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Can You Have Too Much Protein?


How Does Protein Help Me?

Protein helps with muscle development but with the vast array of information available, often saying to consume large amounts of protein what information should you follow. Whilst protein can indeed rebuild and help with the growth of muscle, consuming large amounts in one sitting is not the most efficient way to feed your muscles. What you require is a strategy for your diet that optimises the results your muscles can obtain from consuming protein.

The questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • How much do I need per day?
  • How often should I be consuming protein?
  • How much do I require per serving?

How much do I need per day?

1-2g per kg of bodyweight per day

The amount required each day will depend on your body weight, the type of exercise and how often you exercise. The reference intake for healthy living is 0.8g per Kg of body mass per day (g/KgBM/d), therefore the more you weigh the more you require. When you’re active the requirement by your body for more protein goes up to between 1-2 g/KgBM/d, however there is no evidence to show that consuming above 2 g/KgBM/d has any more beneficial effects, so you’re getting too much protein past that point.

Follow the guidelines of how much you require per day below:

Activity Level Protein Intake (g/kgBM/d)
Reference Intake 0.8g
Regular Exercisers 1-1.2g
Endurance Exercisers 1.2-1.4g
Strength/Speed Exercisers 1.2-2g

How often should I consume protein?

Every 3 hours

The consumption of protein every 3 hours during the day has been shown in recent studies to be the optimal eating pattern to assist in the development of muscle tissue. To put this into context, if you spilt your waking day into 3 hour slots like the diagram below you will see that it allows you to consume up to 6 meals/snacks per day, enabling you to drip feed the body manageable optimal servings of protein.

How much protein should I consume per serving?


The research on protein science tells us that the ideal protein serving size per feed is 20g but with benefits still being seen up to 40g, particularly in people with greater muscle mass. Beyond 40g you’re getting too much protein and there are no additional benefits, so aim for between 20-40g per serving.

As an example a person weighing 75kg looking to build muscle mass would require 2 g/KgBM/d or 150g of protein per day. If you spilt this figure over 5 meal/snacks per day consumed every 3 hours then each meal would ideally contain 30g of protein.