How Much Protein Do You Need?
How Much Protein Should You Be Eating For Muscle Growth?
There’s one word that sits at the cornerstone of all conversation around building muscle and burning fat – and that word is protein.
Protein is made up of a number of joined amino acids, which create the long and short chains that play a crucial role in helping us sustain good health and fitness levels.
Now here’s a fact that’s likely to surprise you – 75% of our body’s make-up – meaning anything from skin and hair right through to bones and muscle – is impacted by protein. In other words, it’s pretty crucial that we get it right. But let’s hone in on protein and muscle growth.
It’s common knowledge that muscle production relies on protein. The protein-based amino acids we consume via red meat, pre-workout shakes and more are used to produce ATP c the only kind of energy are muscle are able to burn – as well as hormones like testosterone, enzymes and immune system components. Basically, protein supports all the components integral to muscle growth.
But protein is also super smart in that it helps repair the micro-damage workouts can place on the muscle fibres, allowing the body to build and repair. This enables the muscle to hold more energy and leave you with more strength, stamina and endurance. In other words, a total result!
But How Much Protein Is Enough To Have a Real Difference On Your Muscle Mass?
Experts have certainly spent a lot of time thinking – and disagreeing – about this. Why? Because there’s no one, concrete answer – the amount of protein your body needs to build muscle mass depends heavily on both your weight and how many calories you’re consuming.
An average male working in an office needs a tiny 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, for example. But when you add exercise to the mix, the game changes completely.
Endurance athletes are recommended to take between 0.5 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight, and for strength athletes pumping the iron regularly, this goes right up to 0.7 to 0.8 grams.
A good rule of thumb to follow for both sexes is to take 1g per pound of body weight. An eight-stone woman weighing 112 pounds, for example, would need to consume 112 grams by this measure.
If you’ve been calculating a gram of protein per pound of body weight, this is likely to be too much – the body simply won’t be able to process these extra calories, and they’ll just end up as the one thing you’re looking to avoid – fat.
It’s not always possible to get this much protein from diet alone. While lean meat, seafood and dairy products will do a decent job of getting your protein levels going, a protein supplement can be a powerful tool to ensuring your body is in tip-top muscle building condition. There are stacks of options out there, though, all professing to give you professional-level muscle tone, so do your research and take your time to find the right protein solution for you.