How much protein do you need and when’s the best time to take it? This seemingly simple two-part question continues to be one of the great mysteries of the weight room. Then there’s the issue of carbohydrate intake. A paper published in the European Journal of Sports Science offers some very specific suggestions for hard training men and women.

According to the study’s authors, men should consume 8 grams of carbs per day for each kilogram of body weight, and women should aim for 7 grams of carbs per kg each day. So a 150 pound male would be trying to get 544 grams of carbs each day compared to 378 grams for a 120 pound female. The maximum recommendation for protein was 1.7 grams per kg per day, or 116 grams for our male subject and 92 grams for the female.

This research goes on to recommend that 1 gram of carbs per kg of body weight along with at least 10 grams of protein be consumed immediately following a workout to optimize recovery. Of course, developing size requires adequate intake of quality calories to compensate for those utilized during training. It’s a delicate balance, but the results can be well worth the effort.

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