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You’re a seasoned bodybuilder, so you’re dedicated to giving your body more; adding more weight, more reps, more sets, and more fuel to build bigger muscles. You maximize your protein intake at every opportunity. But is it possible to consume too much protein? And exactly how much protein is too much if you’re trying to bulk up but stay lean? Watch for these key signs that your protein intake is out of sync, then use the pro tips to keep your training plan on track.
Protein guidelines vary by organization so getting the right amount can be tricky. “Research supports a protein intake between .8 grams per kilogram of body weight (this is the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance), up to just under a gram per pound of bodyweight,” says Dan DeFigio, Nashville-based personal trainer and nutrition expert. “But my interpretation of the research is that the low end of the spectrum is too low for optimal health and physical performance.”
DeFigio typically suggests a minimum of one gram per kilogram of body weight (for a 185-pound guy, that’s roughly 84 grams of protein) and a maximum protein intake of roughly 90 percent of your bodyweight (in pounds) in grams of protein per day, split into five or six servings. (That 185-pound guy’s max would be about 167 grams of protein daily.) His recommendation comes close to the Muscle and Fitness-approved minimum recommendation of one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. But your body’s individualized needs may vary based on your training.
If you notice any of the following signs, your protein, carbohydrate, and fat balance may be out of sync.
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