How Much Protein Do I Have To Eat?

“1 gram per kilo of body weight? I want to preserve my muscles and make some gains.”


I hear this question often. Here is the deal, you don’t need any protein. It would be best if you had amino acids, the building blocks of protein. When you eat protein, like steak, fish, or eggs, your body breaks them up into amino acids and uses them for what it needs.

When you work out, you break down muscle, literally tear muscle fibers, and they dump amino acids into your system. Most of these amino acids can be picked back up and recycled under the right circumstances. 

This process of tearing down can be limited, and recycling the amino acids can be promoted, causing very little “loss” of muscle, if even detectable.

Here is the deal. 

This whole process is controlled by hormones. 

The breakdown of muscle, the uptake of amino acids, and the rebuilding of muscle or the sparing of it are all mediated by hormones like insulin, HGH, and cortisol.

No amount of protein you can take in food form, powders, shakes, or bars can force your body to spare your muscle when these hormones are out of sync. You can actually make it worse. 

When your hormones are in synch, very little protein is needed to keep and BUILD more muscle. Usually, less than 100 grams per day in a very active and exercising, weight lifting individual, man or woman. 

There are always exceptions.

At the end of the day, the fat content of the diet will have more of a role in the preservation, repair, and growth of muscle and the muscle-friendly hormone balance than protein.

The only way to keep the hormones in proper balance for this and health is through a healthy lifestyle approach that is multifaceted and honors your entire system. 

This harmony comes from the inside out and can not be forced through supplements, excess protein intake, or any other gym or health wish/myth.

Be wise, my friends, don’t get caught up in the gym or medical lore out there. 

Always focus on the big picture; you will be glad you did.

We can do better!

Dr. Don