How much Protein do you need?
Depending on what sources of information you read that number will vary from 0.6g per pound of Lean Body Mass up to 4g per pound.
*Quick Guide at bottom of post.
With all the different opinions which is correct?
Technically they all are, however what is forgotten is the conditions in which the data that give us these numbers is accumulated, not to mention the individual needs of the people used and their respective training goals/needs/training ages/steroid use and much more.
There are a great many factors to determine protein needs. For the average person who trains 3, maybe 4 times per week the best advice is to aim for a starting point of 1g per pound of LBM when looking to maintain and potentially build some muscle. Provided you’re in the correct caloric surplus and have adequate carbs/fats your body will use the protein for its intended purpose – building things.
Why 1g to start? It’s easy to workout the numbers (calories – 100g protein =400 calories for example) and serves as a good starting point. Consuming more protein than you need won’t make you more muscular, unless you’re on steroids and/or your uptake and use of protein is far superior, but having less than you need will prove troublesome as you can’t really build new cells without protein.
Typically to bulk (add muscle) starting by using 1.2g per pound seems to work well for most, try it and see how your body reacts, if you feel you need more than increase it slightly and the same goes for t you feel you ned less, simple.
A worthy fact to remember is when you’re looking to lean out or cut some fat you will want to in fact increase you protein to perhaps 2g per Lb of LBM as a base, this is because of the reduced calories through fats/carbs required to put you in a deficit, the extra protein will help in muscle sparing so that you don’t lose you hard eared muscle.
The topic of protein is very vast and complex, we have kept this very simple and give some basic and easy starting points to use, however, if you want know more of the details then some deep research will be needed to be done by yourself. I am not going to go in to the complexities because there are articles written by people who are far smarter than me out there who have already done it.
Maintenance – 0.8 – 1g per Lb or LBM
Muscle Gain – 1.2 – 1.5g per Lb of LBM
Cutting Fat – 2g per Lb of LBM
These are only guidelines based on current research, make sure you experiment and try varied ranges to find what works best for YOU.