Protein Protein Protein, What is it and how much do you need?
First off, proteins are the body’s building blocks. They are made up of amino acids and help build muscle, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. Every cell in your body has protein. After water, protein is the most abundant substance in the body with 60% to 70% of it in your muscles. Protein is also used as an energy source (calories).
Healthy options for protein include:
- Grass fed lean beef
- Organic chicken
- Wild salmon
- Organic eggs
- Tuna fish
- Greek Yogurt
Recommendation for the average healthy person is 0.4g per pound of body weight (BW). This varies due to gender, age, and activity level.
If you exercise your need for protein increases since resistance training and endurance workouts break down muscle protein.
For women who are pregnant and individuals who are ill, under stress, or train like an athlete… hard hard hard… intake should go up to 0.5 – 0.8 grams per pound of BW for best muscle recovery and performance.
Included in this group are those who want to beef up, get huge, turn heads, amplify, magnify, swell, enlarge,… you get the point. In a study released by Medline, weightlifters were divided into 3 groups and given varying amounts of protein. Group 1 was a low protein group with 0.4 g/lb BW, group 2- a moderate protein group with 0.7g/lb BW, and group 3- a high protein group with 1 g/lb BW. In the end, it was concluded that there were no effects on lean body mass in relation to the varying amount of protein intake.
The study suggests that yes- if you exercise you will need more protein in parallel to how hard you workout. This is mainly to repair muscle damage and maintain good health. Doubling the protein intake however to get more muscle, is false …and a waste of money. Athletes should take in 0.5-0.8, more is unnecesarry.
How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:
Weight in lb x 0.4- .8 g /lb = protein g.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (0.4). Use a higher number (between 0.5 and 0.8) if you fell in the earlier category -are under extreme stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are consistent in intense exercise/training.
Example: 148 lb female who exercises and weight trains – oh that’s me 🙂
148 x .5= 74 g protein/day
148 x .8 = 118 g protein/day
So for me I know I should be consistent with about 75 g protein/day and when I start training hard for my tri’s I should bring it up about 115.
BTW about 20% of your daily calories should be coming in from protein. More on % ‘s soon…. 🙂
Eat well today!