I get a lot of questions pertaining to the amount of protein someone should consume each day but the answer largely depends on sex, activity level, and your own body weight or goals. While the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is set at 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, it's also standard amongst the bodybuilding world to recommend at least 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Those are two very different numbers - what's the deal?
Dr. Schoenfeld and Alan Aragon, leading experts in the field of exercise physiology and nutrition, recently summarized the “upper anabolic threshold for per-meal protein intake” and to “draw conclusions based on current data so as to elucidate guidelines for per-meal daily protein distribution to optimize lean tissue accretion.”
Take away point: according to the authors, the research suggests a minimum of 1.6g/kg/day of protein and a maximum of 2.2 g/kg/day. The authors write “while distribution over a specific number of courses is still being debated, daily intake of protein seems to be of leading importance and far more instrumental in hypertrophy and/or strength gains compared to the specific distribution over a certain number of meals. With that said, it is far less important how you distribute this number of daily protein intake and rather that you simply manage to consume this number throughout the day . Research efforts are still being made to identify specific timing distribution throughout the day but do not currently suggest enough influence for it to be a primary concern.
To read the full article: how much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. Brad Jon Schoenfeld and Alan Albert Aragon
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201815:10
It is therefore a relatively simple and elegant solution to consume protein at a target intake of 0.4 g/kg/meal across a minimum of four meals in order to reach a minimum of 1.6 g/kg/day – if indeed the primary goal is to build muscle. Using the upper CI daily intake of 2.2 g/kg/day over the same four meals would necessitate a maximum of 0.55 g/kg/meal.
Justin writes about ways to optimize your health and well-being by cultivating resiliency and self-compassion through sustainable movement and exercise habits that lift you and those around you up..