How much protein post workout for muscle growth

You’ve hit the gym you’ve pumped some iron, you’ve worked hard enough that you’ve created those microscopic tears in your muscle cells that are going to help your muscle cells grow back bigger and stronger.

You’ve created the perfect environment for muscle growth

It’s time to sit back, slap yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on another session nailed and in the bag.


Doing the exercise is just the start, all the exercise does is create the environment for muscle growth, your muscles need the right fuel so the fibres can grow back bigger and stronger.

Most people will know that if you’re wanting to get bigger you need to eat more protein, I’m always being asked the same question though how much extra protein   and when?

I recommend my athletes 3.5g of protein per Kg of body weight when they are on a growth phase. So if you weigh 100kg you’ll need to be consuming 350g of protein per day. You’ll need 1.75g of carbohydrate and 1.0g/Kg of fat.

That may sound a lot, it is a lot but if you want to give yourself the best shot of bulking up then it’s what you need to do.  I’ve worked with over 500 professional rugby players and have tried various levels and this is what DELIVERS results.

OK so you’ve got your 350 g of protein how are you going to consume that amount during the course of a day.  Let me just explain a key point a chicken breast  might weigh 100g, however much of that weight is made up of water the protein content is likely to be around 30g so you’ll be looking at the equivalent of 12 chicken breasts during the course of a day to get your 350g of protein.

Get your protein from as many different sources as possible Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Beef (easy on the beef unless it’s organic), Eggs, Cottage Cheese, Whey Protein are the most popular sources. Try and combine the different types of protein in each meal, don’t just eat chicken breasts all day instead have a chicken breast, with cottage cheese and a whey protein shake for one meal.

An important point that often gets missed is that you need to include a serving of high glycaemic index food in your post workout Whey Protein shake a sugar such as maltodextrin or Vitargo, usually found in sports recovery drinks are  a good option.  You need to have 1.75g of Carbohydrate per Kg of body weight.

The reason you need the sugar is to create a spike in your insulin levels. Insulin helps to ‘open up’ your muscle cells so that the protein can get in and start repairing and rebuilding the muscle cells after your weight session.  If you don’t have the insulin the proteins left knocking on the door of your muscle cells that are crying out for it.
Here’s a quick recap…

  • Train hard
  • 3.5 g Protein/Kg Body Weight
  • 1.75g/Kg Carbohydrate in post workout shake
  • Post Workout Whey Protein shake within 30 mins of finishing session
  • Eat protein from different sources in each meal
  • Big meal 2 hours after training


Matt Lovell – Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell - Elite Sports Nutritionist

Matt Lovell is an Elite Sports Nutritionist. He has worked with the England Rugby Team since 2002 and also currently works with 4 premiership teams and UK Athletics team as they prepare for the Olympic Games in London in 2012..  His primary website is  chock full of useful Sports Nutrition information and if you leave a question Matt’s really good at getting back to you.

Matt has written a comprehensive guide on Preparing for a Big Event, the popular Fat Loss Program Four Week Fat Loss and Regenerate a Muscle Building Nutrition program.


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