How Much Protein is Enough?
If I told you that I could increase your 1RM by 10% and add muscle without spending extra time in the gym would you be interested? If you're on this website I am going to assume your answer is a yes. So many times we focus on our training but slack on our diet. Sure we try to eat healthy, but when was the last time you kept track of how much protein you are taking?
A recent study looking at the effects of protein intake on athletes performing resistance training has shown that consuming 1.62 grams per kilogram of body weight leads to increases in one rep max and muscular size. Not super shocking that more protein leads to more gains but lets take a look at a scenario to see just how much protein that is.
To put it into pounds the conversion is .74 grams per pound of body weight. For the purpose of the following example lets look at a 200 pound resistance training individual.
200 x .74 = 148 grams of protein.
What does a 148 grams of protein look like?
How about 25 large eggs?
Or perhaps 18.5 ounces of chicken breast? (over a pound!)
Can I interest you in 21 ounces of steak?
Fish more your style? Try 25 ounces of salmon. (over a pound and a half!)
The point I am trying to make here is that getting in enough protein has big benefits but isn't always the easiest thing to do. With that being said, if you split it up throughout the day it can make it more manageable. Be sure to split us your source of protein as well!! I hope no one tries to eat 25 eggs at once. Experiment with mixing up between turkey, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, and plant based sources.
So if .74 g of protein per pound of body weight helps gain muscle size and strength, what happens if I eat 4 g per pound of body weight??? The study revealed that nothing special happens. When they aggregated the data from across the study they found that no additional benefits were reaped by going above and beyond the recommended dose. This research was found to be consistent across males and females and provides a good baseline for those who exercise regularly to start from.
All aboard the gain train.
Dr. Zach Taillie DPT, OCS, CSCS
All nutritional value came from the USDA
Morton RW, Murphy KT, McKellar SR, et al
A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults
Br J Sports Med 2018;52:376-384