How much protein do I need each day to see results? How much protein is too much? And how many grams of protein can my body assimilate at each meal?
“The only way you’ll build muscle is by eating enough complete protein every day. Just getting calories isn’t enough. If you don’t eat a protein-rich meal within 60 to 90 minutes of your workout, you’re essentially wasting your time.” that you spent working out your muscles in the gym. Personally, I try to get at least 350-400 grams of protein per day in the off-season, with a body weight of around 235 pounds.” – Jason Arntz, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder.
“One should follow a diet that is high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat. A good rule of thumb would be to get about 50% of your calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 10% from fat. This it will allow you to gain quality muscle while staying fairly lean.” – Chad Nicholls, professional sports nutritionist.
This is just a template; Everyone’s genetic makeup and metabolism is different. You should tailor these percentages to fit your specific needs. For example, if you gain weight easily, you may need to reduce your carbohydrate intake; if you stay very lean, you may need to increase your carbohydrate intake.
“The guidelines we generally use are 0.67-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. That amount does not guarantee results; it guarantees that you are meeting your protein requirement. Results are based on your genetics and training program. ” – Kritin Reimers, Ph.D., RD, is director of nutrition and health at Conagra Brands.
More than the amount of protein, an important consideration is the quality of the protein in your food. The highest quality protein is found in animal sources such as eggs, beef, and milk. That recommendation above assumes that two-thirds come from a high-quality protein. If you get much of your protein from breads and pastas, you’ll probably need more than 1 gram per pound per day.
To answer the second question, some believe that high protein intake stresses the kidneys, causes the body to lose calcium, and dehydrates you. Let’s address each of those concerns. First of all, kidney stress applies to people who have a history of kidney disease; for healthy people, it’s probably not a problem. Second, increased protein intake increases urinary calcium excretion, but the body adapts by increasing calcium absorption from food. Third, there is some mandatory urine loss, but most healthy athletes will drink plenty of fluids.
Keep in mind that focusing solely on one nutrient in a diet is not healthy. If you’re eating an almost exclusively protein diet, you can bet you’re missing out on key nutrients. If you maintain a balance between carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and do not overeat in terms of total calories, your protein intake will not be excessive.
To address the third question, I don’t buy the idea that your body can assimilate that many grams of protein per meal, whether it’s 30 or whatever. That notion assumes that it doesn’t matter if I’m 300 pounds or 120 pounds, and it doesn’t matter if I just woke up from watching TV. There is no sacrifice basis for those limits.
What happens is this: your body has a reserve of amino acids that it continually replenishes; as the proteins you eat are broken down, some will go into that pool while others can be used for energy. If you get enough protein, your body will assimilate what it can and burn the rest for energy or store it as fat. Of course, not consuming all your protein at once makes sense; instead, break it up into 3-4 meals per day. This should happen normally unless you are taking extreme measures not to.