How much Protein is Enough?
This week we are going to talk about how to optimize your protein intake for your goals!
This is a general question, so we’ll break it down by answering common questions we get.
Does the quality of protein matter?
First and foremost, you always want to consider the quality and sourcing of your protein. At CoreXcellence we always recommend organic, grass-fed and if possible, grass finished. We want to ensure the animals are hormone and antibiotic free and live an open pasture raised lifestyle.
The quality of protein makes a difference when considering the nutritional benefits it provides. By consuming grass-fed/finished meats you’re ingesting a better quality of essential amino acids composition, better chances of digestibility and bioavailability of these amino acids.
How much protein should I eat in a day?
The RDA (Recommended daily allowance) suggests 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight.
Personally, I feel it’s too low. I always like to range between 1.5-2g/kg for basic muscle maintenance. For muscle growth I like to range anywhere between 2.2-2.4g/kg
Example for maintenance: 59kg (130lbs) 59 x 1.5 = 88.5g of protein for the day
Example for muscle growth: 59kg (130 lbs) 59 x 2.2 = 129.8
I weigh 145 lbs. I will make sure to consume 145 grams of protein/day or more. If I break it down to 4 meals a day that’s roughly 36-37g of protein/meal! To simplify it, I usually just eat 40g/meal!
I always want to ensure I’m getting enough protein to help me recover from my daily activities/workouts and that I’m maximizing muscle growth!
Is it true we can only digest a certain amount of protein at a time?
There’s a myth that you can only digest a certain amount of protein in one sitting. Some say 20-30g… and I’m here to tell you that this isn’t true. That’s an oversimplification of what happens.
You can absorb quite a bit of protein in one sitting*!
Absorption is the passage of nutrients from your intestines into your blood. You can consume a large amount of protein at a time but only a certain percentage of it will go towards stimulating muscle growth. The rest of the protein consumed will go towards supporting other functions within the body (as I mentioned in the previous blog!) or it will be oxidized.
This leads me to our next question
How much protein can be used in a single meal to stimulate muscle growth?
On average, older research has shown that 25g was enough to stimulate muscle growth. New research shows that up to 40g of protein does too! #EatAllTheProtein #MakeAllTheGains
Higher volume resistance training sessions that require more muscle stimulation and/or training larger muscle groups etc. will increase the absorption and utilization of protein.
Fun fact: The more muscle you have and the more stress (from resistance training) you place on the body the more your body requires protein and will absorb the nutrients! #ProteinGains
Does timing of protein intake matter?
Protein distribution and timing can also be an important factor to optimize muscle growth. Ideally you want to put yourself in the best possible state to optimize muscle growth or even maintenance. Here’s how!
For optimal muscle growth, we need to consider something called muscle protein synthesis (MPS). It’s basically the process of your body turning dietary protein into actual muscle tissue!
MPB stands for muscle protein breakdown (ie: protein breakdown through a workout)
Your net MPS must be greater than your MPB to build muscle
Basically, if you want more muscle, you will need more time in a positive protein balance!
At the end of the day, it does mainly come down to making sure you’re hitting your total daily protein target. Everyone’s protein target will be different depending on body size, personal digestion, and overall caloric goal.
Let me know if you need help assessing your personal needs.