There is no fixed answer to “how much protein is too much in bodybuilding?” This is mainly because the protein intake depends on the daily calorie consumption of each individual along with a few other factors such as their current diet, etc.
However, this does not neglect the importance of a numerical figure, which determines an approximate amount.
How much protein is too much in bodybuilding?
If you follow a traditional diet balanced between proteins, fats and carbohydrates, it should contain at least 10% protein or 1 to 1.5 g of protein per lean body weight.
Unfortunately, determining lean body weight isn’t always easy. However, 0.8 to 1 gx body weight is another way to determine daily protein intake.
For example, if your body weight is 95 pounds, your protein intake will fluctuate between 76g and 95g. However, this is ultimately an approximate number.
On the other hand, you can calculate how much protein you need using the calorie method.
This method determines the number of calories you consume daily. Then multiply the same with 10% to 30% depending on your training and your goals. That being said, 1g of protein contains 4 calories. Therefore, you can divide the number by 4 to find out how many calories of your daily intake should come from protein.
20% of 2500 calories is 400 calories.
400 calories divided by 4 calories is 100 calories.
Therefore, you should consume 100 calories from protein.
Ideally, you should stick to a protein intake of 30% or less throughout the day.
How much protein is used by the body?
Generally, whatever amount of protein you put in your body will be used. However, not everything will be used for protein synthesis, which provides the amino acids needed to build muscle.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, keeping your protein intake at 30% is an acceptable amount for protein synthesis. When you exceed this number, the body begins to use the excess protein for energy by oxidizing it. This is something you should avoid.
Ideally, your body should use carbohydrates for energy. However, when you switch to a low-carb diet, your body must burn stored fat for energy. At no time should you exercise or allow your body to oxidize protein for energy.
The amount of protein you should consume in terms of grams or ounces is directly related to your primary goals. Now, even if your main goal is to maximize muscle building, you can’t fill your entire diet with protein.
Your body can only use a certain amount of protein to stimulate muscle building. Usually that number is 30g, but your body can digest way more than that.
When you supply your body with protein, the amino acid levels in your blood rise and the muscle building process is kicked off. Once this is started, adding more protein will not make the process faster or better. At this point, the excess protein will be used for energy.
Even on a Keto diet, which is mostly fat and protein, it’s usually capped at 10% to 20% protein.
What happens when you eat too much protein?
There are side effects to consuming too much protein. The amount of protein you consume will determine your health in more ways than one. This could produce the following effects:
- You feel dehydrated
- You add fat to your body
- There is a lack of performance
- You constantly feel constipated
You should avoid the above consequences by limiting your protein intake to what is required by your goals and diet instead of filling your meals with protein.
At the end of the line
When you’re a bodybuilder, you use a lot of heavy weights to make you stronger and build bigger muscles. This means that your muscle fibers will need protein to grow thicker and stronger.
Even with that in mind, you don’t need more than 30% protein. An average gym goer will likely consume 10% of the protein in a 2,000 calorie diet. On the other hand, a bodybuilder will consume 25-30% protein from a 3000 or 4000 calorie diet.
It is important to remember that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will consume. A significant amount of protein from this high-calorie diet is used to maintain your muscle mass!