How Much Protein to Take to Build Muscle

Here’s an easy formula to help you determine how much protein to take to build muscle. There was a very basic way that bodybuilders / power-lifters used to use to determine how much protein their bodies required, but it was not very accurate and could be dangerous if they took extremely high levels of protein.

The old formula was to simply multiply your body-weight (in pounds) by 2. They said this was the number of grams of protein you’d require.

The accurate way to determine protein requirements is to use this formula:

1.     Multiply your total body weight by your percent of body fat.

2.     Subtract the number of pounds of body fat from total body weight.

3.     This number is your total Lean Body Mass (LBM)

4.     Multiply LBM by 1.5 for men or 1.0 for women

5.     This is the exact protein requirement of your body for your total LBM.

Example: For a 240 pound bodybuilder, currently at approximately 15% body fat:

1.     240 pounds (x) 15% (=) 36 pounds of body fat.

2.     240 pounds (-) 36 pounds (=) 204

3.     LBM (=) 204 pounds

4.     204 (x) 1.5 (=) 306 for a male or 204 (x) 1.0 (=) 204 for a female.

5.     Daily Protein Requirement (=) 306 grams (male) or 204 (female).

Now in contrast, if you had used the old method and multiplied your body-weight (x) 2, here’s what it would have looked like:

240 pounds (x) 2 (=) 480 grams of protein per day. As you can see, that is way too much protein that can cause side effects like kidney problems.

It is typically very difficult to get enough protein since our diets are typically carbohydrate-based, but natural protein sources like chicken, fish, meat, beans etc., can be a good base.

One response to this post.

  1. That’s awesome. What’s your preferred method of obtaining bodyfat results. Can’t send everyone for a hydrostatic test and calipers aren’t always consistent. Dont’t think much of most of these machines either. Also, the ability to process protein differs between individuals. Any more thoughts and tips?
    Check out my fitness blog as well please.


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