Common Daily Protein Recommendations
The American Dietetic Associations RDA for protein is 0.36g per pound of bodyweight. This means that as a bare minimum, a 180lb male only needs 65 grams of protein per day to meet his daily requirements. Its important to note that the ADAs recommendations are based on sedentary individuals, and those that are more active will have a slightly higher RDA.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends that active people aim to consume between 0.4g to 0.6g of protein per pound of bodyweight, and as much as 0.8g for competitive athletes. In general, the higher your overall activity level, the more your protein requirement increases.1
I think it is safe to say that if you are trying to build muscle, you will want to be on the higher end of the spectrum.1
What Happens If I Dont Maintain The Desired Muscle Mass
If you dont maintain your muscle mass after gaining it, you may experience weakness and fatigue during daily activities. This is due to the fact that muscles help us move around in our environment without getting tired easily.
Without enough muscle mass, we tend to feel sluggish and will find ourselves taking more breaks than normal.
So, if youre looking to improve your overall health and well-being, gaining muscle mass is a good place to start. Just make sure you maintain the muscle mass once youve achieved it by continuing your healthy diet and regular exercise program. This will help ensure that you stay healthy and fit for years to come!
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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Is 180g Of Protein Too Much
More experienced? Then, the rule of thumb is that you need to eat at a very maximum 2.2g of protein per kg of your bodyweight in order to build significant muscle. Anything more and your body will begin to not process it as optimally. So, for example, if youre 82kg, then thats 180g of protein to fit in daily.
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
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How Much Protein Should I Eat At Once
That said, the amino acids most closely linked to muscle protein synthesis , a process that switches on genes responsible for muscle gain are the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine has far and away the most research linking it to MPS.
Now, MPS is just one piece of the muscle gain puzzle: total daily calories is hugely important, as is total protein intake, ones exercise regimen, sleep, and many other factors. While these are far more important than worrying about leucine some research has found people to gain and lose the same amount of muscle and fat whether theyre eating every day or every other day, so long as their calories are in check it seems that about three grams of leucine per serving is ideal for keeping MPS maintained.
Youll get that in about 20 to 30 grams of protein from most protein dense sources, including many vegan ones like legumes and grains.
So if youre eating 150 grams of protein a day, this might sound like you should eat 5 meals with 30 grams of protein each, so a meal every three hours. Theres nothing wrong with this approach, but its worth remembering that some research has found MPS to be about the same after six hours whether you ate two small meals with 30 grams apiece or if you ate a big meal with 60 grams of protein and then nothing else for six hours.
Women And Protein An Essential Guide
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Protein, especially how much of it to eat, is a topic of hot debate in fitness and nutrition circles. Unfortunately, most of the discussion is geared towards men, specifically men interested in hypertrophy.
Womenâs nutritional and fitness needs are different. While there are indeed some tough and incredible female bodybuilders going for big muscle mass gains, most of your female clients will have different goals. And that leaves women with a lot of questions trainers need to be ready to answer:
How much protein should I be eating?
Will too much protein make me bulkier or fat?
Is eating too much protein unhealthy?
Should I try a protein shake?
And so on the questions are nearly endless. While we canât answer all of them here, let us give you some of the most important information to pass on to your female clients who are confused about protein.
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Whats The Best Muscle
There are so many meal plans to choose from these days, but as for the best diet for muscle building, theyre not all equal. The Mediterranean diet gets high marks because its balanced and focused on whole foods.
AMediterranean diet is good for building muscle, aka lean body mass, because its primarily plant-based, says Dana Ellis Hunnes Ph.D., registered dietitian, and author of Recipe for Survival. That makes it an anti-inflammatory diet, which is good for muscle growth. Its high levels of healthy whole carbohydrates also help feed the muscles their preferred fuel: glucose. The Mediterranean diet also incorporates lean protein sources such as seafood and poultry.
Often, a diet for building muscle focuses on animal sources of protein. And while it can sometimes be easier to hit protein targets with meat sources, plant-based diets that prioritize high-protein foods can be effective as well this includes vegetarian and vegan diets. There is no major difference between animal and plant protein in absolute lean mass.
However, you should avoid fad diets likeketo, paleo, or Atkins, which heavily restrict carbohydrates in favor of fats and protein . Hunnesalong with many dietitiansisnt a fan.
Is Protein Powder Safe For Kids
Children need lots of protein to grow, but this doesn’t mean they necessarily need a supplement. Remember that the 7 grams in an egg, for instance, represents a far higher percentage of body weight for a 35-pound body than for a 150-pound body.
However, as long as a child has a healthy, balanced overall diet, there is no risk in giving them a moderate amount of a high-quality powder. For instance, if you are already making shakes or protein-rich baked goods for yourself, it’s safe to share them with your children.
Unfortunately, most of the foods kids snack on are usually high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, which is one reason childhood obesity is such a problem. By creating more balance in their diet and tilting the scales slightly toward a higher protein intake, you’ll not only help fuel their physical activities, but also promote a leaner body composition in their formative years.
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Guidelines For Specific Populations
Many sources that suggest protein guidelines provide numbers for adult men and women. But specific populations may need more or less protein to manage a medical condition or facilitate growth.
- Pregnant and lactating people need more protein than people who are not pregnant .
- Older adults may need more protein than middle-aged adults .
- People with liver or kidney disease need to decrease protein intake .
Consult a health care professional or dietitian to determine your ideal daily protein goal.
Can You Build Muscle Without Protein Supplements
As long as youre getting enough high-quality protein each day, you can build muscle without protein supplements.
Supplements are a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake if youre not getting enough. But there is an upper limit, over and above which additional protein isnt going to help much.
This study, for example, shows that increasing protein intake from 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound of bodyweight had no effect on muscle growth in a group of untrained men.
The men trained three days a week on alternate days, using the squat, bench press, deadlift, and bent-over-row.
They varied their sets and reps, doing 4 sets of 10 reps on day one , 6 sets of 4 reps on day two , and 5 sets of 6 reps on day three .
After 12 weeks, subjects using whey or soy to bump up their protein intake to around 160 grams per day had gained no more muscle than subjects eating an average of 106 grams of protein per day.
Its worth mentioning that the placebo group did eat more carbs than subjects taking protein supplements, which could have affected the results via changes in glycogen/water levels.
Whats more, the combination of whey protein and resistance training did lead to an increase in satellite cell number, an effect that wasnt seen in the other groups.
Why does that matter?
Satellite cells surround your muscle fibers, and play a key role in the synthesis of new muscle tissue. Over a longer period, those additional satellite cells may well have led to bigger, stronger muscles.
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Dietary Protein And Muscle Mass Perceptions
Energy and/or dietary protein restriction induce net muscle catabolism, releasing amino acids for energy production, gluconeogenesis, and synthesis of peptide hormones, plasma proteins, immune system components, and enzymes . AA, amino acids ADH, antidiuretic hormone hGH, human growth hormone T3, triiodothyronine T4, thyroxine.
So How Much Protein Do You 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.
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How Much Protein To Gain Muscle
So, with all that in mind, how much protein should you eat if you want to maximize muscle growth?
If you want a simple number to aim for, one that doesnt involve trying to estimate your body fat percentage or decide on a target bodyweight, go for 0.7 grams per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, of bodyweight.
Thats the number pulled from a study of studies called a meta-analysis that looked at the effect of protein intake and weight training on muscle growth.
The researchers pooled the results of 49 trials, covering a total of 1,863 people.
After crunching the numbers, they came to the conclusion that eating more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight isnt going to help you build muscle any faster.
How Important Is Protein For Breakfast And What Are Some Good High
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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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.
Keys To Strength Building And Muscle Mass
Muscle is harder to build and maintain as we age. In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30. Physically inactive people are at particular risk and can experience anywhere from a 3 to 8% loss of lean muscle mass every decade after that.
This is due to lower testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen levels in women both hormones that help build muscle. Changes in nerve and blood cells and how the body converts proteins into muscle tissue, are also factors. Muscle loss doesn’t have to be inevitable, though: For adult men and women, regular resistance training exercises are key to building and keeping muscle.
Muscle Strengthening Activities and Health
Men and women should participate in muscle strengthening activities that work the major muscle groups at least two times each week. Examples of muscle strengthening activities include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and some types of yoga. Even everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your kids and gardening can strengthen muscles.
An important way to support strength building is with good nutrition. Foods that provide protein, carbohydrates and fat play a major role, as does getting enough calories throughout the day. Read on to find out how each macronutrient can help you and an estimate of how much to eat every day.
Protein and Muscle Building
Carbohydrates and Muscle Building
Fat and Muscle Building
Are Protein Bars Good For You
These popular bars certainly can be good for you. They can also be little better than a candy bar. It depends on the ingredients.
Food manufacturers often create products they call “protein bars,” but which don’t offer much protein, and contain plenty of ingredients you may not want. Choose bars that provide an ample amount of high-quality protein without high amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and fats to help you lose weight, build lean tissue, and control hunger. If the bar has a very poor protein-to-carb ratio, meaning there are far more carbs than protein, you may be paying premium prices for what is basically junk food.
Pick from this list of the best bars to make sure you’re not just eating candy bars in disguise. You can also make your own! By using the right ingredients, you can rest assured that the bars you eat are good for you.
Grams Of Protein Per Day Seriously
Many years ago, before I knew what I was doing, I was stuck in a rut in the gym, and I thought maybe my protein intake was the problem.
I asked an ex-professional bodybuilder how much protein I should eat every day, and he said 2 grams per pound of body weight.
I was a bit taken abackthat would mean eating close to 400 grams per day.
He was adamant that 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight was absolutely necessary to break through the plateau and start building muscle again, so I went for it.
I manned up and doubled my daily intake to reach the 400 g/day number, and, well, it sucked. I was constantly full, beyond sick of protein shakes, and eating in general just felt more and more like a chore.
But I stuck it outand didnt build any muscle to speak of.
Fast forwards to today. Ive radically transformed my physique since that time, and I havent eaten more than 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day in many years .
The point of this little story is this:
- If youre having trouble building muscle, eating more protein is not necessarily the solution.
- You dont need to eat outrageous amounts of protein to efficiently build muscle.
The bottom line is maximizing muscle growth does require following what is generally known as a high-protein diet, but it does not require choking down pounds of meat and cups of protein powder every day.
So, how much protein should you actually be eating to build muscle, then?