. When you eat a food that contains protein, your body breaks the protein molecules in the food down into the amino acids theyre comprised of, then uses those amino acids to build its own proteins.

If you eat too few grams of protein everyday, your body can become deficient in the amino acids it needs to build and repair muscle — then muscle growth becomes impaired.

Even if you dont exercise, your body needs amino acids to keep up with the normal protein needs of your body. Your body uses protein to make hair, blood, connective tissue, antibodies and enzymes.

Consuming too much protein will not make you fat. Eating a surplus of calories will make you fat.

Read More Muscle Can’t Turn Into Fat

When you eat protein it releases a hormone called glucagon, which causes a fat burning effect. Glucagon helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Protein has a thermogenic effect which aids in calorie burning. Calorie for calorie, protein requires more energy to burn than fat or carbohydrates. Thats great news!

So, no matter what your goal is, to gain size or to lose weight, we all need to consume the appropriate amount of protein to sustain our muscle mass.

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Can You Build Muscle Without Protein

This is a common question I hear a lot from people, and its something that you absolutely need to understand if you want to build the most muscle possible.

While you definitely can build muscle without protein powder, you cannot build muscle without the right amount of protein.

Its going to be incredibly inefficient, you arent going to recover as quickly between workouts, and your body just isnt going to appreciate it very much.

Ill go over how much protein you need in the next section but realize that the DRI that official nutrition organizations recommend are for sedentary individuals.

They recommend 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.

So if your family is telling you youre going to damage your kidneys because youre eating more than 46-56 grams of protein per day, its just not the case at all.

If youre training hard, your body needs more protein to maintain and build muscle mass, as well as assist in recovery.

So if you ever ask yourself, can I build muscle without protein? know that youre not going to be building muscle optimally and might just be spinning your wheels in the gym if you dont have the correct amounts.

That being said, lets go over how much protein do you actually need to build muscle now!

If Youre Losing Weight

Protein makes a significant difference. There have been research studies demonstrating some shocking facts about the role of protein in weight loss. Did you know

  • Eating 30% of daily calories from protein caused incidental decreases in calorie intake, meaning that people ate less without trying .
  • Eating a high-protein diet between 25-30% of daily calories from protein can increase the chance that you will maintain your weight loss progress long-term .

If youre trying to lose weight, aiming to eat around 30% of your daily calories from protein has been linked to significant benefits for weight loss, preserving lean muscle as you lose weight, and keeping the weight off in the long run.

However, the grams of protein will vary based on your calculation for the daily calories you can eat for weight loss. For example, if youre eating 1500 calories per day, you should aim to eat 125 grams of protein each day.

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How Much Protein To Gain Muscle: A No

How much protein per day do you need to gain muscle? Is one gram per pound of bodyweight too much, not enough or about right? If you eat more, are you going to build muscle faster? Or will you do just as well with less?

Lets find out.

Since youre reading an article about how much protein you need to gain muscle, Im going to assume a few things are true about you.

First, youre lifting weights 3-4 days a week, and maybe doing a bit of cardio on top of that as well.

Youve heard that more protein means more muscle, and more muscle is what you want.

Whats more, you want those gains to be made as fast as humanly possible, without wasting any time or effort in the process.

However, while you dont want to miss out on any gains because youre not eating enough protein, you dont want to eat more than is strictly necessary.

Eating large amounts of protein can be expensive, as well as impractical. If you weigh 180 pounds, trying to eat 180 grams of protein each and every day isnt easy.

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