How Much Protein

is Necessary to Build Muscles?

performance fitness protein

How Muscles Grow

As muscles are activated, such as in resistance training, the actual muscle fibres are injured due to the strain of lifting weights. Surrounding all muscles are satellite cells, and as the muscles are damaged due to exercise these cells are activated to help repair and replace the injured muscle fibres.

Ultimately, for muscle fibres to grow, the muscles must experience a higher rate of protein synthesis when compared to rate of protein breakdown, which is why proper protein consumption is vital for the growth and development of muscles.

Activity Level and Protein Consumption

The amount of protein to be consumed is directly related to your activity level. The amount ranges from 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight for those living a sedentary lifestyle to 0.81 g of protein per pound of body weight for men who engage in resistance training exercises. Thus, a 170-lb. man who engages in regular strength-training exercises should consume around 137.7g of protein per day to promote healthy muscle growth and development and to grow muscle mass.

When to have Protein

Before a Workout
If you work out first thing in the morning, you have the option of drinking your protein shake before your workout. Because you’ve just woken up, your body is low on energy and nutrients. You need to “break the fast” before you work out, or you’ll run out of energy.

After a Workout
Most people will want to drink a protein shake after their workout. There is a window of a few hours after a workout in which the muscles are primed to take in the protein and carbohydrates they lost during the workout. If you replenish them at that time, you will build more muscle. Think about consuming a protein drink before you leave the club, after a workout. Even if you’re losing weight, building more muscle should be your goal because muscle mass actually helps to burn fat, even when you’re not working out.

Protein Sources
Protein may be consumed through a variety of dietary sources and supplements. The type of protein you may eat is based on your dietary needs. If consuming the bulk of protein through foods, it is essential to select foods that feature a low fat and carbohydrate content to prevent gaining body fat.

Protein supplements, such as protein shakes, streamline the process of consuming the recommended amount of protein per day. As of 2012, the most common protein supplements include: whey protein, soy protein and wheat protein.

This is why protein supplements are available at the club – ask staff for more information and general guidance on how to incorporate protein into your fitness regime and correct usage.

James Monk copyright 2014