Categorized | Building Muscle

Bodybuilding, Factors Affecting Protein Needs

When it comes to bodybuilding and weight gain, there are a few factors that are going to affect how much protein you need to be getting. While it doesn’t necessarily benefit you all that much to get more protein than you need, getting to little will have very detrimental consequences in terms of your progress.

Here is what you need to think about when deciding how much protein you need to be taking.

Total Calorie Intake

Calories tend to be protein sparing, so the higher the calorie intake, the lower your need for protein.

For example, those who are really dieting hard, must up their protein intake so they do not risk muscle loss. Those who are eating maintenance will require between one gram and 1.5 grams per pound of body weight to maintain their current nitrogen balance.

Those who are eating in surplus may be able to get away with slightly less than one gram, but one gram per pound is generally the recommended value.

Cardio Activity

Again, cardio activity can also impact how much protein you should be getting, with the more cardio you are doing, the more total protein you require.

Those who are combining their weight lifting with a good amount of distance running for example, would probably want to take in closer to the 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, assuming a caloric surplus. This will help to offset any protein that may be used while doing the cardio activity for

energy, or any extra muscle breakdown that occurs while doing it.


Stress is one thing that many people forget to think about when it comes to protein needs. If you are a high stress person in general, or just going through as stressful period in your life, getting a bit more protein is a very smart plan.

When under stress, the body tends to shift into a slightly more catabolic position, which could then impact your ability to build muscle. By getting that extra bit of protein you can help prevent any negative consequences from taking place.

Aside from that, obviously do whatever you can to rest up so that serious stress-related health problems don’t start up.

Quality of Protein

For the most part, in America, most of our main protein sources are of good quality, however if you happen to be eating with a more vegetarian approach, getting the majority of your protein from beans, legumes, and grains, then you need to pay extra attention to ensuring not only that you are achieving full proteins (often by mixing certain foods together) but that you do get enough as well.

If you are on a vegetarian diet, I’d actually aim to take in slightly more protein, if possible, just because of this fact.

If you have trouble doing so, look into some of the vegetarian protein powder options that are available as this will make it easier to meet your needs.

So, be sure to take into account these factors when assessing your protein needs and coming up with a weight gain diet. It’s something that you simply cannot overlook if you hope to achieve any type of results.

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