If you’re in the process of trying to get bigger muscles to rival Chris Hemsworth or bulk up to the size of the Incredible Hulk, it’s likely that you already know you need to eat a lot of protein to fuel your muscles, so they’re ready to go again when it’s time for your next workout. But just how much protein should you eat to gain muscle?

And how much should you eat to increase your size and rip your t-shirt to shreds with a flex of a bulging bicep? We asked James Collier, registered nutritionist, co-founder and head of sustainable nutrition at leading nutritionally complete food brand Huel, who we already worked with in another article (How much protein can you absorb in one meal?), to explain all.

Interested in nutrition? Check out T3’s dedicated buying guides about the best protein powders, best mass gainers and best protein bars to learn more about which is best for your needs and what brands are worth your attention. As James mentions below, there are plenty of bogus products on the market, so it’s not hard to get lost and opt in for the wrong products.

How much protein should I eat to gain muscle?

James Collier progile photo

James Collier

Registered nutritionist, co-founder & head of sustainable nutrition at Huel

James Collier is the Co-Founder and Head of Sustainable Nutrition at Huel. He’s worked in nutrition and dietetics – including time in the NHS – for 27 years and previously specialised in providing advice for competitive bodybuilders, strongmen, boxers, and Mixed Martial Arts fighters. He is also the co-owner of popular bodybuilding forum MuscleTalk.

Why is protein essential for building muscle?

If you’re hitting the gym regularly, you might already be eating enough chicken to put Nando’s out of business. But just why is protein so essential for the muscle-building process?

‘What we’re trying to do when we go to the gym is overload the body and get the muscles to do more than they’re used to in order to cause the muscle fibres to tear,’ says Collier. ‘This means the body has the opportunity to repair these fibres bigger, stronger, and better than before. But the body needs enough protein to take full advantage of this opportunity. This is because protein is made up of amino acids, which are like lego pieces that the body then uses to repair and rebuild.’

Okay, so that all makes sense. But how much protein should we eat to reap the maximum muscle-building benefits?

How much protein should I eat to gain muscle?

As we explained in a previous article (how many grams of protein you should eat in a day), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilo of body weight per day. But many nutritionists agree this figure is woefully inadequate.

‘If you weigh 75kg, this equates to 60 grams of protein or two chicken breasts, and it’s really not very much,’ explains Collier. ‘This RDA is for sedentary people, in short, and as soon as you get moving, your protein needs to go up accordingly.’

When it comes to building muscle, however, Collier advises that you double this RDA. ‘Aim for 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Anything above 2.2 grams, and we no longer see any benefits to building muscle,’ he adds.

How much protein should I eat if I want to bulk up?

‘When people talk about bulking up, it’s about putting on mass as well as muscle because that muscle must fit onto something,’ reveals Collier.

‘This means it’s not only the amount of protein you consume that’s important but also the number of calories. You want to consume more calories than you need to put on weight. There are plenty of calorie calculators online that can provide a guide, but 500kcal above your daily maintenance calories will do the trick,’ he adds.

What are mass gainers, and will they help me bulk up?

‘Mass gainers are designed to help you conveniently consume the number of calories and protein that you need,’ says Collier. ‘The problem is that many of them are just cheap protein powders with an even cheaper, highly processed carbohydrate such as maltodextrin.

‘The best powders, however, provide a complete protein source: in other words, all the essential amino acids you need in adequate amounts, plus a higher quality carbohydrate such as powdered oats. If you’re going to use a mass gainer-type shake, check the label and pay just a little bit more to get a far higher quality product.’

Of course, you may well think that Collier is biased about his own products. But, to be fair, the Huel Black Edition did win the ‘Best Protein Powder or Snack’ category at the T3 Awards 2021, and it tops our list of the best weight gainers, so maybe he’s got a point…

NEWS RELATED

MSI Katana GF76 review: a solid gaming laptop for those on a budget

The MSI Katana GF76 offers value for money for gamers

View more: MSI Katana GF76 review: a solid gaming laptop for those on a budget

Pixel 7 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: is premium Android or iOS the champ?

How does Google's most powerful Pixel compare to Apple's biggest and most expensive iPhone?

View more: Pixel 7 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: is premium Android or iOS the champ?

The Best Wireless Chargers for Your Smartphone

Wireless charging pads have come a long way in the last few years. Get the one that best matches your iPhone and Android.

View more: The Best Wireless Chargers for Your Smartphone

Best Google Pixel Watch pre-order deals for October 2022

Where to pre-order the Google Pixel Watch and what to expect from Google’s first smartwatch

View more: Best Google Pixel Watch pre-order deals for October 2022

34-Inch Dell Curved Monitor Slashes Prices by $250: Worth It at $620?

As the demand for more screen space increases, a 34-inch Dell curved monitor has dropped its price from $250 to $620. Its original price was $870. The Demand for Larger Monitor Screens has Grown Over Time As more people start to work from home or as the nature of ...

View more: 34-Inch Dell Curved Monitor Slashes Prices by $250: Worth It at $620?

Forget Chris Pratt, Jack Black's Bowser is the real star of the Mario movie trailer

The Super Mario. Bros Movie has me incredibly excited regardless of the plumber's voice

View more: Forget Chris Pratt, Jack Black's Bowser is the real star of the Mario movie trailer

Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch 8: which is best?

Do you go Apple or Android in the battle of the latest smartwatches?

View more: Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch 8: which is best?

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: which is best?

Which of the Android-powered smartwatches is for you, the Pixel Watch or Galaxy Watch 5?

View more: Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: which is best?

How to Use Multiple Desktops on One Screen in Windows 11

BIOSTAR Announces B650EGTQ Motherboard

This Instant Pot Air Fryer could be the last kitchen gadget I'll ever buy

Google Pixel 7 Pro: official price & release date, spec & new features detailed

Google Pixel 7 Pro Colors Confirmed: Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel

We Go Inside Brixton's Cult Community Fitness Hub

Vango Trek Pro 3 Standard Sleep Mat Review: Solid, warm and dependable

Google Pixel 7 coming with a free VPN suddenly makes it very appealing

Have you been waiting your whole life for a flask with a built-in bluetooth speaker? No, neither have we. But now someone’s invented one, it’s all we want for Christmas…

Infinix Zero Ultra Makes a Big Entrance With Its 200MP Camera and 180W Thunder Charging Speed: 0-100% in 12 Mins

Get fit fast with this CrossFit-style dumbbell full-body home workout

Premier dethrones Covid from pandemic status in Victoria

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network