How Much Protein Should You Eat To Build Muscle?

How much protein to build muscle
Image by Kashish Kaushik

by – Struggling to make gains? You might not be getting enough protein to efficiently build new muscle mass. The type and amount of calories coming from protein everyday is a critical element to stimulate growth.

Below are the bare minimum recommendations for daily protein, as well how much you should be eating to pack on some muscle.

General Protein Recommendations

These are the minimum recommendations for protein consumption, for maintaining general health, based on age:


1-3: 10 g/day
4-12: 19-34 g/day
13-18: 52 g/day
Adults: 56 g/day


1-3: 10 g/day
4-12: 19-34 g/day
13-18: 46 g/day
Adults: 46 g/day

Related: How to add 1″ to your biceps

How Much Protein To Build Muscle

While there isn’t definitive evidence between an increase in total daily calories and an increase in muscle mass, there is a correlation between increased protein consumption and gaining muscle. You’re more likely to gain muscle mass by increasing protein, then by increasing fat or carbs.

You also need to stimulate growth with resistance training. You can’t just eat more meat and expect to look like a superhero, unfortunately.

So how much protein should you eat to gain muscle mass?

If your primary goal is to get stronger or more muscular you would want to use your body weight as a reference. For each pound of body weight eat between 1-1.5 grams of protein. Here’s a quick calculation:

Protein Per Day

130 lbs = 130 – 195 g
140 lbs = 140 – 210 g
150 lbs = 150 – 225 g
160 lbs = 160 – 240 g
170 lbs = 170 – 255 g
180 lbs = 180 – 270 g
190 lbs = 190 – 285 g
200 lbs = 200 – 300 g

Related: Atkins diet phase 1 food list

Can You Eat Too Much Protein?

An excessive amount of any type of food can strain organs involved in digestion, or metabolizing those foods. When it comes to excessive amounts of protein, depending on the type, it can be hard on your liver and kidneys over time. Eating a lot of red meats, like beef and pork, has also been linked to an elevated risk of certain cancers.

A common argument in favor of protein rich diets is the “ancestor diet”. Our ancestors didn’t have McDonald’s or grocery stores, and they primarily ate the meat from animals they hunted. While this may be true, also keep in mind our ancestors didn’t live very long lives. There weren’t too many 60 year old cavemen.

Your body won’t go into shock by switching to a protein rich diet, and it can take years or decades to cause significant problems, but our bodies generally thrive on a variety of nutrients from several different food sources.

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