Nutrition is one of the most controversial subjects when it comes to bodybuilding and you only have to mention carbohydrates or protein timing in a forum in order to spark a huge debate with lots of name calling and tears.
Even the most basic and straightforward subjects seem to trigger this kind of raging debate. Take for instance the question of protein and how much you need – it sounds like an easy question but there are widely varying views on the subject. Let’s delve into the subject in a little bit more depth and see just how much protein is really needed for building muscle.
The Popular Stances
In the one corner, we have those who tout eating lots of protein for building muscle – specifically a gram or more for each pound of body mass.
Over in the blue corner though, we have others who contest this position and say that you actually don’t need all that much protein for building muscle. Their argument is that the body can only utilize a small portion of the protein and that it’s only steroid users who can benefit from huge amounts of protein.
Well, far be it for us to try and settle this lengthy debate in a single post. But we can nevertheless look at some key facts…
In Favor of Extra Protein
While many people will contest the idea that protein is necessary for building big muscle, they are actually going against the majority of the research in doing so. According to countless studies (1, 2), when you increase your physical activity you also need to increase your protein consumption.
And this actually is something that any big bodybuilder – even naturals – will back up. Almost any massive bodybuilder, powerlifter or crossfitter will be eating a large amount of protein and the same goes for athletes too. Simply put: they eat more protein because they know that it works.
Then again though, those telling you not to eat lots of protein are not completely off their rocker. Some evidence for instance actually shows that a high protein, low carb diet can lower testosterone production, which in turn would result in reduced anabolism.
Furthermore, there are plenty of examples of people who don’t eat all that much protein and still get into pretty stacked condition. But just because it can be done, that doesn’t mean it’s optimal. The question to ask is how much bigger could they be if they upped their protein intake?
What You Should Do
The simple fact of the matter is that eating more protein has helped countless people to get into better shape more quickly. This is the advice that you will receive from pretty much anyone who has been working out for a while and whether or not you believe it’s completely necessary, it will certainly help your gains to come quicker. You should aim for the recommended 1gram per 1pound but don’t stress too much about counting every last gram.
And if you want to make even more use of that protein there are things you can do to aid that. Using testosterone boosting supplements is a great place to start for instance!