Is 200 Grams Of Protein Enough To Build Muscle?

January 8, 2024 |

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Protein is everyone’s favorite nutrient for building muscle – even if carbs are more fun.

Today we’re asking, ‘is 200 grams of protein enough to build muscle?’

And discussing what it takes to diet for muscle growth. We’re going to cover just enough science to make it all make sense, then discuss your needs and whether or not 200 grams is the magic number for big muscles.

There is a lot of debate surrounding how much protein people need to consume in order to build muscle. Some people believe that you only need around 100 grams, while others think you need up to 200 grams or more.

So, what is the truth? And, more importantly, how much protein do you actually need to see results?

Let’s start by looking at what protein is, what it’s for, and its benefits.

Protein In The Diet: Function and Role

Protein is the most important of the three macronutrients in your diet – carbs, fats, and protein. Protein is the resource your body uses to build tissues – like the muscles – and you can only produce some of them, so you need to get protein from your diet.

The more protein you eat, the more access your body has to this wider range of resources and the more it can “spend” them on tissues.

Muscle tissue is calorie- and protein-expensive, so having more protein in your diet is essential to building more muscle mass. Studies on weight gain suggest that more protein means building more muscle and storing less fat.


Protein is also an important part of basic recovery and health. High protein diets are often better for all kinds of things:

  • They improve metabolic health and regularity
  • They support a more regular digestive environment
  • Protein supports joint health and tendon remodeling
  • Workout to workout performance improves with better protein content
  • Healthy aging and healthspan

It’s easy to see why protein is so important. It’s the main ingredient in muscle-building, which happens fastest when you’ve got enough calories and protein to repair your tissues, and then some extra to promote more (expensive) muscle growth!

How Much Protein Do You Need to Build Muscle?

Building muscle is a sliding scale from “breakdown” to “maintenance” and then up to “maximum muscle growth.”

For most people, maintenance will be around 70-100g of protein per day, plus a little more depending on exercise requirements.

More active people require more protein, so you probably need around 1.2-1.8g of protein per kg or 0.5g – 1g per lb. From that point onwards, more protein still means slightly more muscle, but the trade-off becomes worse over time.

That’s to say that eating more protein is good, but not the returns diminish over time.

Going from 50g of protein per day to 100g will see huge improvements. Going from 200g to 250g will be less obvious in your results.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

1.2 to 1.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 2.2lbs) is the standard recommendation. This range exists because more active people need more, skewing towards the upper end. Meanwhile, less active or intense exercise requires less protein to recover and grow.

Staying towards the upper end of this scale means getting better results.

There’s almost no negative to eating a little more protein per day, as long as you’re not getting that protein by removing other important nutrients (like vitamins and minerals) from your diet.

More protein will often improve the quality of weight gain and support growth. This means less fat mass and more muscle when you’re in a calorie surplus. More protein is the best way to build more muscle, and protein is a key part of getting the most from eating more and getting bigger and stronger.

Remember that other things determine how much protein you need:

  • Weight: Heavier people typically need less per kg (especially with a higher bodyfat %).
  • Age: Younger people typically need more protein than their elders for recovery and growth.
  • Training volume: More training volume means more protein demands.
  • TDEE: A higher metabolic rate requires more protein and vice versa.
  • Individual response: If you don’t get the results, turn it up – it’s all about your response.

It can be hard to grapple with these individual differences, but you must start in the above range and work out your personal preferences. More protein is typically better, but you still need to fit the rest of your diet, and it can be useful to see and feel changes over time.

Don’t get too stuck in the numbers – eat with protein as a priority, but don’t overthink the details.

Is 200 Gram Of Protein Enough To Build Muscle?

Yes – 200 grams of protein is enough to build muscle for all but the biggest, strongest, leanest people.

It’s easily in the 1.2g to 1.8g per kg of body weight for all but the largest people, where people up to 165kg of body weight (or 340+ pounds) can build muscle at medium training and activity levels.

This makes 200 grams of protein per day an intense recovery and growth stimulus.

It’s not something we all need to aim for, but it’s a worthy goal for an average man or a more active or more-muscular woman.

This is a great place to start for just about anyone, and it’s typically going to produce better results in the mid-term, especially if you’re changing from a lower protein diet (anything below 100g). Over months, these changes should be noticeable in your physique, recovery, and muscular strength.


Is 200 Grams Of Protein Per Day Too Much?

Two hundred grams of protein per day is not too much – it’s a healthy amount for most people and a good intake for basic muscle-building and recovery.

It is an amount that makes sense for many athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

The only people who should consume less than 200g of protein per day are very small women, who typically don’t need that much. This could easily represent 1/3 – ½ of total calorie intake, limiting other food groups (like carbs, fats, and micronutrients from other foods).

How Much Protein Should I Consume To Build Muscle?

You should consume around 1.2g to 1.8g per kilogram of body weight (or 2.2lbs).

More active people should be at the top of this range, while less active people can use smaller intakes since they have reduced needs.

You can also experiment going beyond this range, but the results you see will diminish as you add more and more protein. It’s an important nutrient – but remember that it’s not the only one.

Is 100g Of Protein A Day Enough To Build Muscle?

100g of protein per day is enough to build muscle for less active people up to 82.5kg and for more active people up to around 60kg. However, 100g is a relatively low protein intake for anyone that is very active and muscular.

The protein demands of weighing more and doing more will easily out-pace this protein intake. It’s not a significant risk, but more protein than 100g a day will usually produce better results.

What Is 200g Of Protein In Calories?

200g of protein contains 800 calories – as protein is roughly four calories per gram. 

However, protein also has a very high thermic effect on the body. For every 1gram or four calories consumed, you will typically spend 15-30% of that energy (up to around 1.5 calories per gram) in the processing and digestion of protein.

For this reason, higher protein intake may not always mean as much energy as it seems. This is why high-protein diets are great for weight loss (as well as muscle gain). It also means that 200 grams of protein may only have a useful calorie content of around 600-700 calories.

Consider this if you’re eating lots of protein and can’t seem to increase your body weight during a bulking phase.

How Much Protein To Build Muscle?

More! Protein is the most important nutrient for muscle gains and should be combined with a modest calorie surplus. You need a practical minimum of 1.2g of protein per kilogram (or around 0.5g per lb of body weight) to see good muscle-building results.

You can get by with less, but the results will be inconsistent, inferior, and more likely to plateau.

Typically, you should get 1.8g of protein per kg of body-weight if you’re training more intensely – and even more than if you’re very active or particularly lean (body fat below 10%).

Final Thoughts

Muscles depend on protein and 200g of protein per day is a good place to start for many people.

It may be a little more than a particularly small or light person needs, but it’s rarely going to cause any problems – even in the intake of other nutrients.

More protein is a simple strategy for building more muscle and recovering more effectively after exercise. This kind of focus can help improve various factors in your health and wellbeing.

200g is enough protein to build muscle for just about anyone – and it’s a good goal for beginners and intermediates who still need to “lock in” with dieting for muscle growth.

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