Once people begin weight lifting, the question:
How much protein for weight lifting?
Always comes up.
And why not? It's a great question. One you need to know the truth about.
What Are The Recommendations?
I always like to take a look at what other so-called “experts” are recommending in the health and fitness industry.
I never use their recommendations (you'll soon know why) but I like to at least take a look.
There are so many different “experts” out there that you never know who to trust.
As I searched through Google search results, I see recommendations ranging from the RDA's low protein intake to ridiculously high protein intakes.
The numbers I found ranged from about 70 grams of protein per day up to 500 grams of protein per day!
So I can see how you might be confused as to how much protein for weight lifting is really required.
Here's The Answer…
If you've downloaded your copy of the WLC System, you might already know my answer.
I wanted to take some time to explain my answer and give you a good starting point. You'll at least know the truthful answer to how much protein for weight lifting.
My beliefs are that every single person is different.
50 grams of protein might work for your goals while 300 grams of protein might work for your friend's goals.
You might want to look like a fitness model with ripped abs and a lean look and stay at 140 pounds while your friend might want to be huge with a goal of 250 pounds ripped.
In other words, there isn't a simple number to choose!
And anyone who tries to tell you that THIS amount is the perfect amount for you has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
Yes, I can give guidelines for the amount…
I usually recommend 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight but this is ONLY a guideline. And only a guideline for people using any of the weight lifting programs I have designed.
So with my programs, I know how often you'll be lifting weights and the intensity of the workouts.
But instead of using the 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, I highly recommend you find the amount that fits your goals.
I developed the WLC System so you can find the perfect amount of protein intake for you and your goals. When you find the amount you need for your goals, the results are much better than listening to some so-called expert guess.
Choose An Amount That Fits Your Plans and Goals
For example, I always recommend 5 to 6 meals per day for most people but again this is only a recommendation or a guideline if that's what you want to call it.
2 meals per day might fit you better on some days while other days you might want 8 meals per day. It's all about you, your schedule, and what allows you to make progress.
If 6 meals per day doesn't fit you, that's fine. Start out with the number of meals that fit you.
Back to my point, though…
If you're only having a few meals per day, it might be tough to get 300 grams (example only) of protein for that day. That's one reason I recommend a higher number of meals per day.
You might choose to have 20 grams of protein per meal starting out and 100 grams per day. As discussed in the WLC System, measure you results, track your results, and see if you get better results with 30 grams of protein per meal or 150 grams per day.
I believe that you'll find muscle building goals much easier to reach as you increase protein intake to a certain point. I believe muscle building results are even better with higher protein intakes, and I'm not here to sell you protein.
I've measured results for a long time, and my personal results always improved at higher protein intakes. When I say “high protein intake,” I mean up to 2 grams per pound of body weight.
For me, that would mean almost 500 grams of protein at my higher body weights. That's very difficult to consume on a daily basis, so I never reached that amount but I tried to get close some days.
Since my muscle building goals have decreased, I stay at much lower protein intakes and overall fewer calories as I don't want to add any more body weight to my smaller frame.
A Sample Meal Plan With the WLC System
Your meal plan might not have room for huge amounts of protein.
Carbohydrates spare protein. If you are eating large amounts of carbohydrates to reach specific goals, you might need as much protein.
3 whole eggs
1 cup raw milk from grass-fed cow
2 tablespoons salsa
1 blueberry smoothie with whey protein
Total = 50 grams protein
1/2 cup cottage cheese
Total = 25 grams protein
1 cup chili with grass fed beef
Total = 40 grams protein
1 cup yogurt from grass fed cow
2 tablespoons flax seeds
Total = 15 grams protein
6 oz wild-caught salmon
1 leafy green salad
oil and vinegar based dressing
Total = 50 grams protein
1 green smoothie with casein protein
Total = 30 grams protein
The total for the above sample meal plan is over 200 grams of protein. So you see what it takes to get to that level.
Cycle Your Protein Intake
If you are interested in increasing muscle mass and strength at very fast rates, I recommend high levels of protein intake. Start with 1 gram per pound of body weight and measure your results.
Then increase to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Measure results.
Then move to 2 grams per pound of body weight. Measure results.
You'll quickly find how much protein for weight lifting that gives you the results you desire.
Once you reach a higher level of muscle mass, I recommend cycling back down to lower levels of protein intake… 1 or less might be good for a while to give your body a break from higher levels of protein intake.
Too much of a good thing could lead to bad things.
Too much protein for long periods of time might be bad on your digestive system.
Drink Plenty of Water
Always be sure to drink plenty of water when increasing protein intake levels. Water is very important. A guideline I like to go by for water intake is about a gallon of water. Of course, this is just a guideline.
Just make sure you are drinking water throughout the day, and drink plenty.
Use common sense.
If you're working outside all day and sweating vigorously, you'll need to drink more water since your body is losing fluids.
If you're inside all day and doing nothing, you'll need less fluids.
Cost of Protein
Since you wanted to know how much protein for weight lifting, I'm also sure you probably want to know how much an increased protein intake is going to cost you.
If you're looking for healthy foods, which I HIGHLY recommend, it's not going to be cheap.
Let's face the facts…
Healthy foods are expensive, but you can find some deals around your area.
I highly recommend finding a local farm that produces food naturally with no chemicals, no pesticides, no antibiotics, nothing! You don't want any foreign substances in your food. You want naturally grown foods.
Very hard to find at a grocery store if not impossible.
Buy organic foods. Buy the highest quality food you can find. High quality equals food in it's natural state with the least amount of processing.
Good protein sources are going to cost you, but higher quality protein will lead to better results.
When buying whey protein, look for cold-processed whey protein.
Just remember that cheap foods are usually the unhealthiest you can find because some food manufacturing plant is taking the cheapest possible ingredients, processing them, and paying more for advertising and marketing so their package will stand out at the stores. And so they can make more money.
The quality of food in our “normal” food supply is absolutely horrible. And when I say our “normal” food supply… I mean your typical grocery stores.
Instead go to local farms. Ask them how much for a quarter cow. Make sure the cow has been raised on grass and that they don't shoot their animals full of antibiotics. See if they have fresh cow's milk or goat's milk available from healthy cows and goats. Ask for real butter from grass-fed cows. Raw cheese from grass-fed cows. And more. See what they have.
Yes, protein is going to cost you…
You Will Save In The Long Run
Higher quality protein and higher quality food in general might cost you, but you'll save in the long run.
You'll prevent sickness, disease, and future illnesses.
You'll save on medicine, doctor bills, hospital bills, surgery, and more. It's true. Start eating better and start feeling better.
You'll look better, feel better, and live a very happy life by eating higher quality foods from local farmers. You'll also feel great about helping those local farmers and the farmers who do it right can begin producing more and more food for others.
So good luck on your weight lifting efforts, and I hope your quest for higher levels of protein intake is successful.
Just remember the answer to the question:
How much protein for weight lifting?
You got a detailed answered here on this page but a quick guideline is about 1 gram per pound of body weight. You should use the WLC System to find the perfect amount for you and your goals.
Remember that the overall quality of foods you are eating is much more important than the exact protein intake.
Flood your body with nutrients from healthy foods, give your body high quality protein with every meal, and you'll do great.