The Myth of 1g/lb – Optimal Protein Intake for Bodybuilders

The Myth of 1g/lb.: Optimal Protein Intake for Bodybuilders

Protein is one of the most critical nutrients for bodybuilders because it is responsible for muscle development. The protein myth has been around for decades now with an unanswered question about the optimal intake of protein for bodybuilders. In the current fitness world, the myth is that as a bodybuilder, you need to consume 1g of proteins per pound of bodyweight. This belief has rarely been questioned with a protein intake of more than 1g/lb. considered excessive.

It is true that protein can help you increase both your strength and muscle size. A lot of manufacturers are now producing protein powders and shakes promoted as a means of achieving muscle mass. As a result, numerous beliefs have sprung up in the nutrition field with a lot of conflicting information with regards to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein. So what is the optimal protein intake for bodybuilders?

The role of proteins

Many people believe that the function of protein is just to repair muscle tissues, but it goes beyond that. Proteins are responsible for blood clotting, transportation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, controlling the secretion of hormones, and repairing of red blood cells. Proteins are therefore a crucial nutrient when it comes to the coordination of the body’s functions as well as overall health. They are also involved in muscle development. Speaking of muscle building, bodybuilders can enhance the process by using steroids from reliable vendors like Steroids Evo.

Research on protein intake

According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, the protein RDA for adults is 0.8g/lb., and for children it is two or three times that amount. The RDA for children is higher because of their faster growth rate. This figure has often been overlooked by bodybuilders, but how did researchers arrive at it?

Nitrogen balance in the body has been used to develop the protein RDA. Because nitrogen is a major component of protein, the amount taken in is compared to the amount lost. Nitrogen can be lost through sweating, loss of hair, urinating, defecating, and skin shedding. Researchers concluded that in a day, approximately o.8 kg of lean bodyweight is lost, hence the RDA of 0.8g/lb.

What do other researchers say?

Recent studies indicate that the 0.8g/lb. figure does not meet demands of bodybuilders. Dr. Peter Lemon says that the average RDA for bodybuilders should be between 1.7-1.8g/lb. per day. Dr. Lemon arrived at this conclusion using studies done by Fern in 1991 and Tarnopolsky et al in 1992, which used a daily protein intake of 1.3 to 3.3 grams. Researchers from Kent University concluded that a bodybuilder needs a protein intake of 1.4g/lb.

So where did the 1g/lb. figure originate?

Human beings tend to believe something without knowing where it originated from. The 1g/lb. figure may be a dietary practice of a very famous bodybuilder with no consideration given to whether the bodybuilder was using other products to supplement. The figure can also be as a result of a flawed nitrogen balance study.


As a bodybuilder, you can consume too much protein than your body can use, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Extra protein in the body can always be converted to energy. Though there is nothing wrong with consuming too much protein than you can use, it is important to incorporate a variety in your diet for healthy gains.