How much protein is required for muscle growth?

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The question that has boggled millions in gyms all over the globe. However, millions have offered their very-own, usually unfounded, answers to the question. So what is the correct amount of protein required for muscle growth?

Best protein supplements to build muscle

There is no simple answer to this relatively simplistic question. The one-size fits all notion can never apply, we are all built differently and, consequently, have widely varying nutritional demands. The amount of protein you require will depend on a swathe of varying factors such as weight, height, fitness level, exercise intensity and the presence of some drugs in your system. Therefore the goal of this piece, is not to provide an exact figure on which to work with, but rather work from to find your own optimal levels.


The old rule of thumb, 2g per pound is ludicrous. Not only is consuming that much protein pointless but would be extremely expensive. The Institute of Medicine has suggested that 10%-35% of your daily calories should be obtained from protein, but this fails to negate the minefield that is us, intensive exercisers.


A vast amount of studies, from all over the world, have shown that the best range for athletes is 1.6-1.8g per kg – however, this figure varies vastly dependent upon age, exercise intensity and a limitless amount of other factors. For those accustomed to the 1g per pound rule, this is probably about right; but could be marginally too much, so proceed with caution.


The goal of a programme will also determine what your ideal protein intake is. For example, those looking to seriously build muscle or lose weight should increase their protein intake marginally. To do this you need to eat a high protein diet, and consume protein supplements. One of the best protein shakes on the market is LA Whey from LA Muscle, which can seriously aid muscle development.


Alas, it is not as simple as putting as much protein in your body as possible and going, there are different types of protein. All of which digest at differing speeds. Fast digesting proteins are best suited to a post-workout snack. This is because it will encourage an anabolic state during a rest period and will hurry muscle repair. Some fast digesting proteins are beef and whey, both of which can be a somewhat attractive post-session treats!


Slow digesting proteins, such as egg, are best to consume before your workout as this will ensure a slow-releasing of protein throughout your session and ensure that you remain in an anabolic state, the catalyst for muscle growth.


It is crucial, if you really want to get the results you deserve to eat regularly; every three to four hours, intaking between 30g and 40g of fast or slow digesting protein, depending on the circumstances. However, it is vital to remain hydrated to counteract the health risks that are associated with extensive protein consumption.


So, to sum it all up. It is widely believed that if you exercise extensively, at least 20% of your daily calories should be sourced from protein and this level should only be increased in certain select circumstances. Ensure to eat regularly to maintain a positive nitrogen balance – especially before bedding for the night, this will aid overnight muscle repair. However, unless you get into the gym and start working, all the protein in the world wouldn’t get you to where you want to be, so get training!

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