Proteins are the most important thing you need to build muscles.
Every guy who is working out at the gym knows that.
Even guys who are not physically active know that.
But, how many proteins per day you really need to grow your muscles?
That’s what I am going to write about today.
What is the optimal amount of proteins?
The optimal amount of proteins is about 0.5 gr per pound when we talk about a healthy adult.
Being physically active requires more proteins, of course.
So if you want to retain your muscles and allow your metabolism to function normally you need to intake about 0.5 gr of protein per pound.
your weight (pounds) x 0.5 gr = daily protein requirements to retain your muscles
Example: If you weigh 120 pounds you need 120×0.5 gr= 60 gr.
So, you need 60 gr of proteins a day if you want to retain the muscles you have. (this is an example if you weigh 120 pounds)
How much protein do you really need a day to build muscle?
Active adults who go to the gym regularly (who weightlift and want to build muscles) should intake about 1,5 grams of proteins per pound.
Even though it doesn’t seem much, 1,5 gr per pound is actually quite enough for most active guys.
It’s up to you whether you’ll intake more or less than that.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t necessarily mean that with that intake you will build more muscles or lose them.
This is an equation to calculate how much protein you need a day to build muscle:
your weight (pounds) x 1.5 gr = daily protein requirements for muscle building
Example: If your weight is 120 pounds then you need 120×1.5= 180 gr
So, you need 180 gr of proteins per day to build your muscles (example, you need to calculate your protein requirements depending on your weight).
What’s the best source of proteins?
The best source of proteins is food high in the amino acid Leucine.
Leucine is one of the Branched-chained Amino Acids.
For example, food high in leucine will enable the best protein synthesis, even 3-4 hours after your meal.
This refers mainly to meat or milk proteins.
Foods high in leucine are poultry, salmon, tuna, eggs.
Read my list of the best protein foods here.
Don’t forget, you shouldn’t intake big amounts of proteins at once.
Distribute the protein intake through several meals.
Consuming big amounts of proteins at once (for instance, 200 grams of proteins) can cause most of the amino acids to be sent to the liver where they oxidate and turn into sugar, and extra sugar is stored as fat. (1)
You’ll have a counter effect and instead of growing muscles, you’ll grow love handles.
In addition, if you want to increase the intake of proteins and you are active at the gym, there are many protein supplements.
The most famous (and most effective)is surely whey protein.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Well, if you want to grow your muscles, follow these rules:
1) Intake 1.5 gr of proteins per pound daily.
2) It would be ideal to intake at least 30grams of proteins through food high in leucine (poultry, eggs…).
3) To build muscles eat at least 4-5 meals high in this protein every 3-4 hours.
This refers to people who work out and there are many factors that differ such as weight, muscle percentage, fats, age, genetics.
But these general rules will definitely help you increase your muscle mass.