Protein is one of those things that has been overused and underused by many and one big question I always get is, “How Much Protein Do I Need?”
The bodybuilding world seems to abuse it in some way, but then a lot of people just don’t eat enough of it. I’m going to talk a little bit about both.
Start With The Basics
First off, amino acids. Basic stuff first. The amino acids are the building blocks of protein. It helps with building muscle. But also in combination of carbs, it actually is more anabolic.
You definitely want to have a combination of carbs and protein to make it more anabolic, ana”bro”lic.
I’ll actually talk about carbs in another video but, first, today just all about protein.
It’s does help create more satiety as well. If you structure your meals well enough, you can eliminate hunger as you go throughout the day.
When your daily protein intake is low and you’re loaded with mostly carbs, then your hunger is going to be much, much higher.
If you actually space your meals out accordingly, you have enough time between meals and have protein in each meal, you would be surprised how much your hunger can go down in just by doing that.
Here’s what the bodybuilding industry really coined protein to be this obscene amount of protein. You got to have like two grams per pound.
That’s not necessary true. You don’t have to have 400 or 800 or 600 grams of protein every time or everyday in order for you to build muscle and even lose body fat.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Here’s what some research has shown. A lot of people would just throw these magic formulas out and I’m actually going to give you some general guidelines. I’m going to show you guys something here at the end of the video that actually can be tailored to you specifically.
Stick around for the video. It’s going to be pretty cool.
One idea is that you can have protein about 0.8 grams per pound for optimal protein to retain muscle and also for you to lose body fat. Now, I’ll talk a little bit later about how much protein is for you but if you’re 200 pounds, 160 grams of protein will be a good amount to start with just to retain your muscle or even build muscle.
If you’re new to training, you can build some muscle just from that amount of protein. You don’t have to have tons of it to build muscle and also retain your muscle. 0.8 grams per pound is a good rule of thumb to help retain your muscle while dieting or while in deficit.
There is some research out there that the leaner you are and the harder you train, the more protein you should have in order for you to retain muscle. You need more of it in terms of to retain muscle.
What The RDA Recommends
The basic RDA, what they recommend is 0.8 to 1.2 grams per kilogram. That is not a whole lot in general. However, if you’re new to dieting for the first time and you’re not used to getting protein up, that’s a good range to start with. Again, 0.8 grams to 1.2 grams per kilogram per day. That’s for protein needs.
Actually if you convert it to pounds and it’s 0.36 to 0.54 grams per pound. That’s just for the RDA, what they recommend the minimal amount of what you should get. There’s a lot of things that are made up of protein like your nails, your hair, your skin and everything that seems so unnecessary that we don’t really think about but it’s actually very, very necessary for you to have protein so don’t lack protein.
But also protein is not damaging to your kidneys either if you have the normal amount. If you have tons of it, it can be damaging to an extent but you have to do it over the course of a period of time to make it more chronic. You have to have a chronic amount in order for it to be damaging.
And having a shake a day or two shakes a day is not going to be damaging at all so don’t worry about that.
How Much Protein To Build Muscle?
To also get your protein needs, to build muscle and to make it even more optimal to retain those high level athletes or even those who want to put on muscle or even retain and build muscle while being in a deficit, those who are more athletic and those who work out a lot and vigorously and even who are leaner and work out really, really hard and they train hard, your protein can be up a little bit.
A good range for that is 1.6 to 2.7 grams per kilogram for protein. 1.6 to 2.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. In terms of pounds, you can convert that to 0.72 grams to 1.22 grams per pound of body weight. 0.75 to 1.25 is a good, good number to go off of per pound of body weight.
To make it easy, you can make it one gram of protein per pound. That’s a basic, basic rule that you could go by if you’re just starting out or if you’re wanting to really capitalize your physique or making some changes, that’s going to help tremendously.
Tailoring It To You
Those who have never really counted and tracked before, you never really worked out, you’re all new to this, it’s the first time doing this, what I recommend is that to make this tailored to you, go start tracking how much food you’re eating currently right now.
Track how much protein, carbs and fats you’re eating. Go download a tracking app. There’s MyFitnessPal, My Macros+, there’s tons of apps out there.
Download an app, start tracking everything you eat throughout the day. I would track for a good three to five days. Get a good idea of how much you’re truly tracking. This is every handful of food that you eat, every meal that you have, every little bite that you eat. It does not matter.
Track it because you would be floored how much protein and food that you are eating too much of in terms of food but also how little protein you’re probably eating.
A lot of people don’t eat very much protein. They have to be a little more consciously aware. Sometimes even people think that they’re eating a lot of protein aren’t eating that much protein.
Protein Doesn’t Only Help Build Muscle
Make sure you’re getting your protein up and that can actually help keep your blood sugars more stable by having more protein or enough protein for your body and your body type.
That can make a huge, huge difference. Keep your blood sugars more stable. You can lose more weight. Create less hunger and voila. You get results. Give that a shot.
Then after that, find out how much protein you’re at and then maybe bump it up if you’re really low. Find out where you’re at per pound and then bump it up to the range I just gave you from 0.7 …
Maybe start at the lower range like 0.75 grams per pound and then maybe work out to a gram per pound of body weight.
That way you can gradually make an increase because if you go from … If you’re eating 80 grams of protein normally or maybe even less than that and you jumped up to 200 grams because you’re 200 pounds then you’re going to be stuffed as hell. You’re not going to feel very good. You’re going to feel terrible. Don’t make that huge jump up in protein.
Plus people around you like your wife, husband, loved ones, friends, they’re going to hate you because you’re going to have freaking farts. Don’t even go there. Don’t even do that.
Take It Slow
Just gradually make some increases maybe anywhere from 5 to 10 grams a week if you’re hitting your numbers pretty well. Go from there. Give that a shot.
I want to be able to invite you guys to the next video. We’re going to talk about carbs. I’m going to talk about that tomorrow. I want you guys to stick around because we’re going to get into carbs, protein, fats.
See you with the next video!