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How Much Protein to Build Muscle?

When looking to build as much muscle as possible the human body needs to consume more protein than the average person receives through a normal diet. In fact studies have shown that bodybuilders need twice as much protein as a person who lives a sedentary lifestyle!

Why is Extra Protein Needed to Build Muscle?

Resistance training and endurance workouts can rapidly break down muscle. The body has to respond to this breakdown by repairing itself, how does it do this? That's right...protein; protein serves three major aspects in the human body; growth, repair and hormone production.

Resistance training breaks down muscle

Can muscle be built without a lot of protein?

The answer is yes, but results can be hindered with less than ideal protein intake; as stated in the previous paragraph, protein is used for growth, repair and hormone production; so if the body has just enough protein to create half the growth and repair it would stand to reason that it would get half the results; other words if the body is given enough protein to complete all of it's tasks then the amount of time it takes to build muscle could be cut in half!

How much protein is enough?

A position statement published by ADA, DOC, ACSM recommends that endurance and strength athletes consume 1.2-1.7 grams per KG of body weight or .5-.8 grams per pound of body weight per day. Other studies have shown that an even greater amount of protein is ideal for building as much muscle as possible. For instance, Rice University researchers suggest that sedentary adults should eat about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight, regularly active adults should eat up to 0.6 grams per pound and athletes building muscle mass should eat up to 0.9 grams per pound per day.[1]

Daily Protein Intake Suggestions


1. Caryn Honig, RD LD. “Protein Requirements for Athletes”, SportsMed Web, Houston, 1 Feb. 1997. Retrieved on 12 Feb 2016.