Protein is the fundamental building blocks of muscle. So how come there is so much confusion surrounding this staple of muscle building?
In this protein 101 guide I am going to outline some basic misconceptions that persist about protein, as well as answer the age old question, “How much protein do I need to build muscle?”
Some Common Protein Myths
1. You can’t digest more than 30g at a time. Digesting is one thing, storing it is another. Your body is pretty adept at dealing with whatever it throws at you, and protein is one of them. Excess protein gets washed out of your system. Unlike carbs, protein is not stored in your body, so this is why it is recommended that you spread your protein intake over the course of the day.
2. It’s bad for your kidneys. This is one of those myths that just won’t take a hike, and yet there is not one peer-reviewed, scientific study done to show that protein affects liver function. If you have pre-existing kidney issues then yes, excessive protein may cause problems. But for the rest of us, it’s all good in the hood.
3. Protein bars and shakes are the best source of protein. Protein shakes a re a great source of protein. I regularly drink them, and it’s only because I can’t get my daily allotment of protein from food. I would have to eat 10+ chicken breasts per day, and as much as I love chicken, that just isn’t happening. Protein bars and protein shakes often have added sugar and fat. Eat as much protein as you can through eggs, chicken, black beans and other protein-rich foods before going to shakes and bars.
How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?
According the smarty pants over at the United States Department of agriculture, males over the age of 19 should be consuming 0.66 grams of protein per kilogram (or 0.3g per pound).
If that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s because it’s not. As a 250ish pound male, that would mean I would need 75g of protein per day. Keep in mind, however, that this number is for sedentary, non-active people.
For muscle building, most bodybuilding experts agree that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So that 75g of protein turns into 250g for someone my size.
1g – 1 pound body-weight
Nice and simple.
See ya at the gym,