Bodybuilders have boasted for years that their secret to muscle mass lies in high protein intake. Popular diet plans and weightlifting meal plans often exceed current recommendations on daily protein intake. Meanwhile, some experts 1 claim high protein diets are bad for you, blaming meat consumption for rising rates of heart disease.
So who’s right, and who is giving outdated advice? You may be surprised to hear the answer.
Why You Need Protein to Build Muscle
It’s a well-known fact that people who lift need to eat more protein than the recommended daily intake. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s back up and take a second to understand why protein is necessary for muscle growth.
Muscles grow when the amount of protein made in the muscles exceeds the breakdown of muscle protein. Research shows this process peaks right after a workout and can be enhanced with the right nutritional approach, namely upping your protein intake. In fact, most experts2 recommend consuming your protein within an hour of your workout for the best results.
But, be aware that it’s not an excess of calories that makes muscles grow. Instead, it’s an increased level of high-quality protein that does the trick. You should also know that, according to some studies, failing to eat anything at all can actually limit protein muscle growth, thereby affecting your #gains.
How to Calculate Your Protein Needs
|Food and Drug Administration
|Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
|American College of Sports Medicine
|50 grams per day
|60 grams per day
|60 grams per day
|165 grams per day
|Daily Intake by Body Weight
|0.8 g/kg or .36 g/lb
|1.2-1.7 g/kg or .5-.8 g/lb
|> 2.2 g/kg or 1 g/lb
|% of Protein from Daily Calories**
|10-35% (200-700 calories of protein per day)
|10% (200 calories of protein per day)
|26% (528 calories per day)
|33% (660 calories per day)
* Based on a 2,000 calorie diet for a 165 lb person
** 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
There are glaring discrepancies when it comes to recommendations on how much protein is needed to gain muscle. Much of the confusion comes from how to calculate your daily protein needs. Here’s what we currently know.
Fact: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that 10-35% of your daily caloric intake should come from protein. Under this guideline, you should be consuming 200-700 calories of protein every day in a 2,000 calorie diet.
You can also calculate daily protein intake based on body weight. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 gram per kilogram) of body weight. For a 165-lb individual, that puts you right at 10% of your daily caloric intake, the minimum amount recommended by the FDA.
This minimum recommended daily allowance (RDA) is the average needed for a healthy adult to function. If you’re looking to build muscle, you’re going to need more than FDA recommendations3 of just 50 grams of protein per day.
First off, let’s state the obvious. The recommended daily percentage of calories that come from protein ranges considerably. To make matters worse, according to Harvard University4, most of us only get about 16% of our daily calories from protein sources, and very few people even come close to approaching the 35% mark.
To build muscle, you’re going to have to veer from the common American diet, which for most people, barely meets our minimal protein needs.
But how much protein do you need for muscle gains? New research paints a very different picture when it comes to calculating your daily protein needs.
How Much Protein Do I Need to Build Muscle?
The American College of Sports Medicine5 states a daily intake of 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram of protein (0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound) is necessary to gain muscle. But newer studies suggest6 (and we agree) that you should be striving for more than 2.2 g/kg (1 g/lb) of protein every day.
One recent study7 found those who consumed this high amount of protein while strength training realized greater increases in lean body mass, and greater fat reduction than even the group who consumed protein’s ‘recommended daily allowance.’
Yes, you read that right. More protein leads to greater gains. Don’t be fooled by the myth that eating too much protein is bad for you. In truth, excess protein is only harmful to those who already have issues, like kidney problems. If you’re healthy, eating up to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is fine8.
Still not convinced? Take it from Dr. John Jaquish, who follows these new guidelines closely. He recommends consuming just over 1 gram of protein (per pound of body weight) of high-quality protein, meaning protein that doesn’t come from vegetables.
Where can you get that protein? Dr. Jaquish’s favorite high-quality proteins include rib eye steak, eggs, ground beef, or chicken (dark meat). But when there’s no time to cook up a meal, his go-to protein source is Fortagen.
Introducing: Fortagen for Your Protein Needs
Not all protein sources are equal to one another. That’s because the body uses each source differently, which is why you need to eat high-quality proteins if you want to gain muscle. Generally speaking, you should be prioritizing eggs, meat, and cheese before you reach for whey, soy or broccoli for your protein needs.
But an empty fridge, a lack of free time, and the cost of 3-4 steaks per day can make it hard to meet the recommended daily protein requirement for muscle gains.
There is another option…
Enter Fortagen, the most efficient anabolic protein supplement on the market. Fortagen was designed to help people who struggle to meet their daily protein needs due to time, inconvenience, or cost. It’s also an excellent option for individuals who want to eat less protein from animal sources.
Fortagen is an effective protein replacement that is five times more efficient than your everyday protein sources. One serving is only four calories, meaning it won’t overload your digestive system (or cause weight gain) as the body builds muscle.
Plus, taking Fortagen ensures the body diverts almost 100% of its protein intake to muscle growth as opposed to everyday metabolic functions.
Take Home Points
- To build muscle and get stronger, you have to do more than just exercise properly – your nutrition needs to be on-par, too. That means making sure you’re getting the right amount of protein from high-quality sources.
- Studies prove consuming more than 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (1 g/lb) of body weight of protein every day leads to greater muscle grains.
- If you’re healthy, ignore the claim that eating high amounts of protein is bad for you. It’s only potentially harmful if you have pre-existing health conditions such as kidney stones.
- If you’re rushed for time or prefer to stay away from animal sources of protein, take Fortagen as a protein replacement. 1 serving equals 4 calories, and its formula is 5x more effective than traditional protein sources.
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