How Much Protein to Eat to Build Muscle

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“I’m 6 feet tall, I weigh 215 pounds, and I’m 5 percent body fat. Clearly, I need more protein because of my genetics, my resting metabolic rate, and my activity level,” says Logan. “For me, high protein is, for you, excessively obnoxious.”

What time of day to eat protein:

“Let’s say I wanted to lose 20 pounds,” Logan says. (He doesn’t.) “Then I would exercise every morning on an empty stomach.”

Exercising before breakfast puts your body into immediate fat-burning mode because you haven’t eaten any calories for it to burn through first. Then, for the rest of the day, it is in healing mode, when it needs protein-rich foods to rebuild broken-down muscle. It’s during that healing process, called the anabolic effect, that muscles also grow.

Following that early morning workout, Logan suggests eating protein every four hours thereafter, more frequently if you’re exerting more energy. To remind yourself it’s time to replenish your body’s protein supply, set alarms on your phone.

“If I’m on an extremely high training schedule, or I know I’ve got something I’m getting ready for, then I’m going to set those alarms for every three hours. I start it after I finish my breakfast, then every three hours the alarm goes off, and it’s either time for a snack or a meal,” he says. “If it’s an off time for me, I might stretch it out to four or even five hours.”

What kind of protein supplement to eat:

Protein comes in many forms. There’s egg protein, whey protein, casein protein, soy protein, etc. Logan suggests staying away from soy protein, especially men, because it increases estrogen, which increases inflammation. Protein bars and shakes often blend proteins, but an ideal protein supplement will be a protein isolate, says Logan.

“It gets in your system faster, it’s more highly absorbable, and it’s more biologically available, which means the amount that you’re taking in, the body can use more of. It’s great for an immediate after-workout situation.”

Tip: To remind yourself it’s time to replenish your body’s protein supply, set alarms on your phone.

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