T Nation

0.9 to 3 Grams of Protein Per Pound


I'm interested in looking for scientific proof and would like to know the optimal amount of protein for muscle growth. I'm not interested in what the supplement companies say because they'll say we need 1000 grams of protein if we'd believe it. I'm asking because I'm 200 pounds around 18% body fat and looking for the best protein requirements for me with minimal fat gains.

I know it's dependent on a lot of factors including body type and how many other calories I'm taking in from carbs and fats etc but interested in everyone's view.


Why not just do what's generally recommended 1.5-2g/lb and go from there as need be

Science and the RDA say that many people only need 45-60g/protein a day


There currently is no such thing as scientific proof when it comes to something like this.

You might find a few research studies, but I doubt you'll find anything directly applicable to your situation.

Instead of getting hung up on what might work best, simply experiment until you find what does work best.

I recommend starting somewhere around 1.0 to 1.5 g protein/lb lean mass.


I tried to look into the same thing. Dieticians have used nitrogen balance tests to determine protein requirements resulting in recommendations from .45-.60 g/kg, and some recommending .8 g/kg. Now some scientists are beginning to admit that the nitrogen balance test is inaccurate. It should be mentioned as well that the recommendations are for necessary protein not for optimal protein. They did not vary the requirement for athletes vs sedentary people.

I believe that they grossly underestimate the protein requirements and personally stick to the 1-2 g/lb as is commonly recommended.


The RDA/I is only one of the (inter)nationally recognised nutrition reccomendations - although i cannot remember the acronyms for the sports one (UK).

However i found the protein recommendation from ACSM, ASA etc..

As for the OP - as someone said - it is impossible to do.. everyone is differnet, and even if we all had the exact same day as each other, were the same height and weight and age - it would still vary.

There is not and never will be a single rule for everyone where sports science is concerned (nor any other subject relating to multiple individuals)



Anyone consistently eating 3 grams of protein per lb. of bw. should get smacked for depleteing our planets resources.


the one thing I like is how people are always, "oh don't overeat protein". Oh really? But, over-eating fat and/or carbs is perfectly acceptable?


Well, why not end bbing all together, and, create a drug which stores protein instead of fat.

Yep yep, that will be the end of bbing, since our body can't store protein is the main reason why need so much stimulus in the first place :smiley:


It's all about that Leucine!


Haha, Drew, you have no idea, ever since I stumbled upon this site. The only thing I wanted to buy was L-Leucine.

I would be able to finally enjoy my ice-cream without guilt :wink:


The only thing I would add to this is that you don't need protein per lb but rather per lb of LEAN mass. Adding in calories to fuel your body fat is pretty much useless and counterproductive.


I don't think you can magically choose where the calories will go. Much easier to just eat adequate calories/protein for growth if we're talking about optimal progress.