Does protein help you build muscles?

The short answer is yes. You’ve probably seen weight lifters carrying around protein shakes and devouring them before or after their workout. What’s the science behind ingesting protein to build muscle? Let’s take a look.

Protein is used by your body to repair and maintain body tissues and can help maximize muscle protein synthesis. An easy example is thinking of your body as a house that needs repair and protein are the bricks that will help repair it.

Registered nutritionist Rob Hobson explained to Fit and Well, “After consuming protein, enzymes in the stomach and small intestine break them down into chains of amino acids called peptides. Training causes microtears which trigger an immune response involving stem cells and growth hormones that use the amino acids to repair the damage.

“These amino acids are sent to damaged muscle cells to stimulate myofibrils’ growth, which are the filaments that makeup muscles. These myofibrils fuse with damaged areas of muscle fibers which is a process that helps to make them bigger and stronger.”



How much protein do you need to build muscle?

This all depends on your weight, height, and workout regimen. According to an article in the Food & Function journal, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein for a healthy adult with a minimal physical activity level is currently 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram or 2.2 pounds of body weight per day. This means a person weighing 75kg (165 pounds) should consume an average of 60g of protein per day.

Keep in mind it’s not just the amount of protein you ingest but it’s when you ingest it. Consuming protein right after you workout is crucial. Consuming protein after training also facilitates the skeletal muscle adaptive response to each session resulting in more effective muscle reconditioning.

As always, we have a very knowledgeable staff that can help answer any questions you have about this topic and more. Have a great workout!