How Much Protein Should I Consume To Build Muscle

Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Athletes

How Much Protein Do I Need to Build Muscle & Lose Weight What amount should I take a day eat to cut

If youre physically active regularly, you need more protein daily than if you were sedentary. The American College of Sports Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend 1.22.0 g/kg to optimize recovery from training and to promote the growth and maintenance of lean mass when caloric intake is sufficient. This recommendation is similar to that of the International Society of Sports Nutrition : 1.42.0 g/kg.

Importantly, it may be better to aim for the higher end of the above ranges. According to the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date on the effects of protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength, the average amount of protein required to maximize lean mass is about 1.6 g/kg, and some people need upwards of 2.2 g/kg. Those of you interested in a comprehensive breakdown of this study will find one in NERD #34 .

However, only 4 of the 49 included studies were conducted in people with resistance training experience . IAAO studies in athletes found different numbers: on training days, female athletes required 1.41.7 g/kg the day following a regular training session, male endurance athletes required 2.12.7 g/kg two days after their last resistance-training session, amateur male bodybuilders required 1.72.2 g/kg.

Since higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, one may want to err toward the higher amounts. For most athletes , the ISSN range will work well:

How Much Protein Is Too Much

In terms of muscle growth, theres not much point in eating more than one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. That is, going from one to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight wont lead to muscle being built any faster.

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While protein plays an important role in helping your muscles recover and grow, theres an upper limit on the amount that your body can use to synthesize new muscle tissue. And most research points to that upper limit being around 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, of bodyweight per day.

Is Too Much Protein Bad For Your Kidneys

The idea that a high-protein diet is bad for your kidneys is something that people have been arguing about for years.

It dates back to the early 1980s when Dr Barry Brenner proposed a link between high protein diets and the progression of renal disease .

Its true that a low-protein diet helps to prevent the deterioration in renal function in patients with renal failure. Thats because one of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove the end products of protein metabolism from your body.

They act a bit like a sieve, filtering out any unwanted substances in the blood and sending them to the bladder where they can be removed in the urine.

But the majority of scientific evidence cited by Brenner and his colleagues was generated from animal models and patients with existing renal disease.

While protein restriction may be suitable for treating someone with existing kidney disease, there is no evidence to show that high protein intakes can lead to kidney damage in healthy individuals.

A study by Belgian researchers Jacques Poortmans and Oliver Dellalieux examined the diets of young male athletes to see if their high level of protein intake had any negative impact on kidney function.

One group consisted solely of bodybuilders, while subjects in group two took part in a variety of sports, such as cycling, judo, and rowing.

Despite the high levels of dietary protein, blood and urine samples showed that all markers of kidney function were well within the normal range.

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Do You Want The Good News Or The Bad News First

Okay, Ill start with the bad news. Unfortunately, there are no magic foods that are directly related to increases in muscle mass. Similarly, there are no foods that directly influence weight loss.

The media specialises in fabricating these rules in order to create, essentially, sales and buy-in to these quick-fix products.

So, unfortunately, there are no quick fixes, especially when it comes to increasing muscle mass.

The good news!

The equation for building muscle is actually really, really simple! However, you absolutely must have patience, practice consistency with both your diet and training and re-evaluate your training intensity and programming to ensure maximum opportunity for tissue growth.

When it comes it building muscle, the nutrient that comes at the top of the priority list is protein. Protein is the building block for muscle tissue and is essential for growth, repair and maintenance of good health.

Even if your primary goal isnt to increase muscle mass, you still need to be aiming for at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. When your primary goal is to increase muscle, then more attention needs to be paid to the timing of your protein feeding. To trigger the muscle building mechanisms, you ideally want to be aiming for a protein feed every 3-4 hours.

Additionally, due to the effect training has on the body, it is also important to focus protein around your workouts.

Now, here are some food ideas specifically around building muscle:

Awesome Sources Of Vegan Protein

How Much Protein Carbs And Fat Should I Eat To Gain Muscle ...

Unsure as to how to actually get all of the protein in your diet?

Don’t fret it’s actually quite easy if you simply know where to look. Traditional high-carb foods all contain protein, such as whole grains and vegetables.

At the end of a day’s worth of vegan eating, you’d be surprised at how much you get from foods such as chickpeas and broccoli.

However, no plant group can compare themselves to legumes when it comes to the protein department, with the humble lentil, peas, and beans taking the top spot, closely followed by tofu and tempeh et al.

This stuff is chocked full of BCAA and plant based protein – so eat a bunch of it!

Another hassle-free way of getting enough protein is to simply include a vegan protein shake or two per day – not sure what to get? Here’s the best vegan protein powder, in my opinion. Another good option is Organic Protein & Greens by Vega.

Here are some great vegan protein sources:

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The Risks Of Too Many Carbs

So what happens if you eat too many carbs when youre trying to build muscle?

The first risk is to your health. Carbs on their own arent necessarily bad, despite demonization over the decades. Eating too many carbs, though, means youre more likely to gain weight in the form of stored fat.

Stored fat is a health risk in a variety of ways. Small amounts of it arent unhealthy, but larger amounts can cause insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. It can also cause other health issues, both stemming from the presence of fat and from the weight that fat puts on your joints.

The second risk is to your behavior. Carbs are generally quite tasty, and sugar in its pure form is close to addicting. Some people call sugar the most addictive drug thats not illegal. When youre in the habit of eating sugary foods, youre more likely to crave them and eat more than you should. Moderation becomes very difficult. Its extremely easy to eat more than your daily limit and throw all of your health goals out the window.

This tends to apply mostly to simple, unhealthy carbs more than healthy complex carbs. When youre getting your carbs from vegetables, rice, and other healthy sources, its less bad for you than when youre getting your carbs from ice cream, Starbucks frappes, and candy bars.

Does Protein Have Any Negative Health Effects

Protein has been unfairly blamed for a number of health problems.

Some people believe that a high protein diet can cause kidney damage and osteoporosis, but science does not support these claims.

Though protein restriction is helpful for people with preexisting kidney problems, theres no evidence that protein can cause kidney damage in healthy people (

31 ).

Overall, theres no evidence that a reasonably high protein intake has any adverse effects in healthy people trying to optimize their health.


Protein does not have any negative effects on kidney function in healthy people, and studies show that it leads to improved bone health.

The best sources of protein are meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as they have all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

Some plants are fairly high in protein as well, such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.

However, most people generally dont need to track their protein intake.

If youre healthy and trying to stay that way, simply eating quality protein sources with most of your meals, along with nutritious plant foods, should bring your intake to an optimal range.

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How To Calculate Your Optimal Protein Intake

Youre probably now wondering how much this nutrient per day is right for you? Calculating your optimum amount is actually not that difficult at all. Just grab a pen and paper or calculator app, as youll need to do some simple maths.

Dont worry, this wont take you back to high school math classes, its very simple.

First, step on a weighing scale and take note of your weight. If it only displays in pounds, then divide the measurement by 2.2 to get kilograms.

Next, you have to decide whether youre in a muscle mass maintaining stage or if you want to bulk up some more.

For muscle maintenance, you should aim for 0.8g per kg of body mass. If youre heading to the gym a lot to bulk up, then aim for 2.0g per kg.

For serious bodybuilding and if you head to the gym more than once a day, you will need to up that some more again. Ideally, speak to a dietician to work out your daily nutrients intake exactly.

Supporting Bones Hair And Nails

How much protein should you eat to build muscle?

Protein is structural. It provides the basic material for connective tissue, bones, hair, and nails. For women, bone health and density is important, especially as we age. Getting enough protein can keep bones strong and minimize the density loss that comes with aging. It also keeps hair and nails looking healthy and strong.

Recommended Reading: What Does Protein Powder Do To Your Body

How To Get Enough Protein

Now that you have an estimate of the amount of protein you need, the last question to answer is: how do I eat all this protein?

Our #1 recommendation is to get protein from whole foods whenever possible. This will ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals.

A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of your palm:

Protein can come from any number of sources, including:

  • Meat .
  • Fish and shellfish .
  • Legumes .

Not a meat-eater? Read our massive plant-based guide!

However, if youre aiming for the higher ranges of protein intake you might need to supplement.

Personally, I drink a protein shake daily to help me reach my goals.

Some protein supplements to consider:

  • Whey protein powder, a milk byproduct widely used as a protein supplement.
  • Egg-based protein powders
  • Pea protein powder, a popular supplement in the plant-based community.
  • Check out The Ultimate Protein Shake Guide for more protein powder recommendations and recipes on how to make delicious smoothies.

    Whether through whole foods or supplements, protein should be a main part of every meal you eat. Its one of our top recommendations for being a healthy nerd.

    Calculate your protein needs, determine the proper portion sizes to reach your target, and see how you feel!

    You can always adjust up or down based on your results.

    If you need any help along the way, we got you.

    Here are three ways to continue your journey with Nerd Fitness.

    Try your free trial right here:

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    Why Not Consume Protein Based On Your Total Calories

    So as you google, you will ideally get two ways to calculate protein intake. Either on the basis of your total diet or on your weight. But let me tell you, these wont help you gain muscles any faster.

    So it is advisable to stick to a specific proportion of protein intake on a regular basis. We say this because the numbers would vary on a regular basis, and that is precisely what you need to avoid twenty percent protein on a 2000-calorie diet is very different from 20 per cent protein on a 4000-calorie diet despite the fact that the percentages are exactly the same.

    The protein consumption thus would vary on an everyday basis, and so there are chances your body would take a bit longer to adjust to fluctuating protein amount it receives on a daily basis.

    Therefore, the better option is to consume protein on the basis of your weight and not a diet. If you are told to eat to 2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight, it will definitely be constant for quite a long. It will be consistent, and so muscle gaining would definitely be a bit faster.

    So ideally, even if you are just a beginner, 2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight is perfect if you are looking for muscle gain. Now let us know when to eat protein and when not to in order to avoid any sort of muscle loss or protein loss.

    Read Also: Will Drinking Water Reduce Protein In Urine

    How Much Protein Do I Need Daily Protein Intake For Building Muscle

    If youve been around in the fitness industry for some time, theres a good chance you know and realize the importance of protein. If you dont, heres a quick summary. Protein, a macronutrient, is essential for building muscle through the form of amino acids. And the more simple definition of it is this: You need it. But how much is needed? Thats what Im aiming to answer. In this article youll find the answer to the question of, How much protein should I eat to gain muscle? Furthermore, you can also expect to find out why you need a certain amount of protein, and the best ways to get it in your system. Enjoy.

    This Is How Much Protein You Need To Build Muscle

    how much protein do 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.

    For effective home workouts, uplifting stories, easy recipes and advice you can trust, subscribe to Mens Health UK today

    Read Also: What Kind Of Protein Is In Muscle Milk

    So How Much Protein Should I Eatto Gain Muscle

    The long answer is that it depends, as there is truly no one size fits all answer for a question such as this one. Luckily, however, its honestly not that complicated. A general rule of thumb is you eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. However, you dont need that much. Consuming anywhere between 0.7g -1g of protein per pound of bodyweight is an ideal amount of protein, something I repeat in hypertrophy nutrition. Heres an example.

    Say I weigh 100 pounds. And Im also looking to build muscle.

    Id need to eat anywhere between 70g-100g of protein. Simple as that.

    Or if you weigh 150 pounds, youd need to eat anywhere between 105g-150g of protein.

    What Should I Eat To Bulk Up Fast

    If you want to bulk up fast, you should change your focus from the quality of food you eat to the quality of food you consume every day. Some foods contain more muscle-building content than others. For instance, protein-rich foods help in muscle growth and recovery after workouts.

    The carbohydrate-rich food helps in providing the energy you need during training. The amino acids in some foods will also help in repairing and building muscle fibers.

    Below are some of the top food types that you can eat to bulk up fast:

    • Eggs

    Protein powders such as capsules, bars, and shakes are popular supplements for muscle development.

    You can opt to take these protein supplements during, before, or even after training. They will help in improving recovery and enhancing performance with minimal fat gain.

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