The Truth About Eating Protein to Gain Muscle

Protein. It’s all the rage right now, especially with gym addicts and fitness fanatics. But you might wonder about how it actually works, or how much you really need to hit your muscle gain goals.

Read on for all the answers.

The Basics of Protein for Muscle Growth

First, the basics. Protein is made up of amino acids. Think of them like the building blocks of your muscles. When you work out, you wear down your muscle fibers, and your body uses up amino acids to repair them. If you’re eating enough protein, your muscles can build back bigger than before.

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

It depends. Age, sex, weight, and exercise levels are all factors to take into account. As a guideline, experts recommend approximately 1.6 grams to 2.4 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight, every day. Ideally, you’ll want to spread that out in portions of 25 grams to 30 grams each.

Can You Overdo It?

Absolutely. Many people assume that if they just gorge themselves on protein shakes and bars, they’ll get bigger gains. But it doesn’t really work that way. In fact, excess protein does more harm than good to your body and can force your kidneys to work extra hard.

What About the Source of the Protein You Eat?

The source matters, too. Some foods and ingredients have higher amounts of key amino acids, making them more beneficial for human consumption. Tofu, fish, and cottage cheese, for example, are packed with leucine, which is one of the best amino acids to eat.

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