Their conclusion? Dietary protein supplementation increased the gains you see when you strength train regularly—both in terms of upping your 1-rep max and putting on more lean muscle.
But it doesn’t seem to be a case where more is better: Supplementing with protein beyond 1.6 grams for every 1 kilogram of bodyweight didn’t appear to have any added benefit, suggesting that was the max protein dose you need to get the greatest gains. That would mean, for example, that a 90 kilogram guy would take in 130 grams of protein a day.
It’s important to understand, though, that protein supplementation only enhanced the effects you see when you put in the work: For instance, strength training boosted 1-rep max increases by an average of about 30 Kilograms (when taking into account all the different measures the studies used to calculate them.) Adding protein supplementation to lifting boosted the increase by an average of just over two kilos—a change of about 9 percent.
When looking at muscle size, lifting alone—in a program of at least six weeks—increased lean muscle by about one and a half kilos. Protein supplementation boosted the lean muscle gains by 0.3 kilograms.
That strongly suggests that the practice of weight training is far more potent in producing strength and muscle gains than simply adding protein is, the study authors say. So upping your protein when you’re slacking in the gym isn’t going to give you the gains you want.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health