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How Much Protein is Needed to Build Muscle?

Having enough protein in your diet is essential for building muscle. Knowing just how much is enough can be a little tricky for some people, so I’ve decided to set the record straight in this article.

Listening to the average Joe or your doctor about how much protein you need in your diet is simply not going to cut it for the bodybuilder. We need more than the average person simply because our muscle tissue is constantly being ripped up and repaired.

How Much Protein For Maximum Muscle Growth?

There are 2 ways to figure out just how much protein you need. First the easy way:

Consume 1g of Protein per Pound of Body Weight

So if you weigh 200lbs, consume 200g of protein per day.

Simple, but this formula doesn’t work well for those with a little extra body fat. Such people would be consuming too much protein.

The most precise method of calculating just how much protein you need to gain muscle is with the following formula:

Lean Mass Weight (Kg) x 2.75 = Daily Protein Requirement

(By the way, you simply divide pounds by 2.2 to get the equivalent in kilograms. So 170 pounds is 77.27 Kg)

OK, you first need to know your total body weight and your body fat percentage. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, I’ve included a calculator in the sidebar to help you. Take a few measurements, input them into the boxes and hit ‘calculate.’

Multiply your answer by your total body weight to determine the amount of fat you are carrying. Now simply subtract this from your total body weight to ascertain your lean mass weight.

Take this figure and multiply it by 2.75 to get your ideal protein intake per day in grams.


A man weighs 170 pounds with 15% body fat.

  • 170 / 2.2 = 77.27 kg
  • 15% x 77.27 = 11.59 kg
  • 77.27 – 11.59 = 65.68 kg Lean Body Mass
  • 65.68 x 2.75 = 180.62

So, therefore our 170 lb, 15% body fat man should be shooting for ~180 grams of protein per day.

Simple when you know how ;)

My G.L.A.D. Anabolic Diet will allow anyone to easily reach this relatively high protein requirement. Use this knowledge in conjunction with THT Weight Training to fuel maximum muscle growth. Grab your copy of THT by entering your details below and I promise you’ll build more muscle faster than anything else you’ve ever tried…

If, however, your goal is to burn fat while fueling muscle growth at the same time, ‘Total Six Pack Abs‘ reveals the full diet and workout routine that’ll get you RIPPED in the shortest amount of time possible!

The best protein supplier in the UK & Europe is The Protein Works. In the US get Optimum Nutrition Whey.

Happy Lifting, Everyone!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David March 25, 2008, 4:58 pm

    Suppose that 150 lb. dude decided to eat 200g of protein instead of 159g. Would eating more protein impair his workout?

  • Mark McManus March 25, 2008, 5:30 pm

    That dude would be just fine on 200 grams of protein. His strength would not be impaired.

  • David March 25, 2008, 5:34 pm

    So if I’m hearing you correctly, the 159g is just a minimum goal; it would be difficult to eat “too much” protein. That right?

  • Mark McManus March 25, 2008, 5:40 pm

    Well David, I’m not sure if there is such a thing as ‘too much protein’ but there is such a thing as ‘unnecessary protein’. An amount beyond which the protein will not serve any anabolic purpose i.e. the body has gotten all it needs for that.

  • David March 25, 2008, 5:46 pm

    Awesome, dude. You answered my question perfectly.

    Great site, btw. Lot of good information here. Keep it up!

  • Ginyih November 19, 2008, 5:21 pm

    I am following the M.A.N.S diet, so I don’t have to worry about the calories counting and just aim for high protein and fat diet? My lean body mass is 45kg * 2.75 = 123.75, so I would consume that amount per day? What about the fat? I know M.A.N.S diet is about high protein and fat but the fat should have a minimum requirement like what protein had for bodybuilders to consume per day?

  • EAZYYY January 26, 2009, 7:44 pm

    how wud u get all that protein (135.85g for me) in your diet. and is it better to consume before/after/ or at rest days when working out??

  • Jordan February 15, 2009, 11:01 pm

    You should get the protein after your work out

  • Christian February 20, 2009, 2:00 am

    …. it said i needed like 50 grams…. i dont get it…. I weigh 144lbs (65kg) then my body fat percentage was 7.1 soooo 65 X 7.1 = 46 65-46=19 then 19 X 2.75= 52(52.25 if u wanna get technical) so 52 grams of protein is my ideal amount of protein to consume per day to build muscle right?

  • Jay March 28, 2009, 4:06 pm

    I’m 38 yrs old, 6’4″ and two months ago I weighed 375 lbs. I currently weight 325 lbs., and my body fat per your calculator is 31%. Using the calculations you’ve given means that I would need 281g of protein per day. Is this right? Can my organs handle that much? My goal is to get down to 260 and then re-evaluate. I do 40 min. of cardio per day, and about 45 min. of weight training 5 days per week. I do 1 hr of cardio in the middle of the wk to break it up, and 30 min. on Sunday w/ no weights and hit the sauna for 20 min. I want to lose the fat obviously but I would also like to replace it with muscle. I don’t want to look like one of those people that lost alot of weight but have extra skin just falling about. I’m getting about 150-170g of protein per day right now, but I’m afraid to go too high because I don’t want anything clogging up or organ issues. I need some good advice, please if anyone can help. Thanks.

  • Car April 22, 2009, 8:29 am

    Jay, i recommend you talk to a nutritionist or a doctor and not rely on a website. You are a big fella, and i think you should go have your body fat index measured by a qualified professional instead of an online calculator. Keep up the good work though, 50 lbs. in two months is great.

    and Christian
    You calculated wrong, you forgot to convert the percentage into a decimal…..it should be 65 X .071=4.6….65-4.6=60.4 X 2.75=163 grams.

  • Raul July 6, 2009, 2:35 pm

    hi, very interesting site, but ist actually possible to put on muscle with a low carb intake?

  • JT August 5, 2009, 11:03 pm

    So I followed your steps to calculate how much protein I need to take daily for my size and etc. The results were that I need to take 198.2g of protein daily. Is this so I keep my muscle or is this how much I need to gain more muscle? Shall I consume like 50-75 more grams of protein so I gain more muscle. Please answer.

  • Mark McManus August 6, 2009, 9:31 am

    @JT – 198 is enough to build new muscle

  • David August 11, 2009, 6:01 am

    Guys, read The China Study before committing suicide with a high-protein diet.

    Short-term gains will only lead to long-term problems!

  • Shane October 8, 2009, 6:09 pm

    I am about 17 stone and burning fat at a steady speed and building muscle.
    I am currently taking 2 and a half table spoons of protein powder with water, 3/4 times a day.
    Is that too much or not enough to get definition and increase strength?

  • dave November 16, 2009, 4:44 am

    just a quick question im 6’2 and weigh 210 how many grams of protein do i need every day to build muscle. im 40 years old and do about 40 minutes of cardio daily. thank you

  • Kyle November 27, 2009, 8:51 pm

    hey im about 150lbs and have a 6.5 % body fat and lots of definition…im not exactly sure how many grams of protein per day i require ..i usually workout 4 days a week

  • aaron December 3, 2009, 5:46 pm

    300g protien per day 150gcarbper day i way 325pounds and i drink 3litres of water per day

  • Tim January 13, 2010, 1:56 pm

    @David: if you understood the China study, you’d understand that it’s the amount of animal product you eat, not protein. Animal sources are actually the best and/or only sources for key nutrients like omega-3, b12, zinc, iron, riboflavin, calcium, and, of course, protein.

  • Matt Cavanaugh February 2, 2010, 9:24 am

    I am trying to lose fat and gain muscle. I am 5’6 166 Lbs at 22.9 percent body fat. I have been working out daily and eating low calories, but decided that my muscle growth wasnt really happeneing the way I intended. I have been doing 50% Cardio at the gym, and 50% Muscle Training, is there any adjustments I should make to that to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle?

  • Bianca February 6, 2010, 7:44 pm

    I have a question I am a small framed girl but I have a weird shape. I have a large waistline with no muscletone at . I want to add muscle tone to my body without getting big and bulky my bodyfat is 27.1, height 64.8, waist 30, weight 144 with the calculator it says I am suppose to consume 131.75g of protein daily can I get my mid section and the rest of my body cut up without bulking up. And if so how do I measure my meat intake to make sure I am getting enough protein

  • Mark McManus February 7, 2010, 11:02 am

    @Matt. Yes, your diet needs adjusted, calories and macro-nutrient manipulation. My book Total Six Pack Abs details the full strategy to take you to a six-pack.
    @Bianca. Look up the various meats and see how much protein there is per 100g, eg tuna and chicken are roughly 25% protein when weighed. So 100g will give you about 25g of protein, a gram or 2 of fat, and no carbs.