How Much Protein Is Needed To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

Protein, the bread and butter to any nutritional plan whether it be
to build muscle or cut down unwanted body fat. If you want to know how
much protein is needed to build muscle, then keep reading on. By the
end of this article, you will know exactly the amount you should be
consuming each day.

Why Is Protein So Important?

I’m not going to go into all the deep sciency stuff about protein,
as there are 1000s of articles already written about this on the
internet. Plus, knowing things like what a protein is exactly made of
isn’t going to impact your goals, but I am going to try to make sure you
realise how important protein is and how it can really impair you from
improving if insufficient amounts are consumed.

I cannot stress
this next point enough, and in terms of what we are trying to achieve
with our bodies, it’s probably the most important fact you should take
away from today’s article. Protein is the only macronutrient that can
directly repair and build muscle. So what does this mean for us? Well,
it’s simple, you could have a diet rich in good sources of
carbohydrates, fats and fibre, but if you are not feeding your body a
sufficient amount of protein for recovery, then all your hard work
lifting weights in the gym could potentially be wasted effort.

this is just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to protein.
Apart from water, protein is the single most plentiful substance in our
bodies. Protein is present in every organ in our bodies and is
responsible for every process of promoting growth. Another important
fact is that protein is extremely important and essential for an optimal
immune system. So as you can see a lack of protein in our diets, will
not only just affect muscle growth but a whole load of other mechanisms.

Weight Training With A Lack Of Protein = DISASTER

the heading is quite extreme, but if I am putting all that hard work
in, in the gym and not gaining any improvements what so ever, then this
to me is a disaster.

When weight training you are going to be
putting your muscles under an incredible amount of stress. In fact, you
will actually be causing little micro-tears to the fibres.
Your body will now have to go through a process in order for your
muscles to adapt, and cope with what you are putting them under. Enter
the role of protein.

As soon as you start weight training, the
demand for protein in your body increases dramatically. The more muscle
the body produces, the higher the demand for protein, therefore a
greater amount will need to be consumed through your diet.

you are not supplying your body with the amount of protein it requires,
then it will directly take protein from your muscle tissue putting us in
a catabolic state. So what does this mean to us? Well, your body will
be directly breaking down the very muscles we are trying to build to
satisfy its protein needs.

The Most Annoying Myth EVER

Myth – My body will start to break down muscle if I miss a single meal.

Reply – What
a load of tosh. The human body is amazing and will adapt as best it
can and run in the most efficient way possible. It amazes me how many
people really believe the body would be that dumb to start eating away
at its self just because you have had to go an extra 2 hours before
eating again. To start with the protein synthesis process is not an
instantaneous thing. After consuming your meal, protein isn’t instantly
broken down and used within seconds or minutes. It takes time to
absorb through the digestive system and then more time to synthesise.

I understand not everybody is weight training to become a bodybuilder,
but these athletes are a great example for getting the point across with
their large muscular physiques. This goes for both steroid and natural
lifters. Some of the greatest bodybuilders of the past only used to
eat once or twice a day. One of my all-time favourites Serge Nubret is a
prime example of this. It was well documented that he consumed only
one to two meals a day and met all his protein requirements within these
two meals. Now he seemed to do okay on the muscle front.

think the take-home point here is, as long as you meet your daily
requirements of protein, whether it be from 1 meal or 7 meals, you are
all good to go.
How Much Protein is Needed To Build Muscle?

Over the years I have gone through a lot of trial and error both on myself and clients trying to answer this question.

The most typical answer you will find on the internet is anywhere between 1 g to 2 g of protein per pound of body weight.

I believe 2g per lb of bodyweight to be fat to high, and no one
regardless of how much muscle you hold will ever need this amount.

of protein per pound of body weight is a much better figure to work
with and when putting my clients through a bulking cycle it’s the figure
I will always use. However, when going through a cutting phase, I
prefer a slightly different approach.

Let me explain below.

single person’s calories and protein needs will be different. you can
have two people with the same bodyweight but both requiring a huge
difference in the number of calories they need.

So let’s take John. He is 220 lbs in weight ripped at about 9% body fat and carrying a huge amount of muscle.

then have Peter. He weighs exactly the same amount as John, however,
has never weight trained before and has a body fat % of about 35% and
very little muscle.

Using the most common formula of 1 g to 2 g
of protein per lb of bodyweight, this would mean that both John and
Peter would be consuming the exact same amount of protein. However, we
know from reading above that the more muscle you have the more protein
your body needs.

This is why I do all my calculations in
percentages. It has taken a lot of trial and error to get what I
believe to be the correct percentage of protein an individual who weight
trains need. Also doing it this way means that two people weighing
exactly the same but with very different body compositions will no be
taking in the same amount of protein.
What I Believe The Magic Percentage To Be

to 40% is what has worked best for me and my clients over many years.
This means that 35 to 40% of your calorie intake will come from protein.

Let’s go back to John, our ripped muscular guy. It’s been
worked out to slowly lose fat whilst maintaining muscle he needs to
consume 2700 calories

40% of 2700 is 1080 calories

There are 4 calories per gram of protein so to get the correct amount you simply use this calculation

1080 calories / 4 = 270 g of protein

reason for using the 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight formula when
bulking is because you don’t actually need quite as much as when you are
cutting. And using percentages would give an incredibly high number of
grams of protein to consume.
How Much Protein Is Needed To Build Muscle Final Words

hope you can now see the importance of protein in your nutrition plan.
Without it, you will not succeed. Here are the main take-home points
of this article

  • Protein is the only macronutrient that can directly build and repair muscle
  • Insufficient protein will cause the very muscles you are trying to build to break down
  • You will not lose muscle by missing a meal
  • 35 40% of your daily intake should come from protein when dieting to lose fat
  • When Bulking stick to 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight

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