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How Much Protein to Build Muscle?

One of the most common questions related to gaining muscle is how much protein you should consume to ensure your body has all it needs to produce lean, quality muscle tissue. Most likely you've read that you need to take in 2-3 grams for every pound you weigh to even think about gaining muscle. Honestly, that is crazy!

So, how much protein to build muscle?

In reality, nutrition doesn't play as big of a role as many would like you to believe. True, you definitely do need to take in a good amount of protein, but you do not need 3 grams per pound. Probably the number one reason you've heard that before is because that is what most "fitness" magazines are telling everyone. Funny thing is, those magazines are owned by supplement companies who are pushing their products, including their protein! I'm not saying that you shouldn't go out and find a decent protein shake to supplement your diet, I even do. You definitely do not need to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to buy every muscle building supplement out there. Studies have shown that 0.8 grams of protein per pound is sufficient for your body to add muscle.

Therefore, I would recommend taking in 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound you weigh to build muscle - leaning more towards the 1.5 grams.

For example, if you weigh 175 pounds, you need to take in somewhere between 175 - 260 grams of protein. Also, you need to make sure that your calorie intake is up -- it is not impossible to gain muscle without feeding your body enough calories.

If you really want to gain muscle, it is going to take more than pounding protein shakes or scarfing down an endless supply of chicken breasts, although the correct amount of shakes and chicken will help. You will need to focus much of your attention on the intensity of your training as well as the workout routine you follow -- the correct sets, reps and rest periods all play significant roles to building muscle.


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