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Bodybuilding How Much Protein


How much protein for maximum muscle gain?

Everyone seems to have their own idea on how much protein they should be consuming for optimal muscle growth. As of right now, there is no conclusive research stating the proven quantity in protein intake. The one point that is proven is that protein is the most important nutrient in building and maintaining muscle tissue.

Research has proven that intensely trained athletes do need substantially more protein than the average person. When you are training intensely, your body increases protein catabolism (breakdown). This is due to the effects of cortisol caused by the stress response. If there is not enough protein available to counteract the effects of cortisol then your muscle protein is broken down. You defeat the purpose of training and lose muscle instead of building it.

Muscle is synthesized from nitrogen that comes from the protein that you consume. The higher the quality and quantity of protein consumed, the higher your nitrogen levels will be and the faster you will build muscle.

As a rule of thumb, many people believe that at one sitting you can only consume 25 to 30 grams of protein. That anymore would be a waste. This rule has no basis on any research whatsoever. Research studies have shown that 1.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight dramatically increases lean tissue (muscle) when compared to the RDA. Research has also shown that as you continue to increase protein, muscle growth is accelerated. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, as a minimum you would consume 320 grams of protein per day. Divide that by six meals and that's 53.33 grams of protein per meal. There goes that 25-30 gram rule.

If you want to gain muscle fast, then you need to consume 1.6 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. At this level you will be ensuring that your training will lead to optimum results.

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