If you are looking to build muscle mass, it is vital that you get enough protein to do so. Yet how much protein do you need to build muscle? Too little protein and you will remain your current size. Learn how much protein you really need to build muscle mass and other tricks you need to know so to achieve your strength training dreams.
How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscle?
Protein is key to repairing muscles after a workout. If you do not eat enough protein while you are strength training, your body will not be able to repair muscle damage, like tears. This means that your muscles will not be able to be grow. While your body needs protein every day even if you are not working out, its needs are greater when you are working out to put on muscle mass. The question then becomes, how much protein do you need to build muscle?
Exercise nutrition professionals recommend getting roughly 0.5 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you’re an athlete. If you are looking to build muscle mass, those numbers jump to 0.7 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Unfortunately, too many athletes hear that they need much more protein than that, as much as 1 gram per pound of body weight if not more. Packing on the protein won’t help you gain more muscle mass. Your body will not be able to keep up with processing the extra calories, and you’ll end up putting away a chunk of that protein as fat.
If you find it difficult to eat the recommended amount of protein in your diet, protein supplements can help you expand your consumption of protein and meet goals. Protein powders, like whey or casein, help to make it easier to get all the protein you need. Whole foods that are high in protein, like meat or nuts, will help you feel full and satisfied for longer. It is better for your health to get a blend of both kinds of protein to build muscle mass.
To get the biggest benefit from that protein, experts recommend taking large doses of protein two times after you work out. About one hour before your workout, it’s good to have protein to top off your body’s fuel tank. Then, right after you work out, you should have a big dose of protein to kick start muscle repair.
While you should aim to get the recommended amount of protein, don’t beat yourself up if you have an occasional low day. As long as you are getting enough protein for your needs most of the time, you won’t lose muscle mass due to the occasional off day.
How much protein do you need to build muscle based on your body weight? Does knowing this number help you plan out what you need to eat? If you need more advice on eating right to build muscle mass, we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our trainers. They are experts in exercise nutrition and can help you create tailored diet and strength training plans to meet your goals.