How much protein do you need to build muscle?

Protein is present in every tissue and cell within the body. Although it plays many important functions within the body, it is vital for muscle development as it aids in the repair and maintenance of muscles.

The present recommended dietary allowance for Trusted Source (RDA) to stop deficiencies in adults who are not active has been set at 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. Newer research suggests that those who are trying to build muscle require more than that.

Intake of less protein than the body requires has been linked to lower muscle mass. However, increasing protein intakes that are above RDA can help boost the strength and mass of lean body tissue when combined with resistance training.

Protein is so important in the process of building muscles.

Protein is comprised of amino acids, which serve as components for tissues and cells within the body. It is made up of 20 amino acids that are combined to form proteins.

While some amino acids can be produced by our body’s own, others can’t. Nine amino acids that can’t be made by the body are known as vital amino acids. These are obtained via diet.

When you eat protein, it’s digested and then broken into amino acids, which play a role in a variety of functions in the body that include tissue growth, repair, immune function, and the production of energy.

As with other tissues in the body, muscles are constantly being rebuilt and broken down. To develop muscle mass, a person has to eat more protein than the amount that is being destroyed. This is commonly called the Net positive balance of nitrogen since protein is high in nitrogen.

If someone isn’t taking in enough protein, the body will tend to degrade musclesTrusted Source to supply the body with amino acids that are required to sustain bodily functions and to preserve vital tissues. In time, this may result in a decrease in muscle mass and strength.

In the end, the body utilizes amino acids for the process of muscle protein synthesizing (MPS) which is the principal motor for the repair of muscles, recovery and growth after intense exercise.

How much protein do you require?

Based on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source, the majority of healthy adults aged 19 and over should consume between 10 and 35 percent of their calories daily from proteins. One gram of protein contains the equivalent of 4 grams of calories.

That means someone who consumes 2,000 calories per day will need to consume between 50 to 175 grams of protein daily.

This current RDA of 0.8 grams per kg in body mass for proteins is dependent on the amount that is needed to ensure nitrogen balance and stop muscle loss. However, applying these guidelines to athletes seeking to build muscle might not be the best choice for them.

In terms of building muscles, the ideal amount of protein that the body needs according to a variety of factors like gender, age and activity level, health and many other factors.

However, numerous studies have provided us with an concept of the best way to estimate how much protein that adults require for muscle growth based on the weight of their bodies.

What are the findings of studies?

Although most studies agree that higher intakes of protein are linked to improvements in lean body strength and mass, when combined in resistance exercise, the ideal amount of protein needed for muscle growth remains a debate.

Here’s what the most recent research has to say.

A meta-analysis from 2020 released in Nutrition Reviews showed that protein intakes between 0.5 to 3.5 grams per kilogram of body weight may help increase the body’s lean mass. Researchers also noted that increasing protein intake slowly, even as small as 0.1 grams for every kilogram of body mass every day, could help to maintain or increase muscle mass.

The rate of growth of lean mass due more protein intakes quickly declined after 1.3 grams per kg in body mass was reached. Strength training slowed this decline. This suggests that a higher protein intake in conjunction with strength training is the best to increase lean body mass.

A second 2022 meta-analysis that was that was published by the Journal of The journal Sports Medicine found that higher intakes of protein at about 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, paired with resistance training are essential for the best results on muscle strength. Researchers have noted that the effects of higher consumption of protein on both strength and mass seem to diminish after 1.5 to 1.6 grams per kg of body weight per day.

In addition, a 2022-based comprehensive review as well as meta-analysis that was published in journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and MuscleTrusted Source concluded that a daily intake of 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight or more results in modest increase in lean body mass for youngsters who have been trained to resist. The results in older people were not as positive.

In addition, the majority of the studies in this review showed participants who consumed the minimum amount of 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass daily however, this is still more over the current RDA. This could be a reason for the lower effect of protein interventions when combined with resistance exercise in older adults.

Although it’s hard to establish precise numbers because of the different study results, The ideal amount of protein needed for building muscle is believed to be in the range of 1.2 and 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight.

That means that the one-third of a pound (81.8 kilogram) male for instance is required to consume between 98-131 grams of protein every day, paired with resistance training to aid in the growth of muscles.

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