Nutrition How much protein do I need to build muscle?


How many times a day do you think this question has been typed into Google?

Now, most people will take a quick scroll through Google and be confronted by answers given by the marketing departments of supplements companies or “meatheads” with no qualifications on bodybuilding forums. You’ll see stupid answers like 300 grams a day or random figures like 2 to 2.5grams of protein per kilo of body weight.

Firstly, “meatheads” are too busy checking themselves out in the gym mirrors to do any decent research and supplements companies just want you to buy their product and consume it as quickly as possible so you can buy it again.

So, I did a little digging around on Google, of course, and found something repeated and quoted often and that was the number 1.6, however, before I get to that let’s take a quick look at protein intake for your average Joe/Jo.

There is absolutely no need to consume vast amounts of protein.

Experts say that your average person needs only .8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day. For an 80kg person, this equates to just 64 grams of protein per day. Wait! What! 64 grams a day for an 80kg person? Yup, that’s right because most of what we’re told about protein consumption comes from marketing departments and not health departments and their job is to get you to spend as much money on their product as possible.

Naturally, the ratio of protein increases for people who regularly exercise because their bodies are going through more wear and tear and this is where we come to the magical number 1.6.

I’m only going to quote one source because this one source collated and referenced 49 other studies(1) and it came to the conclusion that 1.6g grams of protein per kilogram of body weight are sufficient to build muscle. For your average Joe/Jo any more and you’re just, literally, pissing away your protein, and most likely, your money too.

To give you a quick idea of what daily protein intake looks like: 50kg = 80 grams; 60kg = 96 grams; 70kg = 112 grams; 80kg = 128 grams; 90kg = 144 grams; and 100kg = 160 grams.

Now, remember, this is how much protein you should consume if you are  an average gym goer, like most of us are, and not a hardcore bodybuilder.

So, have a think about your protein intake, stop worrying about getting enough protein and, perhaps, save yourself some dollars on those shakes.

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