How much protein should I be ingesting if my goal is to add muscle to my body?

Adding muscle is a slow process, even for a beginner whose window of opportunity for growth is relatively large. While the protein requirements for one looking to add muscle are greater than simply ingesting enough to account for the normal recuperative processes occurring on a daily basis within the body, the assumption that very high intake will result in greater gains is false. Assuming adequate carbohydrate ingestion (ensuring conditions where protein use as a fuel source is negligible), only a small quantity above maintenance requirements is necessary for the additional amount needed to be synthesized to increase muscle mass. The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for protein for the average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. It’s now accepted that those involved in exercise need more, with estimates ranging between 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram. Many athletes with metabolisms that are very fast will take in much more than the recommended values, even if restricting protein ingestion to 25-30 percent of their daily caloric intake. Since enough calories are left over for adequate carbohydrate and fat ingestion, doing so as a type of insurance is understandable. There are, however, certain possible health problems associated with excessive protein ingestion. Such intake results in the kidneys being taxed, since they must eliminate excessive amounts of urea, a byproduct of protein breakdown. Adequate water intake when protein ingestion is very high is essential to help prevent kidney-related problems.

 

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