Protein is a key nutrient for gaining muscle strength and size, losing fat, and smashing hunger. It’s essential for life.
How much protein do I need... is one of the most commonly asked questions in gyms around the world and whilst there are plenty of people willing to offer their advice, their opinions are often misguided and largely influenced by underlying commercial interest.
This article aims to clarify and quantify how much protein you need (which is invariably different from just about everyone else in the gym).
How much protein do I need? The correct answer is.... it depends.
Depending on the sport(s) you do, the intensity and your objective with the training you will need a different quantity of protein to achieve an adequate growth
Protein Requirement Table
Protein Requirement (grams/kg/day)
Sedentary men and women
0.75 - 0.8
0.8 - 1.0
1.0 - 1.2
Very High-intensity endurance
1.2 - 1.6
Strength and resistance (muscle growth)
1.4 - 1.7
Strength and resistance (muscle
1.0 - 1.2
Important note of clarification
- Recreational endurance = Training approximately 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes low to moderate intensity
- Moderate-intensity endurance = Training approximately 4-5 times per week for 45-60 minutes moderate to high intensity.
- High to Very high-intensity endurance = Elite athletes training for hours a day or the equivalent of the Tour De France
Is too much protein bad for you?
Some scientific evidence has concluded that high levels of protein may lead to kidney stress and therefore it's important that you don't overdo it. Additionally research supports that protein intake above 2.0g/kg/day provides no further benefit (i.e. no more muscle growth), therefore eating protein at levels greater than this means that some of it will go to waste and could potentially be detrimental to your health. Save your money and stick to the guidelines above.