How Much Protein Do You Need When Lifting?

Protein is one of the more common supplements when people partake in weight training. After all, protein goes hand in hand with building muscle and lifting weights, and avid lifters preach its benefits.

However, plenty of debates surround how much protein you need if you’re lifting. In other words, how much protein you need to take if you want to build muscle and get maximum results.

So, how much protein do you actually need?

Like all things in life and especially in the weight room, it depends. Everyone is different and one protein supplement manufacturer might recommend different doses from others.

The factors that matter

There’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to how much protein people should take.

The main factors to consider, and why the amount ranges from person to person, are a person’s body size, how intense the workouts are, and what a person is trying to achieve in the gym.

Ideally, the more intense your weight-training workouts are, the more protein you need. The less intense your workouts, the less amount of protein you need. If your main goal is to pack on pounds via muscle gain, then you might need to increase your protein intake.

What’s the recommended dosage?

Once again, it depends.

As SFGate states, “Consuming between 1.4 and 2.0 grams of high-quality protein daily, for every kilogram you weigh, can meet your body’s protein needs.”

The low end of that protein total is typically for people who want to maintain their current muscle mass (or if workouts are less intense) and the higher range is for people who are trying to pack on more muscle and if workouts are more intense.

U.S. News & World Report says “The most common target people typically hear is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and that works out to 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight or, in a 165-pound adult, about 60 grams of protein per day – about the equivalent of 3 cups of Greek yogurt, or one whole chicken breast.”

That number is for the “average healthy adult.”

While so many people rely on protein supplements to add muscle, it’s important to remember that the workout itself is what’s damaging your muscle fibers that will lead to muscle growth after your workout. The protein helps with muscle repair, but there are different benefits for different blends of protein supplements, with some supplements having more than just protein in them.

As this The New York Times article states, “People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets.”

The same article states that the sweet spot for protein intake is “about 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day,” which is “about 130 grams of protein a day for a 175-pound man.”

That number is considered high compared to the current federal regulations of “56 grams of protein a day for men and 46 grams a day for women.”

Protein supplements alone aren’t magical substances that will make you aesthetically fit and stronger; however, combined with weight training, you can build your muscles and become stronger over time. In fact, eating too much protein can lead to weight gain, kidney damage, calcium loss, and many other risks.

Whether you’re going on a journey to explore Lansing, MI, for your fitness program or getting a routine lift in at the gym, protein intake has a positive effect on your body and muscle growth. The key is calculating the correct dosage based on the individual. Everyone is different, so we recommend calculating your protein intake based on the figures mapped out above.