How Much Protein Per Day For Muscle Gain


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Thermic Rates Of Foods

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

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.

Calculating Your Protein Needs

While the above guidelines give you a good sense of where your protein intake should fall, calculating the amount of daily protein that’s right for you can help you fine-tune this further.

To determine your protein needs in grams , first, calculate your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2.

Next, decide how many grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is appropriate for you.

  • Use the low end of the range if you are in good health and are sedentary: 0.8g per kg.
  • Use a higher number if you are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

Then multiply your weight in kg times the number of protein grams per day.


154-pound male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights, but is not training at an elite level:

  • 154 lb/2.2 = 70 kg
  • 70 kg x 1.7 = 119 grams protein per day

We Looked At All The Studies And Spoke To Multiple Experts To Land On The Ideal Number

If youre a physique athlete or have particular aesthetic goals, youve probably got some questions about nutrition. When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, few queries can be as confusing as that of how much protein you should consume. How much protein is too much? How much is too little? And once you figure that out, youll probably want to know what kinds of protein work best for your goals.

The Food and Drug Administrations suggestions for avoiding a protein deficiency are a lot lower than what the average, visibly muscular person will tell you they eat. Avoiding a deficiency is a lot different than growing muscle mass. To sort through all these murky waters, we talked to multiple experts and look at a ton of research to land on the formulas used in our protein intake calculator.

Editors Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

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Why Your Body Needs Protein To Build Muscle

You may already know this, but I want to give a brief summary just to make sure.

In the body, a protein is a special type of molecule that is comprised of substances known as amino acids. Think of amino acids as the building blocks of proteinswithout the requisite amino acids, the body cant create protein molecules.

Now, there are many types of proteins in the body, and they perform a wide variety of functions ranging from the replication and repair of DNA, to cell signaling , to the formation of tissues and other substances like hair and nails, and more.

The building of muscle proteins requires a variety of amino acids, some of which must be obtained from 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, and then uses those amino acids to build its own proteins.

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

Now, the body has certain protein needs even if you dont exercise. Remember that every day cells are dying and being regenerated, and this requires amino acids.

When you do exercise, however, the body needs even more amino acids to repair damaged muscle fibers and, depending on what youre doing, grow them larger. This is why athletes need to eat a high-protein diet to maximize performance.

How high do you have to go, though?

How Does This Calculator Work

How Many Grams Of Protein Should I Eat A Day To Build Muscle

This calculator is based on training studies and meta-analyses investigating the effect of different protein intakes on body composition.

When you eat sufficient amounts of protein, you build more muscle while minimizing fat gain. On a weight-loss diet, a high protein intake makes you lose more fat and retain more muscle mass.

Here are the assumptions the calculator makes, including the sources:

Note that these numbers are minimum recommendations and that nothing bad happens if you exceed them, as long as you still hit your other nutritional and caloric goals. As of yet, there is no known harmful upper limit for protein intake.

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Are You Eating Enough Protein To Build Muscle

When it comes to building some serious muscle, all the work you do in the gym is only half of the battle. The other half takes place in the kitchen. Diet is extremely important when trying to improve your body composition. Without proper nutrients, no matter how much time you spend weight training, youll have a tough time getting the results youre looking for.

Your muscles are made up of over 25% protein along with up to 75% water and stored glycogen . While people generally understand that consuming adequate protein is incredibly important to maintaining lean mass and supporting muscle growth, eating the right amount of protein can be the tricky part.

Ive seen recommendations that range from as low as 50 grams of protein per day to as much as 3 times your bodyweight. Although it sounds good in theory, the traditional more is better approach doesnt necessarily work here. So how much protein do you need when trying to get huge?

Protein Increases The Thermic Effect Of Food

The thermic effect of food is the cost of digesting your food.

Essentially, it takes some energy to break food down, digest it, and turn it into energy. Protein has the highest cost of all the three macronutrients.

While the total effect that the thermic effect of food has on daily energy expenditure and weight loss is small, it is not meaningless and is important to note.

In one study, a high protein diet increased the thermic effect of food by roughly 6-8 kcals per hour when compared to a low protein diet, which may translate to ~50-75 calories per day .

However, not all studies show this large of an effect, and the thermic effect of protein is not likely responsible for most of its benefit, but it may be the cherry on top of adequate dietary protein during weight loss.

You can track things like the thermic effect of food, total daily energy expenditure, and macros with the NASM Weight Loss Calculator.

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Do Athletes Need More Protein

Yes! The amount you consume should definitely go up to match increasing levels of activity.

If you’re an active person and not into doing complicated math, Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., recommends aiming for somewhere around 1 gram per pound.

Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., says that 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight is far too low for lifters and pretty much anyone else who exerts themselves regularly.

“Whether you’re an endurance runner or a gym rat, you need more than the average amount to support the recovery and repair of your muscles. In fact, studies overwhelmingly suggest that athletes need more than twice the amount than sedentary people,” Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., says in the article “How Much Protein Should You Consume Every Day?”

In a position statement, the International Society of Sports Nutrition says an intake of between 1.4-2.0 grams per pound of body weight for active people is “not only safe, but may improve the training adaptations to exercise training.” In a joint position statement, the Dietitians of Canada, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that some athletes can benefit from much as 2.3 grams per kilogram of body weight, or around 1 gram per pound of body weight.

“The more intensely you exercise, the more you should aim for the high end of that range,” Kendall says.

How Much Protein Should You Have Each Day

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

As mentioned, the exact amount of daily protein you need differs from person to person.

From a baseline perspective, the recommended daily protein is 46 grams for women and 56 g for men . This is an adequate amount but may not suffice for certain folks looking to lose weight or build or maintain muscle.

For instance, recent studies suggest that consuming 0.7 g of protein per pound of body weight is the ideal amount for those looking to increase muscle mass or lose weight. By this calculation, a person weighing 200 lbs would need 140 g of daily protein.

Youâll need to combine a strength training routine with the addition of more protein to build muscle. This can include weight lifting, HIIT exercises, or resistance training. Additionally, the combination of a protein-rich diet with a strength routine can help people lose fat while building muscle .

If youâre only looking to lose weight, protein-rich diets can help with that, too since eating higher amounts of proteinhelps preserve muscle mass and manage your appetite so long as youâre not consuming more calories than you burn each day.

This means being conscientious about your meals and where your protein comes from. Healthy protein sources that may aid in weight loss include eggs, salmon, black beans, low-fat dairy products, and nuts.

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Ask The Macro Manager: What’s The Best Macronutrient Ratio For Building Muscle

Harness the power of proper nutrition to build muscle without gaining fat. The Macro Manager shows you how, including two muscle-building recipes!

Q. What’s the ideal macronutrient ratio for building muscle? Do you have a perfect muscle-building meal that fits?

To gain the most muscle with the least amount of fat , I like to use the calorie breakdown of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat.

This is the overall breakdown for the day, but during the day not all meals will follow this structure. Why? Throughout the day, your fueling needs change with your body’s ability to optimally process and use different types of fuels.

A solid approach to nutrient timing allows us to give our body what it needs at the right time of day, which results in better body composition changes.

Issues With Measuring Your Bmi

There are some serious limitations in attempting to quantify your gym progress with a BMI calculator. This one-size-fits-all approach fails to take into account some pretty crucial data about your body composition your ratio of muscle and fat, particularly visceral fat , as well as your lifestyle.

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Protein For Muscle Gain How Much When & How Often

  • Latest News, Strength and Conditioning

**UPDATE: 18th August 2021**. Welcome to to post 39 of Strength & Conditioning For Therapists, revised and updated. And its Just over 2 weeks until I announce the details of the Strength & Conditioning For Therapists Online Course! Ive updated this popular blog to include extra useful info and a helpful infographic to guide your thoughts around muscle hypertrophy. So I think over the past couple of blogs weve arrived at a point where we know what hypertrophy is and have a decent idea of a prescription to generate optimal gains. Theres just one thing missing FUEL. Do you ever consider the fuel that might be required to enable the tissue remodelling i.e protein for muscle gain?

How Important Is Protein For Breakfast And What Are Some Good High

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

There are a number of great reasons to prioritize dietary protein early in the day. For one , “Research has shown that consuming higher-protein breakfasts makes individuals feel fuller throughout the day, all while burning more fat,” explains Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., in the article “What Are the Ideal Macros for My Breakfast? “

Wilson suggests having 30-40 grams at breakfast, and prioritizing fat more than carbs with the rest of what’s on your plate. That may sound like a lot, but getting it could be as simple as having three whole eggs instead of two, a piece or two of bacon, and some yogurt with low-sugar fruit like berries on the side.

Bacon and eggs not your speed? There are a million ways to prepare a high-protein breakfast, some of which rely on the natural protein content of familiar foods, while others incorporate powders.

A great place to start for those who don’t want to slave in the kitchen at the crack of dawn is with the article “3 High-Protein Breakfasts On The Go,” by registered dietician Paul Salter, MS, RD.

These quick-and-not-very-dirty dishes all deliver a solid dose and plenty of nutrients in no time flat.

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High Protein Intake For Fat Loss

You may have heard the rumor around your gym that protein needs might change based on if youre trying to lose fat or gain muscle.

To be clear: the majority of research and the most prominent sports nutrition bodies agree that theres probably no need to exceed the daily 0.7 grams per pound, even if youre trying to lose weight.

That said, there are a couple of studies that have suggested more protein might be useful if you have a good amount of muscle mass and are trying to lose fat quickly. One, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, , found that athletes in a big calorie deficit maintained more muscle and lost more fat eating 1.1 grams of protein per pound than a group taking 0.54 grams, the absolute minimum recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Another study published in 2014 that looked specifically at bodybuilders found that they would respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein. This is among folks with under 10 percent body fat, so they were eating an upper level of about 1.3 grams per pound of bodyweight.

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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Tip: Calculating Your Caloric Needs

Your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity all contribute to your caloric needs. There are many calorie calculators out there, but the NIH Body Weight Planner stands out. It has been tested and validated against real-world data and can estimate the number of calories you need to reach then maintain a specific weight.

Calorie-wise, there are only three types of diets:

  • A hypocaloric diet feeds you fewer calories than you burn. If you want to lose weight, thats the diet for you. If you want most of your weight loss to be in the form of fat, not muscle, youll also need to get enough protein and preferably to exercise.

  • A hypercaloric diet feeds you more calories than you burn. If you want to gain weight, thats the diet for you. If you want most of your weight gain to be in the form of muscle, not fat, youll need to get enough protein and engage in resistance training .

  • A eucaloric diet feeds you as many calories as you burn. It is also called a maintenance diet, since your weight wont change much but you can gain or lose fat or muscle, depending on how much protein and exercise you get.

Daily protein requirements are expressed in grams, either per kilogram of body weight or per pound of body weight . Ranges in the table below reflect known individual variances.

Muscle Protein Balance Determines Anabolism Or Catabolism

How Much Protein Do I Need To Build Muscle? | Nutritionist Explains… | Myprotein

Muscle fiber hypertrophy is the result of a positive muscleprotein balance. This is achieved when muscle protein synthesis over a certainperiod exceeds that of muscle protein breakdown. If muscle protein synthesis islarger than muscle protein breakdown, the result is anabolism and musclehypertrophy.

The muscle protein balance during a single moment in time or a short period is not relevant over time. It might be of academic interest, but it does not translate to either hypertrophy or muscle loss. Even if the measured protein balance is, for example, negative at a certain time and under a certain condition, the protein balance of the entire day can still be positive.

The important thing is not muscle protein synthesis or muscle protein breakdown per se.4 It is quite possible for large amounts of muscle protein breakdown to occur during the course of a day, for example through physical activity, with the end result still being a positive muscle protein balance at the end of the day.

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