We all know how important sufficient protein is for making gainz. The standard answer is "1g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight" or sometimes a range such as 0.8-1.2g per pound of bodyweight.

A new study (Feb. 2017) has put this to the test with young bodybuilders.

Subjects were 8 young (assumed natural) bodybuilders with more than 3 years experience, with averages of

Age: 22.5 years old

Weight: 83.9 kg

Bodyfat: 13 %

They were tested multiple times on non training days using a nitrogen balance technique using protein ranges of 0.1 to 3.5g per kg (0.22 to 1.59g per lb).

What they found for these subjects were the upper ranges of protein needs per day were 1.7-2.2g per kg) (0.77-1g per lb).

This supports the existing recommendations of 1g per 1lb of bodyweight.

Important Notes

  • Subjects were in a calorie surplus during testing which has a protein sparing effect
  • Subjects were tested on rest days
  • Subjects were assumed drug free
  • Sample size was smaller, and there will always be a small fraction of people that are exceptions to any guidelines

Cautious cats could aim for the upper ranges which should be sufficient to also cover training days.

What may be interesting to those currently dieting or in contest prep is that previous studies have shown that greater protein requirements are needed while in a calorie deficit.

For those in a calorie deficit it is generally recommended to raise protein intake to 2.3g-3.1g per kg (1-1.40g per lb). The greater the calorie deficit the greater the protein.

MyGainz Recommendations

In general when bulking, protein requirements go down due to the protein sparing effects of additional calories (especially carbs) and many will be fine in the lower ranges of 0.75g per lb). When dieting it is beneficial to raise protein to help maintain as much muscle mass as possible. Ranges up to 1.4g per lb could be required for bodybuilders in contest prep.

Higher satiating and thermic effects of protein sources, can also help those looking to lose fat.