Just eating more muscle will not make you gain muscle. But, if you’re trying to build your muscles through exercise, you may need more protein. How much depends upon how hard you’re working out. An average person working out to stay healthy, but not on a vigorous exercise and weight-training program, will need around 1/2 gram of protein per pound per day. Studies have shown that athletes undergoing vigorous exercise for two hours per day need double that amount of protein, around a gram of protein per pound per day. Serious weight-lifters may need to even go up to a gram and a half of protein per pound per day. For most teens and adults on vigorous exercise programs, increasing their daily protein by one-third (roughly 16 to 20 grams of meat or fish) is sufficient.
I’m exercising vigorously to stay lean and doing weight training to build muscle mass. Do I need to eat extra protein?