What is protein and how much do we need to build muscle?
How Much Protein Do We Need To Build Muscle?
Know Exactly What Is Protein And Exercises That Support Protein Synthesis.
Hope you read the last article on “Top Weight Lifting Exercises That Build Functional Muscles”.
Well, you wanted to know your daily intake of protein and also the kind of proteins that you can take.
I have been told by many fitness personal trainers that you need to take at least 2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.) if you want to build a substantial amount of muscle.
However, do you actually need that much amount of protein per day to build muscle?
There has been a great controversy on this topic, however, let me tell you that after reading this article you will calm down and won’t worry about this topic anymore!!
Before I jump on this topic I wanted to share my story on this topic.
When I started going to the gym I was told by the trainers to do high reps machine stuff. After consistently going to the gym for about 2 months, my trainer told me to take protein powder.
I thought that everybody needs protein powder. So I bought a box of 3 lbs. of protein powder. My trainer told me that I need to take 3 scoops a day. I did what I was told, however after taking protein consistently I was getting some gains.
But after some time the trainer told me to increase my protein by including 5 whole eggs a day. However, I wasn’t seeing any gains so again he told me to increase my protein intake by going till 15 whole eggs a day. Again It didn’t make much difference. So again he told me to ramp up my protein by taking 22 whole eggs per day.
That was insane…!!!
Evenafter taking in 185 grams of protein I wasn’t seeing any gains.
My trainer again told me to increase my protein intake. But I was fed up, and took the matter in my hands.
I started reading each and every article that was written on the internet about protein intake.
I discovered the truth behind the protein intake but that wasn’t the reason for me to see the gains.
The reason was not the amount of protein that I was taking, but the type of exercises that I was doing.
I had to be doing heavy squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press, rowing, and all other compound movements.
However, I was focusing on doing lat pulldowns, light weight chest fly’s, smith machine squats without the correct form.
Since then I started focusing on doing correct exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, military press and other compound movements, and have grown substantial amount of muscle, without even bothering about protein intake.!!
MORAL OF THE STORY – “BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR FIRST PROTEIN POWDER OR EAT 22 EGGS A DAY, YOU NEED TO MAKE A LIST OF EXERCISES THAT ACTUALLY BUILD MUSCLE.!!”
Before we go into the topic, let’s understand what is protein and its function.
Proteins are known as building blocks of muscle. They are big molecules that consist of one or more long chains of amino acids residues.
Different functions are performed by protein. It repairs your muscles, does DNA replication, transporting molecules from one location to other, helps to sustain and repair your bones, organs and skin too.
Also, some of the body hormones are made of protein. So without protein, you cannot sustain.
You need protein while resting after heavy workouts for following reasons.
They help you preserve muscle.
While you are in a calorie deficit, you reduce the amount of food you eat. So if you have a good amount of muscle, you may lose muscle too. That is why athletes usually go on high protein diet while they lose fat.
It keeps you full
Protein is hard to break, i.e.; digestion is much slower than carbs and fats. Due to this reason protein keeps you full for longer durations and helps you stay away from junk.
So questions again at “How much protein do we need to actually build muscle efficiently”.
You micro tear your muscles while heavy workouts and with good nutrition you repair them.
There are about 250 amino acids, which do not form proteins. But to build muscle you need proteins that contain essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, and valine. There are even more essential amino acids but these 3 are the most important to build muscle. To go even more deep on this topic click here.
Studies have shown that 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight is optimal to build muscle.
So even in taking more amount of protein won’t build you extra muscle.
The above study was conducted with two test groups of 10 people each.
The first group was given 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, while the other group was given 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
After carrying out this research for 3 months, they found that the second group wasn’t gaining any more muscle than the first group. But the metabolic rate of the second group was higher due to protein’s thermogenic effect.
So from the above study, we can summarize that to build muscle you need only about 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Also, the other thing that you need to know, that if the person is in the calorie deficit, the increased amount of protein intake helps in preserving more muscle.
So remember, until you focus on correct exercises and progressive overloading, you cannot build muscle even if you eat a large amount protein.
In the next article, we will discuss different protein sources that you can involve in your diet.
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