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This is how much protein you'll need to eat per day to get stronger

how much protein per day to build muscle
How much protein do I need to build muscle?

Improving your muscle strength won't just make you a stronger, more powerful and less injury-prone runner. It's also known to promote good health, indicating high bone density, lung function and low risk of depressive disorder, diabetes and death.

But until now, the results have been conflicting as to the association between protein intake and muscle strength, according to factors such as the presence or absence of resistance training.

However, a recent study, published in Sports Medicine, has confirmed that protein supplementation will only help you to build muscle if you resistance train – plus exactly how much protein you'll need to consume per day to actually build muscle.

In the study, a total of 82 articles were obtained for meta-analyses. Results showed that muscle strength increase was significantly augmented only with resistance training and was not augmented if resistance training was absent.

Moreover, results of a dose-response analyses found that muscle strength gradually increased with total protein intake and peaked at approximately 1.5g per kg of bodyweight with resistance training, with no further gains achieved thereafter.

This indicates that 1.5g per kg of bodyweight per day may be the most appropriate amount of total protein intake for maintaining and augmenting muscle strength along with resistance training.

So for someone that's 60kg, that's a daily intake of 90g of protein. That's equivalent to just over three chicken breasts (at 28g protein each), 15 eggs (at 6g protein each) or 7.5 portions 160g of tofu (12g or protein).

An increase in muscle strength is the result of changes in the muscle structure, such as muscular hypertrophy (an increase and growth of muscle cells), neural adaptations and metabolic adaptations of anaerobic energy. And the study found that resistance training initiated all three mechanisms.

Supplemental protein intake, however, was found to affect only muscular hypertrophy or play a minor role in neural and metabolic adaptation. Hence why protein intake alone could not effectively improve muscle strength.

However, before upping your protein intake, the potential adverse effects of excess protein intake need to be considered, say study authors. This includes high protein intake during pregnancy, which has been reported to increase the risk of small-for-gestational-age births and neonatal death. Adverse effects of protein intake on renal function in individuals with mild renal impairment were also noted.

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