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How Much Protein Does a Bodybuilder Need in a Single Day?



Well-known member
Dec 2, 2022
Protein comprises many amino acids, which can help repair cells, increase the immune system, and maintain muscle tissues. As we know, bodybuilders rely on their muscular physique to get an edge over the competition and strength to keep their bodies working out. But how much protein does a bodybuilder need in a single day? Do they have a limit for protein intake? Will a protein supplement give their protein requirement?

A bodybuilder’s daily protein requirement depends on his body mass. The weight and other nutrients needed are calculated. In addition, the frequency of workouts also determines the protein requirement.

Having enough protein in their system can give them many fitness benefits they need for their bodybuilding career.

Muscle Building: Protein Requirements​

Like carbs, protein is one of the major nutritional requirements for bodybuilders. Protein helps in building muscle mass naturally. Aside from helping with their physical appearance, it aids in muscle recovery.

Recreational bodybuilders do not need to take as much protein as competitive bodybuilders. Higher protein intake is recommended for heavy lifters because they consume more calories than a regular individual. Consuming less protein will cause decreased muscle mass, which is the least circumstance a bodybuilder would want.

In addition, the appropriate protein intake will also help in weight loss. It can increase the burning of calories as you use it while working out. But it is not advisable to take an all-meat diet just to have the appropriate amount of protein in the body. Excess consumption of meat can cause other long-term illnesses, even when you are on heavy workouts.

Recommended Intake: Grams Per Day​

To keep the body healthy, a certain amount of protein is needed, especially if you want to build lean muscles. The required protein intake (in grams) can be calculated by age and how active you are. For bodybuilders, the weight in kilograms is multiplied by 1.8. In general, a bodybuilder who does heavy workouts will need not lower than 1.4 g/kg of protein daily.

According to USDA, a gram of protein provides less than 5 calories. Protein is mainly found in animal meat. Bodybuilders under a plant-based program can get their protein from nuts, beans, and rice.

Some people can tolerate excess consumption from the recommended intake. However, taking more than 2 g/kg can lead to long-term health problems. It may also cause nausea, fatigue, and weight gain. These are the things that will hinder a bodybuilder from his training. The excess protein will only contribute more calories and fat to the body.

It is important to remember that if you want to increase your protein intake, the calories produced should be burned. Otherwise, it may turn into fat and add to the body weight.

Source of Protein​

Not all sources of protein are recommended to be taken by a bodybuilder. Some contain other nutrients that are not needed by a bodybuilder and may affect their performance. But a bodybuilder should not rely solely on a protein shake for their body’s protein requirement. Taking too many bodybuilding supplements does not help in making the body healthy.

As a bodybuilder, you can get protein from these foods.


A bodybuilder’s grocery list will not be complete without dozens of eggs. This is because eggs have the best nutrients a bodybuilder needs for his diet. It contains at least 6 grams of protein, omega-3, and leucine. In addition, it also contains B vitamins that can naturally help supply energy to the body.

If you want to reduce cholesterol and saturated fats, remove the egg yolk and add egg white to a smoothie. It is the cheapest and easiest source of high protein to find.

Chicken Meat​

Chicken breasts have the highest amount of protein among all chicken meats. It contains less fat, and 100 gram of it can contain up to 27 grams of protein. However, ensure you remove the chicken skin during cooking since it contains fats that do not apply to your diet. Aside from protein, consuming chicken breasts can also give your body phosphorous and vitamin B6.


Like chicken breasts, tuna is also a pure-protein food good for bodybuilders. A 100-gram canned tuna in water may contain more than 20 grams of protein. It can be a good substitute for chicken breast to have a variety of pure protein in your diet.
Among all fishes that contain protein, tuna has the highest levels. You can also get more protein if it is fresh or frozen. It also contains good levels of omega-3, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Greek Yogurt​

If you plan to add a dairy product to your protein diet, greek yogurt is your answer. It can be bought fat-free or reduced-fat if you want to avoid fats in your diet. Its protein content is increased as it is processed. It has reduced water content compared to regular yogurt, which means you can enjoy more protein with the same taste as regular yogurt.

It also contains high calcium levels, which helps in increasing bone density.


Soybeans, edamame, and lentils are just some of the beans with high protein levels. If you plan a high protein plant-based diet, you can use beans as a substitute for chicken breast or steak.

A cup of steamed edamame may contain more than 20 grams of protein, while soybeans can have almost 30 grams per cup. It contains more protein than a regular chicken breast.


Quinoa is one of the best muscle-building food to add to your bodybuilding diet. It can repair your muscle tissues after an intense workout. All amino acids a bodybuilder needs can be found in this grain-like food.

A cup of cooked quinoa may contain more than 8 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrates. These are a good addition to your diet if you want leaner muscle and increased strength in training.

Benefits of Higher Protein Intake​

If your body can tolerate higher protein, higher protein can be good for a bodybuilder. It helps decrease the desire for food, which means you can take control of your cravings. It can make you lose weight since you will not eat more food. If you want to increase your protein intake, it is recommended to eat from plant-based sources.

More protein in the body can also provide better endurance in training. You can perform better during workout sessions without changing your daily calorie requirement. Having extra protein in the body can prevent the ripping of muscles as you work out.

Another benefit of higher protein intake is it increases bone density. Dairy products also contain high levels of protein and calcium. To further increase its benefits to the bones, you should take additional calcium-rich foods to your diet.

As a bodybuilder, you need enough sleep to rest and reset your energy the next day for intense training. Including higher protein in your diet can improve the length and quality of your sleep. However, consuming protein from lean and chicken meat can disrupt sleep since it takes time to digest.

Risk of Too Much Protein​

While adding more protein improve your sleep quality and bone density, having too much can impose many risks in the long run. One of the main sources of protein is animal meat. However, eating too much steak can lead to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.

If you only get protein from meats, it may cause long-term kidney failure. It contains high saturated fat, which is risky for people with a genetic history of kidney diseases. In addition, the body cannot store protein. The unused protein will become fat and add more body weight. It is easy to gain weight, but losing can be challenging.

It can also cause dehydration since the kidneys work more to excrete water from your body. Getting dehydrated makes training uncomfortable. And because you are dehydrated, it may lead to bad breath, especially if you cut down on carbohydrates.


Protein is the main source of energy for bodybuilders. That’s why a protein shake is recommended for those who want their muscles to look leaner and have more strength in training. High-protein diets provide many benefits, but they also increase the risk of having organ diseases. To get the full benefits of protein and avoid the risks, you should have a proper diet that contains the appropriate amount of nutrients based on your age, gender, and activities.
Last edited by a moderator:


New member
Jun 23, 2023
Bodybuilders need a good amount of protein to help them repair their muscles, boost their immune system, and maintain their gains. But how much protein do they really need in a day? Well, it depends on factors like their weight, how intense their workouts are, and what their goals are.

For most bodybuilders, the recommended protein intake is around 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. So if you weigh 80 kilograms, you'd want to aim for somewhere between 96 and 160 grams of protein daily. That's a good range to shoot for.

But hey, don't go crazy with the protein shakes and chicken breasts! There's actually a limit to how much protein your body can effectively use. Going overboard won't necessarily give you bigger muscles and could even put a strain on your kidneys and liver. So stick within that recommended range and you'll be fine.

Speaking of protein shakes, they can definitely help you meet your protein needs. They're convenient and provide a concentrated dose of protein. You can find all kinds of flavors and types like whey, casein, or plant-based proteins. They're a great addition to your diet, especially if you have trouble getting enough protein from regular food alone.

A professional can provide personalized recommendations tailored to optimize performance, muscle growth, and overall health.

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