How Much Protein Do You Need a Day to Gain Muscle (And Where Should It Come From?)

Bodybuilder Hydrating

How much protein should you eat to gain muscle? It’s a fair question, considering multiple factors play a part in your muscle-building journey. How much protein you get into your system to gain muscle will determine how your body builds back stronger. And the stronger you are, the more of a mutant you’ll be. 

In this article, MUTANT gives you the definitive answer on how much protein you need to gain muscle. We dive deep into protein needs based on gender, weight, and muscle-building goals.

How Much Protein Should You Eat to Gain Muscle

Protein is one of the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fats – and its job is to provide the building blocks (amino acids) for crafting more muscle in your body. Therefore, consuming more protein is a solid bet for becoming a behemoth. (Especially eating protein before and after a workout.)

How much protein a day to gain muscle? For true growth, you’ll want to be in the 0.8-1.6 grams per pound body weight range. That means a 200-pound man would want to eat between 160 and 320 grams of protein daily. While this is a gigantic range, it allows for flexibility due to food choices, travel, or other unforeseen obstacles. 

Getting 200-plus grams of protein sounds impossible, but the crazy thing is that it only equates to 800 total calories from protein (with a typical diet for a 200-pound man ranging from 2000-3000 total calories). So, it still represents a minute percentage of your daily diet.

That said, the only way someone can consume this much protein is to break it down into manageable chunks. Using the 200 grams of protein example, that could be five meals of 40 grams each, which is doable for digestion. Spacing these meals a few hours apart ensures satiety and constant protein synthesis within the bloodstream.

The ideal protein sources with enough grams to satisfy such a range include animal protein like beef, pork, poultry, fish and byproducts such as dairy and eggs. Flax, soy, and hemp are decent vegan protein options.

How Much Protein Should a Woman Eat to Gain Muscle

Sadly, it can’t be this cut and dry. For instance, how much protein should a woman eat to gain muscle? For the ladies, the range is 0.6-1.4 grams per pound of body weight. For a 140-pound woman, that means a range of 85-200 grams of protein daily. Eating this much protein will help you feel full while fueling you with ample protein-building blocks. The overall result should be a leaner body composition.

Other Factors that Determine Protein Consumption

Activity level is another factor. The more active you are, the more calories you’ll want to eat. If you’re an athlete and your sport requires plenty of fuel, eat protein and carbs in decent quantities. You’ll want the carbs for faster-digesting energy, while the protein does the heavy lifting (pun intended) for growing muscles.

Lastly, how you begin your day determines overall success. Start with a protein-rich breakfast of eggs or lean animal protein to get a headstart on your daily protein goal. It will take some getting used to, but once you start making this necessary diet change of additional protein, you’ll feel better (and look better, too).

Article by Terry Ramos