Does More Protein = Bigger Muscles?

Are you looking for ways to increase your muscle mass?  A diet moderate in protein will help,  but scientific research shows that a high protein diet will not build bigger muscles.  While muscles are made of protein, eating more than you need of this nutrient will not result in greater muscle growth.

How much daily protein do I need? The American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 0.5-0.8 grams protein/pound body weight.  For example, a 160 pound male should consume 80 – 128 grams of protein/day (160 x 0.5-0.8).  Ultra endurance athletes who compete for several hours or on consecutive days should maintain a protein intake at the higher end of the range, or slightly above. Most protein requirements can be met through real food and beverages.   Athletes should make sure that they maintain an adequate calorie intake as well so that protein can be used for muscle repair and growth instead of being siphoned off and used as energy.

Sample 100 gram Protein Menu

Breakfast: 6 ounces orange juice, 1 cup whole grain cereal (4) 1 cup milk (8), 1 banana OR 1 egg, 1 ounce cheese omelet (13). Midmorning Snack: 1 ounce low-fat cheese (7), 6 crackers. Lunch: 1 sandwich with 3 ounces meat (21), 1.5 cups salad (3) with 1/8 cup seeds (4), 1 cup low-fat milk (8), 1 cup melon. Midafternoon Snack: 1.5 ounces nuts (12) Dinner: 1 cup long grain rice (3), 3 ounces chicken or seafood (21), 1 cup stir fry vegetables (4), 1 cup berries. Evening Snack: Yogurt smoothie with fresh fruit (8)

Bottomline: Athletes do need more protein than nonathletes, yet excessive amounts get turned into fat if your calorie intake for the day exceeds the energy you’ve burned.  Get strong and improve your performance by growing muscles through good nutrition, progressive training and adequate rest.

For More Information on this topic see:

Should My Son Use Energy Drinks

Get Your Z’s

Yikes I’m Out of Recovery Drink

Categories: Sports Nutrition

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  1. 2010 in review « E2dietitian's Blog

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