Protein For Building Muscle or Losing Weight

Protein For Building Muscle or Losing Weight

Everyone's heard of protein. But not everyone understands why protein is so important, and how much protein they should be consuming to reach their goals. Hopefully, we can answer those questions for you today!

The first thing to understand about protein is that it's not a magic potion. You can not just consume protein, sit on the couch, and expect to gain muscle or lose weight. It certainly would be awesome if we could, but that's not how it works unfortunately. However, protein alongside your strength training or weight loss program is your best friend! 

So let's assume you're on a new exercise regime and are interested in speeding up the process of reaching your goals. You know you should be taking protein, but how much? Well our recommendations are based off the 2017 International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand. It states that people looking to build muscle mass should be consuming at least 1.4-2.0 grams per kg bodyweight of protein daily. (1) A more easy to understand recommendation is 1.0 grams of protein for every pound that you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds, then you would be looking for 150 grams of daily protein. 

Now here is the more interesting recommendation: Protein is actually more important, and you need higher amounts of it, when you are trying to lose weight or preserve muscle mass! It states that people looking to retain lean body mass when cutting calories need to get at least 2.3-3.1 grams per kg bodyweight of protein daily. And that greater than 3.0 grams per kg bodyweight of protein daily has positive effects on body composition and promoting loss of fat mass. (1)

In fact, there was a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2015 that demonstrated this point. People consumed either 2.3 grams per kg bodyweight (amount recommended to build muscle) or 3.4 grams per kg bodyweight of protein daily. While both groups equally improved maximal strength, the higher protein group had a much greater decrease in fat mass and % body fat. (2) Which means if you're trying to lose weight, or get more lean while building muscle, then a high protein diet must be a priority!

But when should you take your protein? The answer to that very important question shockingly is... it does not really matter. And it does not matter how much protein you take at once either. Countless studies and research have demonstrated these facts. (1) The anabolic effect of exercise is at least 24 hours, so you do not necessarily need a protein shake right when you workout. But it certainly doesn't hurt, because it is increasing your total daily protein intake. 

Here is an example to illustrate this point. One person only consumes 100 grams of protein in a day, but takes it all around the time of their workout with protein shakes. Another person consumes 200 grams of protein a day, but takes none of it during their workout. Who is going to achieve their goals faster? The person who is consuming the 200 grams of protein daily! It is the total amount of protein that you consume daily that matters much more, not the exact timing.

If you're struggling to reach these protein targets through your diet alone, then how can you help yourself? With some additional protein powder throughout the day! Our Pinnacle Protein Powder is perfect for anytime of the day. It can be taken on its own as a shake, or you can mix it up with some of your other favorite foods as a smoothie. Either way, it'll be a quick and easy way to help you get closer to your protein intake goals.