Workout out and doing resistance training is what we do physically to build our muscles. However, whenever we talk about what’s going on inside our body for muscle building, protein is a common term we use. It is the foundation of muscle repair and increased muscle mass.
“How much protein you need to build muscle” is what we always ask ourselves when we are focusing on our diet. So today, we will be uncovering the answers regarding protein intake for muscle building.
Why Protein Is Important for Building Muscle?
Protein is the foundation of muscle building and enhancing muscle mass. Most of you may already know that. But why is protein important for muscle building is something which many fail to understand clearly. Protein and amino acids are crucial in making the building blocks of muscle tissue.
For example, a house is made up of bricks that hold it together sturdily and that is what protein is about the bricks. Hence, we can say that proteins are the bricks of the house. After that, there is an amino acid which is responsible for the makeup of protein.
Our body produces amino acids regularly but breaking down protein requires other types of amino acid. To synthesize protein, there are nine essential amino acids (EAA) that play a huge role. EAA is not voluntarily produced by the body instead you have to consume it through food sources.
So in conclusion, a protein with the essential amino acid work together to aid muscle growth in our body. Without protein, the amino acid won’t be able to repair and build muscle tissue.
How Much Protein You Should Eat to Build Muscle?
The amount of protein that is advised for gaining muscle depends on a number of variables, including body composition, degree of exercise, and specific objectives. However, ingesting 1.4 to 2.0 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight per day is a typical recommendation for protein consumption to assist muscle building.
1. Sedentary Individuals
A sedentary lifestyle requires a protein intake of about 0.8 grammes per kilogramme of body weight per day. It is a fundamental demand of those who do not exercise frequently or have little physical activity. Since people with sedentary lifestyles do little to no exercise, they are prone to getting health problems. The problems that sedentary people due to their lifestyle include shorter lifespans and type 2 diabetes. Some experts also say that people who are 160 pounds should not consume more than 57.6 grams of protein. Needless to say, we are talking about sedentary people here.
2. Recreational Exercises
To assist muscle repair and maintenance, it is advised to aim for a protein intake of 1.2 to 1.4 grammes per kilogramme of body weight per day if you indulge in leisure activities or moderate-intensity exercise. Aiming for a protein intake in this range makes it easier to supply the essential amino acids for muscle repair and maintenance without consuming too much protein. To maintain optimum muscular health, it’s crucial to concentrate on high-quality protein sources and spread protein intake throughout the day.
3. Endurance Athletes
A little greater protein intake may be advantageous for endurance athletes who participate in lengthy and strenuous activities. To aid in muscle healing and repair, aim for 1.2 to 1.6 grammes per kilogramme of body weight each day. It’s crucial for endurance athletes to prioritise their carbohydrate intake as well to assist in glycogen replenishment and power their workouts.
4. Strength Training and Resistance Exercise
People who regularly engage in resistance training or weightlifting to increase their muscle mass should strive for a greater protein intake. For optimum muscle building, consuming 1.4 to 2.0 grammes per kilogramme of body weight per day is usually advised. The additional protein in your diet gives you the amino acids you need to promote muscle development, repair, and adaptability to the demands of resistance exercise.
Protein Timing for Muscle Growth
Protein is a primary source of muscle building and maintaining a certain amount of muscle mass. Whenever we consume protein, our body breaks it down for energy conversion. As a result, it is important to consume more protein than you break. Especially, if you regularly exercise, protein consumption should surpass the amount of protein you break down.
Experts suggest that the best time to take protein is 50 to 60 minutes after a workout session. This period is also known as Anabolic Window and it is where individuals taking protein supplements will get the most out of it. Another study shows that the anabolic period is longer than it was previously thought. You can consume a protein supplement even after an hour up to two hours. However, the timing of taking protein doesn’t have to be crucial. Instead, focus on sufficient protein intake and regular workouts.
Evenly distributing protein intake can sometimes be more beneficial than timing. People lose around 3% to 8% muscle mass after every decade in their post-30s. Protein intake which is evenly distributed throughout the day prevents muscle loss. To put it in numbers, take 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal in each eating session.
Best Sources of Protein for Muscle Growth
You can get several options where you can source your protein. Here are some of the popular sources of protein.
1. Lean Meats
Excellent sources of protein include lean meats like chicken breast, turkey, lean beef, and pork tenderloin. They are a good source of high-quality protein to stimulate muscle growth and are a good source of vital amino acids.
2. Fish and Seafood
In addition to being great sources of protein, fish like salmon, tuna, and trout are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and aid in muscle rehabilitation.
Eggs are a complete source of protein since they provide all nine necessary amino acids. They are also a great source of healthful fats, vitamins, and minerals. Including both egg whites and yolks can improve the protein content of a dish.
4. Dairy Products
Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk are examples of dairy products that are high in protein and provide essential elements like calcium and vitamin D that support bone health. Due to their high protein content and quick protein digestion, they can be especially advantageous for muscle building when ingested after exercise.
5. Plant-Based Proteins
When it comes to plant-based proteins your best options are soy, pea protein and hemp seeds. These are easy to digest and contain a complete amino acid profile. Moreover, it is useful for anyone with dietary restrictions. If you are looking for a safe but effective plant-based protein powder, “Transparent Labs Organic Vegan” is your best bet.
6. Whey Protein
One serving of whey protein supplement usually contains 24 grams. It is optimal for muscle protein synthesis. Moreover, Whey proteins are popular because of their complete amino acid profile including leucine. Your body will also digest whey as they are easier on the stomach. “Crazy Nutrition 100% Tri-Protein” is a good choice for people looking for Whey Protein powder.
Risks and Considerations Related to High Protein Intake
While protein is a necessary food for our bodies, taking too much of it can have negative effects. The following possible problems may arise if you consume too much high-protein food:
1. Kidney burden
Since the kidneys filter the wastes produced during protein metabolism, consuming too much protein puts a burden on them. Particularly in people with pre-existing renal diseases, this increased burden on the kidneys over time may cause malfunction. It may also lead to damage to the kidneys.
A high protein diet leads to more urination hence losing fluids frequently from your body. If you don’t drink enough fluids to make up for the excess water loss, this might cause dehydration. Dehydration may harm the body in a number of ways. Not being able to perform optimally and having sub-par cognitive function are some of the dehydration’s effects.
3. Digestive issues
The digestive system may have trouble processing excessive protein. It could result in digestive issues including bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. This is particularly true if you consume a lot of animal protein because it might be harder to digest than plant protein.
An abnormally high protein diet may lead to nutritional imbalances in other important nutrients. You risk accidentally undereating the recommended amounts of carbs, good fats, vitamins, and minerals if you place protein intake above other food categories. This may result in nutritional deficits and related health problems.
5. Risk of Chronic Illnesses
Long-term intake of high-protein diets may raise the risk of developing several chronic illnesses, according to some research. This is more severe in individuals who take animal-based protein. Such chronic illnesses include Heart disease, malignancies, and problems with the bones.
We recommend you understand the ins and outs of your body and its relation to protein. It is important to try to pinpoint how much protein you need for muscle building.
By reading this guide, you now have a strong grasp on these building blocks called protein. Moreover, with that information, you can create a proper diet with the right amount of protein intake.