Broscientists, Supplement Companies & Meat-Eaters Hate Him!

A hot, new paper has been making some waves recently regarding protein needs for muscle and strength, as well as timing, and source.

It offers a definitive answer to often-asked questions.

So, I thought I’d toss my hat into the ring, and get into the specifics, including a clarification I haven’t seen anyone else address yet.

Based on data extracted from 49 studies, with a total of 1,863 participants, it has been concluded that approx. 1.62 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, per day, is all you need for gains in muscle mass and strength from resistance training.

That translates to approx. 0.74 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

Any more than that appears to have no benefit toward muscle growth or strength gains.

Now, that being said, if you are in a steep caloric deficit, a 2014 meta-analysis on natural bodybuilding contest prep did recommend as high as 2.3 – 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of LEAN body mass per day to prevent muscle loss.

That translates to approx. 1.04 – 1.41 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass per day.

Take note there, “lean” body mass. Not total body weight in this case. So you’d calculate your protein needs AFTER subtracting your existing fat mass from your total body weight.

But, how steep of a deficit do I mean?

One study from 2016 found that folks in a 40% caloric deficit below maintenance benefited from higher-than-recommended protein intake of 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Those folks actually lost fat and GAINED muscle, despite being in an arguably steep caloric deficit for a total of 4 weeks.

And now for something that is going to certainly ruffle the panties of devout and aggressively anti-vegan meat-eaters: this same 2018 meta-analysis also found that protein source and timing play only a minor role, if any role at all, in muscle growth or strength gains. The most important factor appears to be amount of protein consumed per day. Period.

Ergo, plant protein appears to be just as good as animal protein at building muscle and gaining strength. Which means you officially lose that avenue of argument against vegans, meat-eaters.

That’s the science… deal with it!

Anyway, let me know what you all think in the comments below.


A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults

Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation

Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial.

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