How Many Grams Of Protein Per Day To Gain Muscle


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Arbonne Feelfit Pea Protein Shake

The Easiest Way To Get An Extra 100 Grams Of Protein In Per Day

Per 40g serving: 158kcal, 20g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 3g fat

Why: If youre assuming vegan protein will taste gross, this Arbonne powder will prove you wrong. The coffee flavour was a big hit with our panel, who thought it tasted more like a delicious mocha-flavoured dessert than a protein supplement.

Its nutritional profile is impressive, too. There are no artificial flavours or ingredients, it contains 20g of pea protein, cranberries and rice, and it features over 20 vitamins and minerals including B12 and folate. The pre-portioned sachets are ideal for fuelling up on the go and blend well with plant-based milks. Though one of the pricier options on our roundup, if youre after a high-quality protein powder that doesnt compromise on taste, this ones a winner.

Is More Protein Better To Gain Muscle

More protein is not necessarily better when it comes to gaining muscle. In fact, consuming more protein than your body needs can actually be detrimental to your health.

The best way to ensure you’re getting enough protein is to focus on eating a variety of high-quality protein-rich foods and supplementing with a protein powder if needed.

Elm & Rye Protein Supplement

Image courtesy Elm & Rye

Formulated with only the most vital components, this unique combination may assist you to bulk up, build muscle, increase endurance, and more.

Did you know that there are 9 amino acids? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They support many vital roles in your body, including growth, hormone creation, and neurotransmitter formation. You can find them largely in protein-based foods such as meat, fish, and soy products.

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What Is The Best Protein Powder

Instead of asking this hard-to-answer question, consider asking a slightly different one: What is the best protein powder for you?

The best is the one that tastes the best, gives you the amount you’re looking for, and helps you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. Your goal might be to just add some extra dietary protein to your diet, to bulk up and add mass and strength, or to lose weight. Some products are made with fast-digesting protein for use right after a workout others use slow-digesting casein to give your body the nutrients it needs while you sleep.

Finding the right protein supplement is a matter of what you wantâwhey, casein, a blend, or plant-basedâthe flavors you enjoy the most, the right consistency, and the right price.

What Is Muscle Protein Synthesis

How Much Grams Of Protein Per Day To Build Muscle

Scientifically speaking, protein synthesis is the process by which cells build protein molecules using DNA, RNA, and enzymes. Practically speaking, it’s a process during which your body uses the amino acids found in protein to build new muscle.

Over the course of a day, your body fluctuates between two processes: building, also known as protein synthesis or “anabolism,” and breakdown, also known as “catabolism.”

After taking a protein supplement, there is a short period during which you have elevated amounts of amino acids in your blood. This period, known as hyperaminoacidemia, stimulates greater than normal amounts of muscle protein synthesis.

Hard training is catabolic, in that you inflict damage on your muscles and break them down. But after training, your body almost immediately becomes anabolic and starts healing up that damage. Having a pre-workout or post-workout shake, or a solid meal with adequate carbs and dietary protein around training, helps kick-start this process. The amino acid leucine, which is plentiful in powders and high-protein foods, is fundamental here.

In “Mass Class Nutrition: The Fundamentals of Eating for Growth,” researcher Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., outlines a simple plan to get the most protein synthesis possible over the course of a day.

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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.

Do You Need To Lift Heavy To Build Muscle

To build muscle, you need to eat enough food and train hard enough with a decent amount of rest. This may sound simple, but each of these variables has much smaller degrees of variability it can become intimidating.

You need to be training with resistance to build muscle.

You do not need heavy weights to build muscle, even though getting stronger via heavy weights is one of the easiest ways to gain muscle.

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Here’s Exactly How Much Protein You Should Eat For Muscle Gain And Weight Loss

Regardless of your goal the answer is simple: 30 grams of protein at every meal.

A 180-pound guy who wants to maintain his current weight would need 100 to 130 grams, or six palm-sized portions of protein-rich foods, every day. Thats about 30 grams at each meal and an additional 10 to 20 grams in two snacks. Chicken breast is great, but so are chicken thighs, tofu, salmon, pork, shellfish, whitefish, lamb, tempeh, and much more.

And don’t forget that a heaping scoop of most protein powders will net you around 30 grams of the nutrient.

Within the larger picture of your daily diet, that means youll want to consume 30 percent of your daily 2,600 calories from protein.

And, yes, that includes plant proteins.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of meat youre eating, you need to swap in a high-protein plant food.

Some plant foods that are high in protein: soybeans , quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, any kind of nut, peas, any kind of bean, and seitan. You can use an app to track your nutrient intake, or you can simply aim for a palm-sized portion of whatever protein youre including in your meal.

Also, be careful with snacking. Youll find some protein products on the market that contain a measly four grams per serving, along with an abundance of added sugars.

Experts differ on what the exact amount of protein you need to build muscle, but the general consensus is that if your goal is muscle gain you should consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of your target body weight.

Whey Protein And Vegan Pea Protein Are Life Savers

How much protein do you need per day? To Build Muscle? To Lose Weight?

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

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Higher Acute Anabolic Ceiling Than Previously Thought

More recently, Macnaughton et al. employed a randomized, double-blind, within-subject design whereby resistance-trained men participated in two trials separated by ~2 weeks. During one trial subjects received 20 g of whey protein immediately after performing a total body resistance training bout during the other trial the same protocol was instituted but subjects received a 40-g whey bolus following training. Results showed that the myofibrillar fractional synthetic rate was ~20% higher from consumption of the 40 g compared to the 20 g condition. The researchers speculated that the large amount of muscle mass activated from the total body RT bout necessitated a greater demand for AA that was met by a higher exogenous protein consumption. It should be noted that findings by McNaughton et al. are somewhat in contrast to previous work by Moore et al. showing no statistically significant differences in MPS between provision of a 20 g and 40 g dose of whey in young men following a leg extension bout, although the higher dose produced an 11% greater absolute increase . Whether differences between intakes higher than ~20 g per feeding are practically meaningful remain speculative, and likely depend on the goals of the individual.

Here’s Exactly Why You Need Protein

Protein is vital to life: Its made from amino acids that are essential for building and maintaining muscles and bones. In addition, recent studies suggest that protein quality, or the total makeup of amino acids within a protein source, may become more important as you age.

But beyond your infrastructure, protein also helps to regulate a host of cellular processes, affecting everything from your immune function to the transportation of oxygen through the bloodstream. Protein can even aid in weight loss: Researchers have found that consuming it stimulates the release of satiety signals in the small intestine, helping you feel full.

In short, protein is a super-nutrient. A do-it-all. A power player in how you use your body and what it looks like.

Protein is important. In fact, its vital for building the body you want. Protein helps , builds and maintains muscle, fortifies your bones, improves brain function, aids your immune system, and can even pick up the kids from soccer practice if youre strapped for time.

We digested the past 25 years of nutrition knowledge, talked to the smartest experts about the latest science, and sorted through a lot of nutrition B.S.all to provide you with the most up-to-date information about protein right now.

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

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?

Too Much Vs Too Little

How Many G Of Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recommended daily intake of protein for adults at an average weight and activity level is 56 grams daily for men and 46 grams daily for women. This is the minimum required protein intake, and the amount can increase depending on your goals.

Its ideal to eat smaller amounts of protein throughout the day instead of getting your protein requirement in one or two meals. This allows your body utilize what it needs throughout the day instead of storing what isnt used as fat.

Its true that eating very high levels of protein is correlated with some health risks. If youre not cutting calories from carbohydrates while increasing calorie intake from protein, you may experience weight gain instead of weight loss.

Very high protein intake may also cause digestive issues, including constipation, gut-related issues and changes in blood sugar levels.

Finally, its important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that doesnt completely neglect any nutrients. This will ensure that youre getting the micro- and macronutrients you need for optimal health.

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Percentage Of Daily Calories

The alternate method to figure out daily your daily protein needs is using the percentage of daily calories formula.

The recommended percentage of calories that should come from protein varies according to activity level.

Anywhere between 10% and 30% of your calories should come from protein, with 10% mapping to a more of a minimum acceptable level, and the 30% being on the higher side.

A high-protein diet, general recommendations suggest that 25% of your daily calories should come from protein.

Again, those following an active lifestyle should opt for a high-protein diet in order to benefit most.

Lets dive into some examples of how to use the % of daily calories method.

Its important to recall that protein has 4 calories per gram, while carbohydrates also have 4, and fats have 9.

So for someone adhering to a 2000 calorie diet, and wanting to use the % of calories method to determine a good amount of protein per day.

The math would look something like this:

Find the total calories to get the total calories we want from protein: For this high-protein diet we want 25%, or one fourth of the calories to be from protein. So 0.25 * 2000 = 500 calories total from protein.

Translate calories into grams by dividing by 4: Since we know that protein delivers 4 calories per gram, we want to divide our 500 calories by 4. So 500/4 = 125 grams of protein.

So a high-protein 2000 diet would consist of 125 grams of protein.

Digging Deeper: Protein Intake Ceiling

You may have heard that you cant digest more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting. This notion of a protein intake ceiling derives partly from early studies that observed increased nitrogen losses in the urine with increased protein intakes. This was thought to mean that the extra protein was wasted.

We now know that things arent so simple. When you eat protein, your body doesnt use it directly instead, it breaks it down into its constituent amino acids and uses those to make its own proteins. When you eat more protein, your body can afford to replace more of its damaged or oxidized proteins, so that your protein synthesis and breakdown are both increased.

In other words, eating more protein increases your bodys protein turnover. The raised levels of urinary nitrogen then reflect, not a waste of eaten protein, but an increase in the breakdown of your bodys damaged or oxidized proteins.

The notion of a protein intake ceiling derives also from studies on the bodys muscle protein synthesis response to different intakes of protein.

  • One study in healthy young men found that eating more than 20 grams of whole-egg protein didnt further increase MPS.

  • Another study in younger and older people found that 90 grams of protein from 90% lean beef didnt increase MPS more than did 30 grams.

Moreover, your small intestines are able to absorb and store a large amount of amino acids, ready to be used when your body needs them.

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Optimal Protein Intake Guide

Your optimal daily protein intake depends on your weight, goal, and level of physical activity: from 1.21.8 g/kg if youre sedentary all the way up to 3.3 g/kg if youre trying to minimize fat gain during a bulk. You can quickly and easily calculate your optimal daily intake with our protein intake calculator.

Quickly and easily calculate your optimal daily intake with our protein intake calculator.

How Many Sets Should You Do

The Smartest Way To Use Protein To Build Muscle (Science Explained)

Again, start conservatively. Ease into it. Start with one set per muscle group and workout, adding a set every few weeks until you perform three sets per muscle group. If you do that three or four times per week, you have reached the optimal training volume for building muscle.2021Alternatively, if youve opted for two full-body strength workouts per week, gradually increase the number of sets for each muscle group per workout to four or five.

Even a single set per muscle is better than zero sets, but more is better. Just by performing two sets instead of one, you can expect 40% greater gains.22 Ten sets per muscle group per week give you increasingly better muscle growth.23

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Optimal Daily Protein Intake For Pregnant Women

The protein RDA for pregnant women is 1.1 g/kg. This value was estimated by adding three values:

  • The RDA for a healthy adult
  • The amount of additional body protein a pregnant woman accumulates
  • The amount of protein used by the developing fetus

However, as with non-pregnant healthy adults, the RDA may not be sufficient, let alone optimal. Theres some evidence that the RDA for pregnant women should be about 1.66 g/kg during early gestation and 1.77 g/kg during late gestation . Moreover, a meta-analysis of 16 intervention studies reported that protein supplementation during pregnancy led to reduced risks for the baby:

  • 34% lower risk of low gestational weight
  • 32% lower risk of low birth weight
  • 38% lower risk of stillbirth

This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women than in adequately nourished women. Importantly, these values were determined from sedentary women carrying one child, meaning that pregnant women who engage in regular physical activity or are supporting the growth of more than one child may need even higher amounts.

Also, keep in mind that we can only tell you what the studies reported we cant possibly know about your health and your pregnancy specifically. Please be sure to consult with your obstetrician/gynecologist before making any changes.

Optimal daily protein intake for pregnant women

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