When to introduce proteins seems to be a big dilemma for those who go to the gym: does it affect weight loss before training? Is it better than to block the catabolism induced by the workout? And during?
These questions do make sense and will be answered in the article, but they are still secondary questions compared to “How much protein a day do you have to take?”. The daily protein requirement is of primary importance with respect to timing: once you have established “how much” and “how” to reach it, you can add the detail of the “when” (eg protein before going to sleep ).
Also Read: Best Whey Protein For Muscle Gain
How much protein to take per day
From a systemic point of view, the ideal daily amount of protein for any subject varies in a range that goes from 0.8 g / kg of body weight up to 3 g / kg: as you can see, the range is quite wide, to understand what is yours you need to do some skimming based above all on the activity you carry out and your goal.
Sportspeople normally have a higher protein requirement than sedentary people and the range narrows between 1.5 g / kg and 3 g / kg body weight. Thus, a 70 kg subject could consume 105 to 210 g of protein per day.
How many grams of protein to take per body weight
All the weights that you find in this article but which are also found in nutrition texts refer to the grams of protein to be taken in relation to the total body weight and not, as you might expect, based on lean mass, since amino acids mainly interact with muscle mass.
Bodyweight is referred to primarily for a practical reason :
- Bodyweight is easily measured by everyone, rather than investigating how much weight corresponds to fat mass and how much to lean mass, which can be known through body composition measurements but in any case with a certain percentage of error.
Also Read: Best Whey Protein For Women
How much protein should a girl take?
The basic intake level for a sedentary girl corresponds to 0.8 g protein/kg body weight, a value to be increased even up to 1.8 g / kg in the case of an active woman and in the phase of mass loss (a value slightly lower than to that recommended for humans).
Generally speaking, in adolescents, pregnant women, and the elderly the basal value is slightly higher: in the first two cases as they are growing organisms, in the third case due to menopause which physiologically leads to tissue deterioration. bone, which can be limited thanks to a protein diet .
To learn more, read our article: Women’s protein for muscle mass.
How Much Protein Should A Man Take?
In general, the RDA is always 0.8 g protein/kg body, which is to be considered more as a value below which not to go down rather than the undisputed reference point. Even for non-athletes, a slight increase of this minimum quota is advisable, since the technique usually used for calculating the nitrogen balance systematically underestimates the need for proteins.
You can therefore consider a daily intake of 1.2-1.3 g / kg, to be modified in relation to the weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain situation.
The man normally has a greater need than the woman, therefore in the various ranges indicated in the article the highest values correspond (always in general terms!) To those of the man.
Also Read: Best Protein Powder For Weight Loss Male
How Much Protein To Take For Weight Loss?
During weight loss, the protein share corresponds to 1.5-2 g protein/kg body weight/day: the higher the caloric restriction, the better it is to move towards the higher end of the protein range. This guarantees:
- Maintenance of lean mass and limitation of protein breakdown
Once you have established the calories deriving from proteins, identify those of fats, carbohydrates and then distribute them throughout the day and week. Especially for athletes, it is better to set a moderate energy restriction (300-500 kcal), in order to still have a sufficient carbohydrate intake to support the training rhythms and not have repercussions on health and performance due to an excessive deficit.
How many proteins to take in the definition phase?
In a period of definition, the caloric input will be low and it is necessary to create an energy deficit in order to lose fat and lose weight but this will also put lean mass at risk. The body could in fact consider the muscle tissue “useless” in the face of the alarm situation in which it finds itself and “sacrifice it” for energy purposes.
To prevent this problem, you must adopt two behaviors:
- Training: Training gives a clear signal to the body that muscle tissue is NOT useless.
- Increase the proteins to be taken: proteins have strong anabolic power, they give input in terms of activation and maintenance of photosynthesis. This also has an anti-catabolic power.
It is therefore logical that the range of proteins to be taken in a definition period tends to be higher: a quantity ranging from 2.2g / kg of body weight up to 3g / kg of body weight – for this purpose, it is useful to resort to consumption of lean proteins .
How much protein to take after training (post-workout)?
How much protein to take depends: their intake becomes important immediately after a workout when you have not eaten 4-5 hours. If, on the other hand, you have not trained fasting, you can eat a solid protein and carbohydrate meal even after 1-2 hours, without affecting your muscle mass, recovery or subsequent training.
In fact, a single workout leads to hormonal-metabolic changes that do not end immediately after training and not even within a few hours, but up to 48 hours, depending on the intensity of the training. This is why it doesn’t matter how many proteins you eat immediately after training, but how many throughout the day or over a longer period of time .
Also Read: Best Protein Powder For Building Muscle
How to make proteins?
Proteins should be taken mainly in solid form from food, it does not matter if the sources are animal or vegetable: even if vegetable proteins have a lower biological value when the protein content is high, they count as animal proteins.
Vegans who eat only vegetables should simply increase the caloric amount by 0.2-0.3 g / kg.
As a rough guide, it is best to take at least 75-80% of protein from food and the remaining 20-25% from protein powders, protein bars, and supplements in general.
What types of proteins to take
The protein powders are a useful supplement to get enough high protein shares. The advantages they have are mainly two:
- First of all, the amino acid pool which, for some types such as Whey, is particularly good. This advantage is mainly reflected in the greater content of essential amino acids (EAA) and of leucine in particular, responsible for a greater anabolic input (activation of photosynthesis processes).
Basically, a minimum amount of Whey (30-35gr) provides a strong anabolic stimulus, a stimulus that can be reached with more difficulty (however minimal) with a solid meal.
- In addition, they are comfortable: you can use them in different contexts being, basically, a drink. Traveling, at work, on public transport, all situations in which solid food could be uncomfortable, and protein powders could instead be a weapon to be unsheathed.
In general, therefore, there is no maximum or minimum amount of protein powder to take: you can not take it at all, in itself this does not imply any impediments in hypertrophic terms. We can also get protein exclusively from this source. I often use this option when I’m traveling so that I don’t worry about finding this source which, at times, is difficult to find (especially in exotic places).
The only advice is to choose proteins without adding too many sweeteners and sweeteners that could undermine our microbiota and, if taken in large quantities, create absorption problems and damage the composition of the bacterial flora.
When to take protein?
There is no specific timing for taking proteins, except close to training. It is recommended that you put at least 20-30g of high-quality protein around your workout when you are in the gym or 30 minutes before or within 2 hours of when you finish.
It is advisable to consider the time close to training as a single block, the pre-workout acts as a post workout because when we introduce proteins, they remain in the bloodstream for several hours.
We can also have a protein breakfast or eat proteins in the evening to improve our sense of satiety. However, what matters is the daily quantity! There is no need to eat many meals (unless it is comfortable for you) to stimulate protein synthesis every 4 hours.
In general, the guidelines recommend having 4 protein meals a day.
What does 30 g of protein correspond to?
20-30 g, of which 1-3 g of leucine and 10-12 g of EAA, of high biological value proteins are the amount that “saturates” the muscle and is sufficient to stimulate protein synthesis in a maximal way.
Doubling the dose and taking 40g of protein has no extra effect on the muscle, meaning that the muscle protein concentration does not double as a result!
In fact, for a total of 80 g of protein per day, taking 8 doses of 10 g every 1.5 hours, 4 of 20 g every 3 hours or 2 of 40 g every 6 hours is different: the maximum protein synthesis takes place anyway in the second case. with doses of 20 g and no additional benefit on the nitrogen balance with a larger quantity is contemplated.
A higher dose ( 40 g ) is useful to give a maximal anabolic boost in the case of elderly subjects.
How much protein should you eat per meal?
As just seen, 20-30 g is the ideal amount to maximize protein synthesis, but beware! This does not imply that the body is unable to assimilate more than 20-30 g of protein per meal.
In the past, a maximum of 30g of protein per meal was given as an indication, precisely because, by virtue of the previous statements, it was thought that an additional quota was wasted, given that the maximum protein synthesis is reached with this quantity.
But if you eat more proteins, should they be eliminated and therefore wasted? Luckily no, the body doesn’t throw away anything it needs. In fact, today it is known that there is no limit to the amount of protein per meal: the more protein you eat, the longer the anabolic boost induced by amino acids will last.
So if it is true that maximum protein synthesis is reached around 30g of high-quality proteins, it is equally true that by eating more the anabolic boost lasts longer, given the lengthening of digestion times: amino acids remain in circulation. up to 14 hours after taking, ready to be picked up and used.
In fact, it is true that there is no protein deposit in the body (as the liver can be for glucose), but once the amino acids are absorbed, not all are immediately released into the peripheral circulation: some are believed to be in the splanchnic area. , which acts as a temporary reserve of the amino acid pool.
How much protein for breakfast?
Eating protein for breakfast is not necessary to break the catabolism induced by overnight fasting. It has been seen that the longer you fast the greater the anabolic boost will be once you resume eating – fasting has a rebound effect on growth factors once you resume eating.
This means that for the same amount of protein, it does not matter if you eat proteins for breakfast or at other times of the day.
Also Read: Best Protein Powder For Weight Loss Female
How many vegetable proteins to take per day?
In the case of a vegetarian or vegan subject, plant sources will cover most or all of the dairy proteins. Otherwise, the quota is to be added to the animal protein sources: the important thing is to reach the daily protein requirement, how you reach it is an element of secondary importance.
It is possible to reach your goals even with a completely “plant-based” diet, the only two precautions to consider are the variety and increasing the range to a minimum (eg between 1.8 and 3.3 g / kg body weight). This is to compensate for the characteristic incompleteness of the amino acid spectrum of vegetable proteins compared to animal ones.
Conclusions on how much protein to take
The amount of protein to be taken is quite varied and to be contextualized: be careful of deficiencies but also of any excesses. As usual, there is no single point of reference in nutrition as well as in training and there is not even a particular food or a single meal that consequently determines health, sports performance, or weight loss.
It is the right balance of each factor in the long run that makes the whole winning.
Hi, I am Matt Storace and I am a former personal trainer and founder of Beast Biceps. We had to find ways to train at home. When I started looking for the equipment I needed, I quickly realized that there were no good resources online. So I created Beast Biceps. It is a treasure trove of information developed from my experience and research. Read More Here