For body builders, one-gram-per-pound of body weight has been a rule of thumb for years - and it's very close to the .8 grams per pound of body weight recommended in the most recent research. However, .8 grams per pound of body weight should be considered a minimum for strength athletes, bodybuilders and anyone else involved in serious training. When you account for factors such as biochemical individuality, varying metabolic rates and the added protein needed to accommodate for intense cardio and weight training, adding an extra margin of .2g/lb makes sense. Under certain circumstances, one gram per pound may not be enough, but we'll talk more about that later.
The one-gram-per-pound guideline is the easiest and most commonly used method of calculating your daily protein requirement, but it does have drawbacks. If you're within the normal ranges for body composition, then this method provides a fairly good estimate of your protein needs. If you're overweight and your body fat is considerably higher than normal, then this formula will overestimate your protein needs. For example, a lightly active 275 lb woman with 35% body fat certainly doesn't need 275 grams of protein. This guideline also doesn't take into account whether your goal is to gain or lose weight. Nevertheless, as long you are training regularly and you are within the normal ranges for body composition, then this simple formula is a solid recommendation and a good place to start.
Example 1: You are female
Your total body weight = 130 lbs.
Your protein requirement = 130 grams per day
If you eat 5 - 6 meals a day, that's 22 - 26 grams of protein per meal
Example 2: You are male
Your total body weight = 190 lbs.
Your protein requirement = 190 grams per day
Spread over 5 - 6 meals per day, that's 32 - 38 grams of protein per meal
Was this article helpful?
Bodybuilding requires commitment. It is a totally different lifestyle that entails letting go of old habits and adopting new ones. You cannot go into bodybuilding and be half- hearted about it. It is a test of strength, self-discipline and willpower. Start only when you are sure you can commit time, effort and energy. Learn tips like this one and 99 more.