Diet

How important protein is needed to increase muscle mass?

Both the correct amount of protein intake and strength training is crucial for muscle growth. Interests regarding how important protein is needed to promote muscle growth have been the subject of ongoing exploration and debate. In this Honest Nutrition article, we go through recent studies examining the function of protein in muscle building and the recommended daily intake.
 
Every cell and tissue in the body has protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth because it helps maintain and repair muscle tissue, in addition to serving many other important functions in the body.
 
For people who engage in minimal physical activity, the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams (g) per kilogram (kg) of body weight. However, a more recent study indicates that those looking to gain muscle require more than this.
 
Less protein intake than the body requires has been associated with a reduction in muscle mass. In contrast, when combined with resistance exercise, higher protein consumption than the RDA may aid in boosting strength and lean body mass.
 

Why is protein necessary for muscular growth?

Amino acids, which make up protein, serve as the structure blocks for the body’s cells and tissues. Proteins are composed of 20 amino acids. Certain substances can be produced by the mortal body, whereas others can not. Essential amino acids are the nine amino acids that the body can not produce on its own.
 
When a person eats protein, it is digested and broken down into amino acids, which are crucial for the body’s many functions, such as energy production, immunological response, and tissue growth and repair.
 
Muscle proteins are continually destroyed and replaced, just like other bodily tissues. A person has to eat more protein than they can metabolize to gain muscle. Since that protein contains a lot of nitrogen, this is frequently referred to as a net positive nitrogen balance.
 
A person’s body tends to bust down muscle if they do not get enough protein. The body receives the amino acids it needs from Trusted sources to maintain further vital apkins and support fleshly conditioning. This may ultimately affect in a loss of muscle mass and strength.
 
Last but not least, the body uses amino acids for MPS, which is the main mechanism for muscle growth, recovery, and repair after severe exercise.
 

How much protein should you consume?

Most healthy persons over the age of 19 should consume between 10 and 35% of their daily calories from protein, according to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Reliable Source). The calories in one gram of protein are 4.
 
As a result, someone who consumes 2,000 calories a day would need to take in 50 to 175 grams of protein daily.
 
To maintain nitrogen balance and prevent muscle loss, the current Recommended protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight. However, it might not be acceptable to apply these suggestions to active people who want to gain muscle.
 
The optimal daily protein intake a person should consume varies depending on several characteristics, including age, gender, activity level, health, and other considerations.
 
Yet we now have a decent notion of how to figure out how much protein an adult needs to gain muscle weight based on research.
 

What have studies found?

When paired with resistance exercise, increased protein intakes are linked to gains in lean body mass and strength, according to the majority of research. However, the ideal protein intake for muscle growth is still debatable.
 
Here are the results of the newest research. A 2020 meta-analysis indicated that protein intake between 0.5 and 3.5 g per kg of body weight can promote gains in lean body mass. Experimenters set up that maintaining or gaining muscle mass can be backed by precipitously increasing protein intake, even by as little as 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.
 
After 1.3 g of protein per kg of body weight was exceeded, the rate at which lean body mass increased in response to larger protein consumption rapidly dropped. An increase in strength prevented this drop. This implies that the optimum strategy for gaining lean body mass is a higher protein diet combined with strength exercise.
 
Another meta-analysis from 2022, which was published in the journal Sports Medicine, found that resistance training and increased protein intakes of about 1.5 g per kg of body weight daily are necessary for the best effects on muscle strength. Researchers found that at 1.5 to 1.6 g per kg of body weight per day, the benefits of higher protein intake on strength and muscle mass appear to plateau.
 
Last but not least, a 2022 comprehensive review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and MuscleTrusted Source found that young, resistance-trained people who consume 1.6 g of protein per kg of body weight per day or more have minor improvements in lean body mass. Results for people over the age of 60 were meager.
 
Notably, participants in 80% of the studies considered in this analysis reported ingesting at least 1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, which is still more than the RDA at the time. This could be a factor in why older persons may not get the same benefits from protein interventions when combined with weight training.
 
The ideal protein intake for muscle growth seems to be between 1.2 and 1.6 g per kg of body weight, although precise numbers are difficult to establish due to different study results.
 
This suggests that to support muscle growth, a 180-pound (81.8 kg) male would need to ingest between 98 and 131 g of protein each day along with resistance training.
 

What are the top sources of protein?

A person can consume both beast and factory- grounded protein sources to achieve their diurnal protein conditions.
 
sources of animal-based protein include:
  • Lean meats (beef, pork, or lamb)
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Whey protein powders.

sources of plant-based protein include:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Nuts
  • Lentils
  • Seeds
  • Soy products
  • plant-based protein powders.
When it comes to gaining muscle growth, some nutritionists believe that animal protein sources are superior to those derived from plants. This is because they sufficiently contain all of the essential amino acids the body requires. Moreover, they are simple to digest.
 
Certain plant-based proteins are more difficult to digest and less bioavailable. Also, the profiles of their amino acids vary. Yet those who choose plant-based diets can readily supplement by consuming more protein overall and choosing a range of foods.
 
People can pair foods like rice and beans, hummus with pita bread, or peanut butter on whole wheat bread to get all the essential amino acids in a plant-based diet.
 
Soy is one notable exception, as it is highly bioavailable, has an excellent amino acid profile, and is simple to digest.
 

When is too much protein too much?

According to most medical professionals, healthy persons may sustain a long-term protein intake of up to 2 g per kg of body weight per day without experiencing any negative side effects. Athletes who are in good health and have received proper training, for example, may endure up to 3.5 g per kg of body weight.
 
The majority of research indicates that consuming more than 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day may eventually lead to health problems.
 

Possible dangers

Signs of consuming too much protein include:
  • Intestinal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • weight gain
  • Irritation
  • Headache.
 
Chronic protein overconsumption has more serious dangers, such as:
  • Heart disease
  • Seizures
  • Kidney and liver injuries
  • Death.
Protein intakes over the recommended daily allowance (RDA) can support muscle growth when paired with resistance training. Lean meat, fish, beans, nuts, and legumes are the healthiest food choices to help you achieve your daily protein requirements.
 
Since the ideal protein intake for an individual depends on age, health, and activity level, you might want to consult a qualified dietitian or a healthcare professional to find out how much protein is right for you.

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