Remember when your school teacher told you math is vital in life? Well, they weren't wrong. Calculating how much protein to gain muscle is an essential equation.
You might need a calculator. Maybe a scale or two. And you’ll definitely need to do some measuring. Ultimately you should talk to your doctor or nutritionist to decide how much protein you need, but here’s an idea of how you can calculate your protein intake.
Figuring out how much protein you need depends a lot on your goals. Are you trying to grow muscle? Maybe you’re trying to maintain your current muscle mass? And you might be wondering if there is a difference between endurance or strength training?
Lenny & Larry’s has been wrestling with the reality of protein calculations since we got started. It’s sort of our thing. We design all of our cookies to meet various protein needs.
Let’s take a closer look at how to calculate protein intake for your personal needs and goals.
Brief intro to protein
We know we need protein to build and maintain muscle. But what exactly is protein?
Quite simply, protein is a macronutrient. Which is to say that it is a nutrient our bodies require in larger amounts than other nutrients. And protein is a macronutrient built on a foundation of amino acids.
Our bodies can produce various amino acids, which we refer to as “non-essential.” However, there is also a category of “essential” amino acids, and our bodies do not naturally produce them. In other words, we have to get essential amino acids from the food or supplements we consume.
But how do we figure out how much protein to gain muscle and maintain it?
Approaches to calculating protein intake
Like a lot of things in life, how much protein you need is individual to you. Calculations can depend on your weight, build, fitness goals, and other factors.
Let's look at some of the important things to consider when figuring out how much protein you need to intake.
Calculating on calories
We have all heard about calories. But what do they have to do with protein intake?
Well, first, the most common daily recommendation is based on 2,000 calories. Again, remember to talk to your doctor or nutritionist to see what’s best for you. But if you’re working on a 2,000-calorie intake a day, recommendations often calculate that 15-30% of this calorie intake should consist of protein.
But no worries. We have done the math for you. This comes out to be 300-600 calories from protein daily.
Let’s throw out some other quick numbers. Protein has four calories per gram, so 150 grams of protein will contain about 600 calories.
Yet, what if you are trying to gain muscle and maintain it? Maybe you’re exercising out most days of the week and doing intense workouts?
Your calorie requirements then increase with extra activity, possibly even doubling to 4,000 per day. But calculating a percentage of calories remains the same, dramatically increasing your protein requirements.
This can be helpful for basic protein calculations. But it doesn’t take into account your weight or fitness goals.
Calculating on weight
Figuring out how much protein you need based on your weight is more personalized than overall calorie intake. Different bodies need different amounts of protein. A person weighing under 100 pounds will often require less protein than someone weighing over 200 pounds.
Of course, burning more calories and shooting for more muscle gain can increase the number of grams of protein per pound. But at least you now have a baseline for calculating based on your personal measurements and goals.
Calculating on lean body mass
What is “lean body mass,” you might ask?
Your lean body mass accounts for everything in your body that isn’t fat—including organs, skin, bones, and body water.
This might be the most nuanced way to get an accurate estimate on calculating how much protein to gain muscle. Calculating based on your lean body mass takes into account more than just general calorie accounts and simple weight measurement.
For those high-level athletes with a minimal body fat percentage, there’s not as much to gain from understanding lean body mass. But a higher body fat percentage can have a dramatic impact on the protein calculation.
This could result in a protein intake that is far beyond recommendations. Measuring based on lean body mass will produce a more reliable result.
The name of the game is flexibility. You want to get your protein in the right amount and at the right time. Our cookies make it easy to figure out how much protein to gain muscle.
At Lenny & Larry’s, we offer various servings of protein. You’ll find a quick, easy portion in our bite-size The Complete Crunchy Cookie. And you can punch it up a bit with The Complete Cookie and Keto Cookie.
Or you can really bring it home with our 18 grams of protein in The Boss! Cookie.Explore our website for a whole lot of options on getting more protein to build muscle.