How much protein should I consume to gain muscle mass?

Everyone who practices sports has heard about the importance of protein consumption, but even though this seems simple, new questions always arise. Check out the ideal amount of protein for muscle mass gain.

So much has been said about the importance of protein in the lives of those who train, and especially those who train with the goal of hypertrophy, some people even think that this may be just another of the myths that surround the fitness world. 

But after all, is consuming as much protein as possible really effective? Does it have contraindications? Side effects? Dangers? Since there are many questions on the subject, check out everything about the ideal protein intake x muscle mass gain.

Function of protein in the human body

Before we get to the main subject of the article we will highlight some essential points in case you are not very used to the subject, but relax, if you are already almost an expert you can jump straight to: How much protein do I need to consume?

But still, what is the function of protein?

Protein is a macronutrient formed by a group of interconnected amino acids, they are essential for the human body constitution and perform important functions, being these, mainly, the recovery from muscle damage, the transport of fat and oxygen by the body, the defense from external infectious agents, and the control of cellular functions. 

In addition, proteins also act directly on the quality of hair, nails, and skin, and an important detail about this macronutrient is that, as our body is incapable of producing it by itself, the only source we have of proteins is through food intake, mainly through meat, vegetables, and derivatives. 

But then, where to find good sources of protein? 

The main animal sources are eggs, milk, chicken, red meat, fish, and whey protein; the richest vegetable sources are almonds, soy, and rice and beans.

Curiosity: Rice and beans combined are able to complement each other in amino acids, forming together a cheap and accessible source of protein.

Although the protein sources with the highest concentration levels are animal, you can very well have a 100% vegan diet and reach the ideal daily protein levels, just follow what the experts recommend: since vegan foods do not have many amino acids, it is important to adopt a well-balanced diet in order to guarantee all your nutritional needs.

Now that you’ve had a look at the function of protein and where to find good animal and plant sources, let’s see how much protein you really need to consume.

How much protein do I need?

Although many people believe that consuming as much protein as possible is ideal, it doesn’t quite work that way! 

Besides the fact that the body probably can’t absorb all the protein ingested, it is quite possible that too much of this macronutrient will cause it to be stored as fat, resulting in an increase in fat mass and also slowing down the metabolism. 

And speaking of Metabolism, be sure to check out the article on: How to speed up the metabolism in a healthy way. 

In general, it is recommended that the consumption of protein with the purpose of gaining muscle mass is of approximately 1.5 g to 2.0 g per body weight, so if you are 60Kgs, you should consume 90 g to 120 g of protein per day. 

On the other hand, if your goal is just to gain endurance and definition, some experts indicate 1.0 g to 1.3 g of protein per kilogram. 

Pre- or post-workout protein?

This is another common question about protein intake, but there are already studies showing that consuming approximately 20 g of protein after a workout, hypertrophy or not, significantly impacts the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, which is basically the muscle’s ability to work with the ingested protein. 

And two points are worth mentioning: 

1 – As post-workout, it is understood the first 60 minutes right after the end of physical activities; 

2 – Ingesting protein together with some type of carbohydrate increases the absorption of the nutrient. 

Practical tips to help measure protein intake during the day

    1. Be sure to read nutrition labels so you can track more accurately; 

    2. Weigh cooked protein a few times to familiarize yourself with the amount of protein in your usual servings; 

    3. Use an app to encourage daily tracking; 

    4. If you need to increase protein, try meal replacements or protein shakes (Whey Protein);

    5. Don’t just focus on protein – the overall balance of your diet is also important. So make sure your daily diet includes plenty of healthy carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans) as well as some good fats (nuts, avocados and vegetable oils). 

Remember to always count on the support of a specialist, it is he who will help you set your goals and control your results in the healthiest way possible. Sooro Renner, nutrition that generates results.

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