How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?

How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?

We all know how important protein is for building muscle. After all, your muscles are made out of proteins! That’s why I’m sure you’re wondering how much protein you actually need to build new muscle.

I’ve been in your shoes before too. I used to think that the more protein I ate, the better. To a certain extent, this can be true … however, you can overdo it too!

Today, we’ll talk about everything protein: How much you need, how much your body can absorb, how much is too much, and even good protein sources to seek out.

That way, you’ll know everything you need to know when it comes to protein and building muscle.

What is Protein?

For starters, every single tissue in your body is made from proteins. Not just your muscles, but your bones, organs, hair, skin, nails, and more are all made from proteins too!

When to Use Amino Acids

However, not all proteins are made equal. There are complete protein sources, and there are incomplete protein sources. The difference between the two is the amino acids that you’ll find in each.

I know that’s a lot to throw at you at once, so allow me to explain. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Believe it or not, there are 20 total amino acids. 9 of these amino acids, your body can’t produce on its own … these are the essential amino acids.

For your body to build muscle, you need to get all 9 of these essential amino acids from a protein source. The protein sources which have all 9 of these amino acids are complete protein sources. These are the kind of protein sources your body needs to build and maintain muscle tissue!

What Are Good Proteins To Help You Build Muscle?

If you want to build muscle, you need to eat complete protein sources. You also need to eat enough of these complete protein sources throughout the day!

But, what are some examples of complete protein sources? Here are some of the best ones to prioritize if you want to build muscle:

• Beef
• Chicken
• Poultry
• Fish
• Eggs
• Dairy
• Protein Powders

As you can see, these are animal protein sources. The truth is, animal protein sources are going to be the best when it comes to building muscle. If you follow a plant-based diet or lifestyle, don't be discouraged!

You can still get a complete amino acid profile in a lot of plant-based options. Soy, quinoa, and hemp are among the best. On top of those though, you can also get a plant-based protein powder. Heck, you can even pair plant-based protein sources together to get a complete protein source. A classic example for that would be beans and rice!

So, next time you go to the grocery store, you have a list of the protein sources you need. But, how much exactly are you going to need to build muscle?

How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?

When it comes to how much protein you need to build muscle, you'll usually get one of two answers:

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1. You need to get the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of .8g per kg of body weight. However, this would be equal to about .36g of protein per pound of body weight. So, for someone who weighs 200 pounds, they would only need 72g of protein. While this may be enough for a sedentary person looking to preserve muscle ... that's certainly not the case for someone working hard to build muscle!

2. You need to eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight or desired body weight.

Research shows that athletes and people who train to build muscle need more protein than the RDA. The recommendation now is .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight spread out over the course of at least 4 meals a day (1).

So really, 1g per pound of body weight is definitely not a bad recommendation.

How Much Protein Do I Need Post-Workout?

One of the best times to get in protein is immediately after your workout. If you're looking to build muscle, I'm sure you've heard of, or may even use, a post-workout recovery shake. But, how much protein do you need post-workout?

According to a statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance ... the recommended amount that athletes should have after their workout is a minimum of .11g to .14g per pound of body weight. They also recommend to get protein no more than two hours after your workout to help increase muscle mass (2).

This may be a good starting point, but other people say differently. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, founder of the Institute of Muscle-Centric Medicine, recommends getting at least 30g of protein per meal. This also includes post-workout (3). This will help ensure there are enough amino acids available to start building muscle.

In my opinion, the best protein to take after a workout would be a hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. They are a complete protein source that is designed to digest rapidly. When you can pair that with a high-glycemic carbohydrate ... you'll be golden when it comes to your post-workout recovery!

1st Phorm Post-Workout Stack

How to Get More Protein

If you are an athlete, or you are someone just wanting to strength train in general. You can benefit from more protein in your diet to build muscle! Again, the recommended range tends to be .8g-1.2g per pound of body weight. So, if you are wondering where to start, pick a number that feels comfortable for you and work your way up!

The Difference Between Whey and Casein Protein

I know eating this much protein can be very difficult at times. It is for all of us, not just you. Something that's helped me get enough protein and see better results, are high-quality protein shakes.

At 1st Phorm, we offer several high-quality options.

If you're looking for a protein shake to use for meals and snacks throughout the day ... try out Level-1! Level-1 is a blend of whey concentrate, whey isolate, and even milk protein. It is designed to give your body a steady stream of amino acids over a few hours to keep you full. Level-1 is what I personally use to help hit my protein goals for the day.

If you're looking for protein shake to use for post-workout recovery ... give Phormula-1 a try! It's a hydrolyzed whey protein isolate that is by far the best-tasting and best-mixing isolate on the market. I prefer to utilize Phormula-1 pre- and post-workout, because of its rapid absorption rate.

When you pair Phormula-1 with Ignition, you have yourself a high-quality post-workout combination!

Maybe you follow a plant-based lifestyle, which is totally cool. In your case, you would love our Vegan Power Pro. It's a high-quality plant-based protein sourced from rice protein and pea protein. Seriously though, I haven't had a plant-based protein powder that tastes better than Vegan Power Pro!

But, regardless of whether you use our proteins or not ... we're here to help you earn the results you want!

That's why we offer the 1st Phorm App. The app is the ultimate tool to help with your muscle building journey, or really, any health or fitness goals you may have.

It will not only help you track your protein and hit your goal, but it also has key features to help you:

• Track all your food
• Program your nutrition
• Get 1-on-1 assistance with your own certified advisor
• Choose between tons of workout programs for your goals
• Watch educational livestreams and instructional videos
• Track your progress and body metrics over time

...and so much more! All you have to do is download the app and get started now!

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches are more than happy to help out. Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at anytime!

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(1) Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Feb 27;15:10. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1. PMID: 29497353; PMCID: PMC5828430.

(2) Thomas, Daniel, et al. “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 116, no. 3, Elsevier BV, Mar. 2016, pp. 501–28.

(3) Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. “30G’s Recipes | Dr. Gabrielle Lyon.” Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, 13 June 2023,