How much protein is required for maximum muscle growth


muscle growth

How much protein is required for maximum muscle growth?

How much protein should I eat to maximize muscle growth? Let’s understand with the help of scientific data.

The process of muscle protein synthesis (SMP), as the determining factor in muscle hypertrophy, shows a dose-dependent relationship with an increase in protein intake. * In simple words – hypothetically, the more protein we eat, the more pronounced the synthesis of muscle protein (and, consequently, muscle growth).

Since the SMP indices are consistent masteron with muscle hypertrophy, we assumed that daily protein intake combined with regular strength training would show a dose-dependent relationship, but eventually reach a plateau. * Scientists propose the theory that increasing the amount of protein will only increase muscle growth to a certain limit and at some point reach a point at which a further increase in the amount of protein will no longer have an effect. This systematic review included 49 studies with a total of 1,863 participants.

What did you find out?

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In the course of their work, scientists analyzed protein intake in the range from 0.9 to 2.4 grams per 1 kg of body weight per day. For most of the subjects, the plateau came at around 1.62 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

But there is one moment. This amount of protein was optimal for most, but not all, subjects. The lower limit of reaching the plateau was observed with the use of 1.03 g of protein, and the upper – with the use of 2.2 g of protein. That is, there were participants in whom the maximum muscle growth was observed when eating 1.03 g of protein. There were also those who needed 2.2 g of protein to maximize the synthesis of muscle protein. For clarity, you can look at the chart:

Each circle is one group of subjects. The dashed vertical arrow indicates the amount of protein at which a plateau was observed in the subjects (1.62 g of protein). The solid horizontal arrow indicates the range of maximum efficiency (1.03-2.2 g of protein).

* Total protein intake – the total amount of protein in grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

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* FFM (Fat free mass) – lean body mass.

Thus, if your goal is the maximum possible muscle growth, it is recommended to use at the upper limit of efficiency, that is, 2.2 grams per 1 kg of body weight. However, it is necessary to understand that there is no point in rising above this figure. Moreover, the main stimulus for muscle growth is not protein intake, but weight training.

What else do you need to know?

Scientists examined 2 indicators: an increase in strength and muscle mass. Note that, on average, the duration of strength training in research was 13 ± 8 weeks (but not less than 6 weeks).

Gain in power indicators

When assessing the impact of training only on a one-repetitive maximum (1PM), the sum of strength indicators for all exercises increased on average by 27 kg. It is noteworthy that due to the use of protein, indicators of 1PM increased only by 2.49 kg. This suggests that strength training is a much stronger stimulus for increasing muscle strength than protein intake.

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Muscle growth

Strength training alone has increased muscle mass by an average of 1.1 kg. Thanks to the intake of protein, muscle mass increased by only 300 grams, which is almost 3 times less. Recall that the subjects gained this weight gain in 13 ± 8 weeks of strength training.

Compared to beginners, more experienced trainees have less potential for muscle growth. Also, after strength training, they have a weakened process of muscle protein turnover (breakdown and synthesis). For these reasons, we assume that to increase muscle mass, protein is much more important for trained people.

Older people develop anabolic resistance. For this reason, for SMPs commensurate with young people, they need to consume more protein in each meal. Much to the surprise of the older participants in the experiments, an average of only 20 grams of protein was given per day. It is not surprising that we did not find a reaction to the intake of protein in this category of people. We assume that even if strength training and improves the sensitivity of muscle fibers to the action of protein, older people need to use more of this nutrient. Theoretically, this will help reduce the resistance to the action of the protein, and deca durabolin for sale, ultimately, you can count on the increase in muscle tissue.

* Anabolic resistance is a decrease in muscle protein synthesis in response to protein intake.

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protein intake

A recent analysis of the data showed that there is a limit at which a single intake of protein stimulates maximum muscle protein synthesis. This limit is 0.24 g / kg body weight for young people and 0.35-0.40 g / kg for the elderly. * Here we have in mind the amount of protein per meal, which provides the maximum anabolic effect. For example, for a young man with a body weight of 80 kg – this is 20 grams of protein (80 kg x 0.24 g of protein).

Conclusion of scientists

For healthy people who are engaged in strength training, protein intake at the rate of 1.6 g / kg / day is sufficient for maximum muscle growth. Based on a small amount of data, we did not observe obvious differences between men and women.

Our work has shown that with regular workouts, taking protein in an amount of less than 1.6 g / kg / day will also be sufficient for optimal growth of muscle mass and strength.

In the meta-analysis, only those studies were considered in which participants were on a normal or hyper-calorie diet. That is, all the subjects consumed the amount of calories that allowed them to either keep or increase their body weight. * It is understood that the amount of protein, which is optimal for reducing body fat mass (weight loss), may differ from 1.6 g / kg / day upwards.

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Finally, we found that the amount of protein that is consumed after a workout did not affect the final increase in muscle mass. If protein intake time and its source, if they play, then only a minor role for the growth of muscle mass and strength indicators. The results of the analysis suggest that the total intake of protein at the rate of 1.6 g / kg / day, which is distributed at 0.25 g / kg per 1 meal, plays a more significant role, at least for young people.


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Strength training itself is a far more powerful stimulus for muscle growth and strength than protein intake. Such a conclusion can be made according to this meta-analysis,

For most healthy people who regularly engage in strength training, protein intake at the rate of 1.6 g / kg / day is the upper limit, which will ensure maximum muscle growth and strength indicators,

Some plateaus are observed when using a higher amount of protein – up to 2.2 g / kg / day,

If you are healthy and want to achieve the highest possible results, you can use protein at the upper limit of efficiency – 2.2 grams per 1 kg of body weight,

Protein intake at the rate of more than 2.2 g / kg / day is absolutely not justified in terms of a normal or hyper-calorie npp cycle diet,

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If you have medical contraindications and you can not eat protein at the rate of 1.6 g / kg / day, you can grow muscles and with less protein,

Neither the time of protein intake, nor its source, nor the amount after exercise do not play a significant role for muscle growth and strength indicators,

With age and increased fitness, protein plays a more significant role,

While there is not enough data to make final recommendations on protein intake for the elderly, although scientists have previously advised to consume 0.35-0.40 g / kg of body weight per meal,

The main recommendation is to take protein at the rate of 1.6 g / kg / day, which is better to distribute 0.25 g / kg per each meal.


Morton R.W., Murphy K.T. It has been noted that it will be a great deal. 2017 Jul 11,

Burd N.A., Gorissen S.H. et al., Anabolic resistance to muscle protein, Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2013 Jul; 41 (3).

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