How Much Protein Do You Actually Need To Prevent Muscle Loss?

Muscle loss is one big concern among every fitness enthusiast/bodybuilder. Everyone knows that protein is the most essential nutrient when it comes to muscle building. Not having enough protein can lead to muscle loss, hair loss, skin issues, etc.   

People use all kinds of protein supplements like whey protein powders, protein bars, protein shakes, etc. to prevent muscle loss, but do you exactly know how much protein is enough to prevent muscle loss? This is what we are going to discuss today. 

What is Protein? 

Protein is the building block of amino acids that are primarily used to create bodily tissues, maintain fluid balance, etc. A protein-rich diet keeps you full for longer hours.   

How Much Protein A Person Needs?

It’s very difficult to exactly give a figure that “this much protein” is enough to prevent muscle loss. Protein requirement depends on various factors such as Protein absorption, protein turning into tissues, and protein as waste.  

According to RDA (recommended dietary allowance), the protein required to prevent muscle loss is 0.8g per kilogram. So, If your body weight is 65 kilograms, you’ll need 81grams of protein to prevent muscle loss. 

To be honest, there are a lot of issues with this recommendation that we’ll discuss later.  

Also, Read- Reality of High Protein Food

Factors That Affect Protein Absorption

Insulin Resistance:-

People with high insulin resistance have problems with protein absorption. High IR can lead to low protein absorption. To fix this, you have to make sure that you’re not eating bad carbs and you’re maintaining the right insulin levels.   

Stomach Acid:-

This is a major problem with older people. People over the age of 50 don’t have enough stomach acid. Low levels of stomach acid lead to no break down the protein at stomach levels.  So, people at this age always gonna be protein deficient. Low levels of protein cause fatigue, poor joint function, sagging skin, etc.   

Enzymes:- 

People who have pancreas issues face low enzyme production. Enzymes produced in the pancreas are crucial for protein breakdown. 

A combination of enzymes in the stomach, the acid in the stomach, and enzymes in the pancreas all combined help to break down and absorb the protein. People consuming enzymes (via protein supplements) have better protein absorption.  

Bacteria:-

Bacteria help you make amino acids and proteins. The use of antibiotics destroys the microbes/bacteria that are responsible for protein absorption. [Read More]

Protein Requirement Depends On The Following Factors

Activity Level (Exercise Level):-

The more you exercise, the more protein you’ll need to prevent muscle loss. Athletes who train five to six hours/day will be needing two times of protein of their body weight. 

Age:-

A lot of people as they grow older are protein deficient. As you grow older, it’s better to use amino acid supplements to fulfill all those protein requirements. Amino acid supplements are already broken down, and they’re not in raw protein form, so they are very easy to absorb. 

What’s the Right Amount of Protein to Prevent Muscle Loss? 

Personally, I believe 1grams per kg of body weight is the right amount of protein one must consume every day to prevent muscle loss at any activity level, age or medical conditions, etc. 

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