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  • HuskNutrition

Quality vs Quantity of Protein - Muscle Building and Recovery

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

Are you recovering or are you sore after workouts for a long time?

Not getting stronger?

Not quite able to grow the quads of Kara Saunders?

- read on…


- Eating around 150-200g of high quality animal proteins at 1-2 meals of the day, with other whole food protein sources, (breads, grains, dairy) will assist recovery.

- Eating high quality proteins means you can eat less overall, meaning more room for fat/carbs in the diet. 🍫🍚🥪🥘🥞🍌

Protein quality <~ ✅ is proportionate ⚖️ to protein quantity 🍳🥩

Protein quality is based on this PDBCAA chart below from Mondosciences 100% amino acid score.

Typically, this is based on:

Ease of digestion and absorption in the small intestine.

Stimulus of muscle reactions to rebuild.


When we take on protein, our gut has to digest and break the protein down into molecules that can be drip fed into the small intestine for our liver and muscles to use.

It’s like taking scissors to a chicken breast, cutting down into tiny strips. 🍗✂️✂️✂️✂️

When this happens - protein turns into amino acids. Which get broken down into caragories.

Branch chain amino acids (know leucine!) ✅

Essential amino acids ✅

Non-essential amino acids ✅

Conditionally essential amino acids ✅

They get used in the body in different ways but the liver will use up a LOT of dietary essential and non-essential amino acids for cell functions and detoxification, leaving very few essential amino acids to circulate into the system.

If we choose high quality protein sources, ones rich in the branch chain and essential amino acids, we need less quantity of protein.

High quality sources are very bioavailable and stimulate muscle tissues at all levels, even your eyes, especially because of it’s leucine content.

This is whey, milks, eggs, egg whites, chicken, beef, pork…

~ Leucine ~ even if taken alone creates a healthy response in muscle protein synthesis. Sadly however, if we take any amino acid alone, the body still needs to “build” protein, meaning the body will pull any amino acids (protein) it needs from other pools (muscles, organs, liver etc).

Different meats have different amounts of leucine but aiming at 3g per meal is ideal in 1-2 meals of the day.

Chicken breast (raw) - 230g (53g protein, 243 calories)

Lean steak cuts (cooked) - 190g (54g protein, 340 calories)

Pork however - you need over 1kg to get enough leucine (over 200g protein, 1230 calories)

There’s a reason bodybuilders eat chicken, eggs and beef.

If we choose lower quality (bioavailable) sources, most may be pooped out in nitrogen and fibre. The dietary stimulus to protein utilisation is much lower, therefore you need more protein for the same muscle stimulus.

This is peanuts, rye, barley, wheat, corn, peas, rices, oats, soy…

- Tofu - 600g (49g protein, 438 calories)

- Canned beans - 3 drained cans (52g protein, 690 calories)

- Peanut butter - 200g (45g protein, 1218 calories)

The more the quantity of these foods increases, the more calories they also have meaning they rob you of the calories you can use for enjoyment.

BUT …!!!

A burrito or wrap consisting of…

2 wheat or corn wraps

125g chicken

125g cooked brown rice

125g kidney beans

+ salad veggies

Would get over 3g of leucine 🛎🛎

Remember the two things that control utilisation of protein for muscle building are:

Total protein intake over the day ✅ (1g per lb of bodyweight)

Resistance training ✅

Movement and stimulus of kinds still heightens the dietary need for protein but also the UTILISATION of it becoming muscle mass.

Here’s what you can do today to build more muscle and recover faster.

- Eat around 150-200g (raw weight) of high quality animal proteins at 1-2 meals of the day, with other whole food protein sources, (breads, grains, dairy) will assist recovery.

- Know your dietary protein sources and plan some healthy meals a few days a week you can eat and prepare that include them.

Try a food company such as Gousto to deliver healthy meals.

Try my recipe book subscription: <~ 30 recipes every month designed to help you eat with the family, friends, including breakfast, sides, mains and desserts.

Try my eating out guides: they tell you not only calories but also macros for your favourite restauraunts:

Want more help? Stay in touch…

@husknutrition <~ all platforms

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