The question that most gym-goers and athletes ask is “how much protein should I take”. The answer given to this question is often incorrect and can result in a loss of muscle mass and lower performance.
Depending on how active you will determine the amount of protein you need to consume. If you are overweight, underweight, elderly or young, the amount of protein you should look to digest is different.
In this guide we look at how much protein you need to consume if you are looking to build and increase muscle mass. With this in mind, you also need to exercise to build muscle mass. Simply consuming protein is not enough to build muscle. To build muscle mass effectively, we recommend following a workout-regime and consume necessary supplements such as Premium Whey Protein.
The chart above shows that for every 1 pound of body weight, you should consume 1-1.5 grams of protein. The more protein you consume does not necessarily mean more muscle. There is evidence to support the theory that when a person is in caloric surplus, more calories from protein means less fat gained if those extra calories were carbohydrates. This means that your body will not store protein as fat the same way that it stores carbohydrates.
How Much Protein Should You Take?
There is a common misconception that eating too much protein at once is a waste of nutrition. The truth is that consuming high amounts of protein in one sitting will not increase muscle growth indefinitely. But by consuming lots of protein in one sitting you are reducing the body-protein breakdown, this results in a higher net protein level in the body.
If you have a higher net protein balance then this is beneficial when building muscle and reducing muscle wasting. It is recommended that you consume protein over 4 meals in the day.
Lean meats, fish, chicken and eggs are great sources of protein. Championship bodybuilders consume around 30-50 grams of protein every three hours for maximum muscle mass growth. It’s said that Arnold Schwarzenegger consumed nearly 250 grams of protein every day, which makes sense as he is 250-pounds. If you are finding it hard to consume many protein-rich meals every day, then try a protein supplement.
Age And Protein Consumption
People aged 50 and over have a higher anabolic resistance. This means that their muscle protein synthesis is lower when digesting protein. In-turn, more protein is required for older people to maintain muscle size and increase muscle mass. For people aged 50 and over, we recommend you consume 1.5 grams of protein per 1 pound of body weight.
Muscle Mass And Dieting
It is commonly understood that to gain muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus. To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Whilst these two statements are true, it is thought that you cannot lose weight whilst building muscle mass.
The goal should be to maintain muscle mass whilst losing body fat through dieting. This is why we tend to see bodybuilders switch between bulking and cutting diet regimes. The first step is to build muscle by bulking on a calorie surplus. Then to lose weight by dieting at a caloric deficit. It is important to keep muscle mass whilst dieting.
Should I Take Whey Protein?
Whey protein is the most anabolic type of protein, and arguably the most effective. Whey protein has leucine which is the most anabolic amino acid we have. This means that you can build muscle mass more effectively with whey protein.
If you are a vegan, vegetarian or intolerant of whey protein then there are some great vegan proteins and BCAA supplements on the market.
Also, check out our guide to turmeric supplements.