The Missing Link: The critical role of protein for Muscle Development and Performance

The Missing Link: The critical role of protein for Muscle Development and Performance

 The Missing Link: Why You Might Be Underestimating the Importance of Protein for Muscle Development


The role of protein in muscle development is a well-established principle in nutritional science. However, understanding the optimal protein intake for muscle growth remains a complex and nuanced issue, particularly for active individuals and athletes. This article explores the scientific underpinnings of protein intake recommendations and reflects on insights from leading figures in the functional health community.

The Protein Quandary: How Much is Enough?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men, targeted at the average sedentary individual. For those engaging in physical activities, particularly bodybuilding or endurance sports, these guidelines may prove insufficient.

Research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition supports higher protein intakes for active individuals, suggesting a range of 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (Helms et al., 2014). Based on this recommendation, a 68-kilogram individual (approximately 150 pounds) would require between 82 and 150 grams of protein daily 

Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Mark Hyman, recognized experts in functional medicine, have emphasized individualized approaches to protein intake, considering factors such as activity level, age, and overall health. Their insights align with the broader scientific consensus, underscoring the importance of quality sources. One such source, egg white protein, is particularly esteemed for its rich profile of essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth, including Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Lysine, Methionine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, and Histidine. A study published in the Journal of Food Science highlighted the complete amino acid profile of egg whites, marking them as an efficient and balanced source for supporting muscle synthesis and repair (Anton et al., 2006). 

Striking the Right Balance: Source and Quality

Increasing protein intake requires careful consideration of the source and overall nutritional profile to avoid unintended consumption of sugars, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Emphasizing clean, high-quality protein sources without unnecessary additives is paramount.

The ratios of protein to sugars, calories, and other macronutrients must be balanced to ensure optimal muscle nourishment without compromising overall health. We designed the Intrinsic 26g bar to exemplify this balance with 26g of egg white protein, 9g of sugar, 12g of net carbs, 2g of saturated fat, and 13g of fiber, reflecting a thoughtful approach to modern nutritional needs.

Preserving Muscle for Strength and Performance as you Age

As we age, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly vital. Protein's role in supporting muscle health and combating age-related muscle loss is well-documented. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted the significance of protein intake in preserving muscle mass in older adults (Paddon-Jones et al., 2008). 


The optimization of protein intake is a critical component of muscle development. It is not merely the quantity but the quality, source, and individualized needs that must be considered in tailoring a dietary strategy. The insights of Dr. Attia and Dr. Hyman, alongside peer-reviewed research, guide a nuanced understanding of protein's role in achieving desired physical outcomes.

For those aiming for optimal performance and muscle mass, the quality of protein sources cannot be overlooked. Egg whites, grass-fed bison, grass-fed beef, and organic free-range chicken are among the top choices for many athletes and active individuals. These sources are rich in essential amino acids that promote muscle growth, recovery, and overall performance.

Understanding the needs of busy athletes who are constantly on the go, we created our specially formulated protein bar. This bar offers a similar amino acid profile to those high-quality sources without sacrificing health. Crafted to meet the unique nutritional demands of performance-driven lifestyles, it provides a convenient and tasty option for fueling muscle and achieving peak physical condition.

If you're seeking to enhance your training, increase muscle mass, and maintain a balanced diet, our protein bar is an excellent addition to your nutritional arsenal. Incorporating these premium protein sources into your daily routine can make a significant difference in reaching your fitness goals and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Intrinsic 26 Bar today.


Helms, E. R., Zinn, C., Rowlands, D. S., & Brown, S. R. (2014). A systematic review of dietary protein during caloric restriction in resistance-trained lean athletes: a case for higher intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(2), 127-138.

Paddon-Jones, D., Short, K. R., Campbell, W. W., Volpi, E., & Wolfe, R. R. (2008). Role of dietary protein in the sarcopenia of aging. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87(5), 1562S-1566S.

Anton, X., Cancela, A., Castellote, A.I., Rossell, C., Codony, R., Costell, E., Flores, M., Gallardo, M.A., Garde, J., Gaya, P., Medina, I., Mor-Mur, M., Navarro, J.L., Pla, R., Puignou, L., Sentandreu, M.A., Simal, S., Triquell, L., Toldrá, F., Vegara, A., Barbosa, M. (2006). Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods. Journal of Food Science, 70(1), R1-R12.

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