Bodybuilding: How Much Protein a Day to Gain Mass and Strength?

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Bodybuilding: How Much Protein a Day to Gain Mass and Strength?


What are proteins?


Proteins are basic materials of living matter. Most of our foods contain it. From a biochemical point of view, they are large molecules made up of chains of various lengths of amino acids. All proteins, whether they are of bacterial, vegetable or animal origin, are made up of a group of 20 amino acids.


Proteins are the “building blocks” of the body. They allow you to produce muscles, bones, hair, nails, skin … All organs, but also hormones, enzymes and antibodies … Dietary proteins are a source of energy (amino acids provide energy during their breakdown in an amount equivalent to that provided by carbohydrates).

Protein requirement

The protein requirement is daily, because the tissues are constantly renewed (at the rate of at least 250-300 g per day).

For a young adult, that’s about 0.6g per kg of body weight per day. The ANC * was calculated on this basis. For adults, the recommended nutritional intake of good quality protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight per day (e.g. 44 g for a 55 kg woman and 60 g for a 75 kg man) . These needs have increased for the athletes they want to increase their muscle mass and performance.

The best sources of dietary protein (animal, plant)

A protein is of good nutritional quality if it contains the eight essential or indispensable amino acids – those that the body cannot produce and which must be supplied by food – in the ideal proportions, that is, in the proportions appropriate to the body’s needs. The protein must also be perfectly digestible.

To evaluate the nutritional quality of a protein, two parameters must therefore be taken into account: its composition of essential amino acids and its digestibility.

The ideal is to vary the sources: lAnimal proteins (meat, eggs, milk) have similar characteristics: they are highly digestible, have high levels of essential amino acids with a profile quite close to that of human needs.

Plant-based proteins come mainly from cereals (wheat, rice, corn) and legumes (chickpeas, beans, soy, lentils, broad beans). Their nutritional characteristics are more diverse than those of animal proteins. Their digestibility is slightly lower on average and varies enormously from source to source. Their content of essential amino acids is generally lower (about 40% of amino acids) and their profile is further away from that of the body’s needs, but it is entirely possible to cover the protein needs. foods you eat.

How much protein per day muscle ?

Bodybuilding: Protein intake is essential

Muscles are mainly made up of proteins. When we train with weights, we strain our muscles and cause small damage to muscle tissue that needs new dietary protein to repair itself. This repair involves a cellular process that leads to an increase in contractile proteins (actin and myosin) and in the number of sarcomeres, the filaments that line muscle fibers. This increases the diameter of the individual fibers and leads to muscle hypertrophy.

Proteins promote the increase of muscle mass

Bodybuilders often resort to protein-enriched drinks or supplements in an effort to support the growth of muscle mass. Studies show that in general, increasing protein intake helps an increase in muscle mass and a significant decrease in fat, especially abdominal fat. It remains to be seen how much dietary protein you should have.

Strength training has many health benefits, as it helps you stay lean and fight diabetes. But if you want to gain mass and strength, you need to consume enough protein. According to the results of a study published in the journal British Journal of Sports Medicine these needs go beyond the recommended intakes, especially after 40 years.

Many previous studies on the subject have focused on a specific type of protein or population. In this new study, the researchers brought together their work on the relationship between bodybuilding and protein intake. They considered 49 studies that lasted at least 6 weeks, with control groups, protein intakes and various populations.

The results clearly show that it is necessary to consume a lot of protein to increase muscle mass and strength. Therefore, men and women who consumed more protein gained 10% more muscle strength and 25% more muscle mass than the control groups.

Read alsoBodybuilding: Rice protein as effective as wheyProtein supplements to improve athletic performance

How many grams of protein per kg of body weight (men, women)?

According to the results of the study, the ideal amount of protein is approximately 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. This represents around 130 grams of protein for an 80-kilogram man and nearly 100 grams for a 60-kilogram woman. Far beyond the recommendations for the general population which are around 0.8 grams / kg of body weight. Some authors recommend 2 to 3 grams of protein per pound of weight, but consuming more than 1.6g / kg would not provide additional benefits on muscle mass and strength. All proteins are likely to be effective. So, chicken, beef, yogurt, quinoa, soy … can help build muscle mass. Protein is not found only in animal products. Even vegetarians and vegans have at their disposal good quality protein. Finally, it doesn’t matter when you consume protein, before or after training, the results for your body are the same. You can supplement your food intake with protein in the form of food supplements such as whey (whey protein) or even soy and rice protein powders.

Note that the researchers found that these tips for eating enough protein were particularly suitable for people over the age of 40 who did not consume enough protein and therefore did not get enough of the benefits of bodybuilding.

Supplement to increase the daily protein intake

Rice protein or whey?

Which protein powder to choose? A she studies have shown that rice protein and whey protein are equally effective in improving physical performance and body composition in athletes. Rice protein and whey protein reduced fat content and increased muscle thickness similarly during the study. To help you make the right choice, read our post.

How much whey per day?

You can supplement your dietary protein ration with a supplement of protein powders, such as whey. Taking into account your diet plus your supplementation, the amount of protein should not exceed 1.6 g of protein per kg of body weight. Beyond that, there do not appear to be significantly different effects.

What and the Danger Of eating too much protein?

Excessive consumption of protein foods can have harmful consequences: increased urea, increased uric acid (gout), acidification of the body which promotes bone loss.

For indication: amount of protein in main foods

Food Amount of protein
100 g of legumes or oil seeds 20-25 g
100 g of fish, meat or offal 15 to 25 g
100 g of poultry or ham 18-20 g
2 eggs 15 to 18 g
100 g of cereals 8-12 g
30 g of Emmental cheese 9 g
1 yogurt 4-7 g
175 g of broccoli 4-5 g

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