T Nation

Why One Gram Per Pound?

Hey, the standard advice is to consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight. I was just wondering where that comes from. Is it from a particular study or is it just something people came up with?

There are some studies that show that number to be much higher, and some much lower but it’s likely a good starting point for most.

Comes from a multitude of studies. All studies aren’t created equal - some people in some studies might be of a greater average training age then in other studies, some people might be a lot more active, everyone has different metabolic requirements. I wouldn’t recommend any less than 1g/lb, but as far as going up goes, it really depends on your total caloric intake & how much calories you burn a day.

Cause you gotta start somewhere.

I did quite a bit of research into this at one time, and while the answers were all different, you could discern a general range.

0.4g/lb if you’re sedentary
0.8g/lb considered the minimum for people actively training.
1.0g/lb considered the bodybuilding minimum
1.25g-1.5g/lb considered by many to beneficial, though there is some diminishing returns
2.0g/lb not recommended for most unless you’re on steroids, or have an unusually large amount of lean body mass.

Generally you want to be about 20% higher when you’re on a calorie deficit due to increased catabolic tendencies. Personally I decided on 1.25g/lb of lean body mass, this seems to work out pretty well.