Protein consumption is essential for building muscle mass and gaining size along with strength-training exercises. But the amount of protein intake varies from person to person depending upon various factors like age, gender, and level of physical activity. Here is your guide to see how much protein is required by your body and what food sources are best to get that protein effortlessly.
The amino acids, building blocks of proteins, can only be supplied to the body via protein intake. These amino acids are important to repair and grow muscles after a strenuous workout. That’s how protein is necessary for building muscles and nourishing them.
The amount of protein a person should consume per day is 0.8g per kg of body weight. Keeping this standard in mind, if you need to build muscles, you’ll surely need to consume more protein than this amount.
To build more muscles, one shall slowly increase their daily protein intake and it shall range between 1-3.5g per kg of body weight.
The athletes are suggested to consume 2g per kg every day to build more muscle mass. And this amount is considered tolerable by the body. Some weightlifters also manage to consume 3.5g of protein per day, but it should be for a certain time period only. Consuming a high amount of protein for a long time has detrimental effects on health.
However, research has shown that consuming an excess amount of protein only does not help in building muscles but it should be coupled with daily strength-training activities to sustain the muscle mass.
The amount of protein required by your body depends on a number of factors:
1: Fitness Goal
The ultimate fitness goal defines the amount of protein required by someone’s body. If you want to add more protein to your diet just to stay healthy, then you’ll probably be good to go while munching on protein-rich foods. However, if you are a sportsperson or are overall interested in bodybuilding, then surely your muscles will need more protein to grow. And all this protein can either be absorbed via foods or supplements.
2: Level Of Physical Activity
Your daily physical activity is also a major deciding factor behind protein consumption and requirement. If you perform intense workouts on daily basis, your muscles will need more creatine to perform better and gain mass. While, if you perform little to no physical activity, the protein consumed from natural foods would be enough for you.
The age of a person determines the need of their body. If you are someone young, your muscles will need more protein as they are in the growing stage but if you’ve aged considerably, then probably your muscles will not have much protein as the growth process gets slow over time and the chances of gaining healthy mass also get slim over the years.
Both men and women have distinct physical differences and that differences set a different requirement for protein intake for both. Females, as compared to men might need less protein for increasing their muscle mass.
The genes are responsible for protein production in your body. That’s why, while deciding on the amount of protein consumption, genetics shall be considered as a major factor.
To make sure that your body has been replenished with an adequate amount of protein, the following food items can be consumed. People who are vegan can always opt for a plant-based protein diet.
Following are some of the major food sources to fulfill your protein needs.
|Plant-based protein foods||Animal-based protein foods|
|Peanuts and peanut butter||Fish|
|Pumpkin seeds||Lean Beef|
Though both plant-based and animal-based food are rich in protein, if you look at the nutritional value, then the animal-based protein foods are richer in protein than plant-based. Some plant-based proteins are hard to digest, thus, not a favorite choice of people looking for gaining mass.
Other than protein-based foods, there are protein supplements available in the market that can boost the level of protein in your body and can increase muscle size. These protein supplements are mostly plant-based protein powders that are healthy and quick to use.
People often use protein powders before and after workouts to nourish their muscles with the required protein. However, a balanced amount of protein powders coupled with foods rich in protein are the perfect option for muscle gain.
While there is a suggested amount of protein to be consumed per day, there are people who feel like eating more protein will help them achieve their fitness goals sooner. This is a wrong approach. According to studies, a healthy adult if consumed more than 2g of protein per day, can suffer from health issues including nausea, dehydration, irritation, fatigue, and in some severe cases the excess of protein can lead to seizures, kidney failure, and even death.
To gain more muscle mass, one should increase their protein intake by 0.5-3.5g per kg of body weight but shall not exceed this limit to avoid health issues. The protein consumption shall be paired with strength training exercises to speed up the process of muscle gain and ensure the sustainability of muscle mass.
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