How much protein do you really need?
Posted on December 15 2020
How Much Protein Do you Need?
Protein is the favorite nutrient of bodybuilders and people trying to bash vegetarians. There's a good reason for this. Protein is an important nutrient for the growth and metabolism of the human body. Whether you're trying to build muscle or just stay healthy, you need protein. But, how much do you need? This article will go over everything you need to know regarding protein.
Protein is a macronutrient. Macronutrients are 7 elements found in food products that are required in large amounts for the proper function of the body. Other macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. Protein is the macronutrient required for muscle growth, but it also aids in immune, hair, nail, and bone health. Protein has also been shown to be more satiating when compared to the other macronutrients. Protein is predominately found in meat and animal products like chicken, eggs, or milk. For the vegans and vegetarians out there, you can also get protein from legumes like nuts or beans. Both animal and non-animal products are good sources of protein, with no one standing above the other.
An efficient way to mix protein into your diet is with protein powder or whey protein. Whey is a byproduct of the cheese-making process and is made of protein fibers from dairy. They make similar powders using vegetable protein, but personally, I find the taste of the vegetable protein powders to be less appealing than the whey version. If you are looking for packaging for protein powder, consider these Metallic Foil Stand Strong™ bags. These pouches have reliable zipper seals and a durable bottom gusset that lets the bags stand up on flat surfaces. The clear window on the bags lets you see just how much protein you have left, you know when it's time to restock. The zipper seal also lets the bags be re-sealed after opening. This ensures the contents stay fresh over time. These pouches come in a range of sizes, so you can take small servings with you anywhere you go or secure a large amount in a designated location.
According to nutritionists, the recommended amount for protein consumption is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, this is the minimum amount you need to not get sick or experience adverse side effects. It is not how much you should be consuming. There are calculators you can also check out to determine how much protein you should be consuming based on your age, weight, and level of exercise. I used the calculator, and as a 22-year-old male, 5 foot 6 and 150 pounds, who performs light exercise (1-3 per week), my recommend protein intake is:
- American Dietetic Association (ADA): at least 68 - 122 grams/day.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 54 - 191 grams/day (10-35% of daily caloric intake).
- World Health Organization safe lower limit: 56 grams/day
Based on these results, I would assume around 100 is a fair middle ground. The tricky part about protein is that you can only absorb so much at a time. If you consume more protein than your muscles can absorb at once, then the rest is wasted. You might end up just excreting it. According to nutritionists, the magic amount of protein your muscles are capable of absorbing during a meal seems to be about 25 to 35 grams. But again, this needs to be slowly introduced over an extended time. If you chug a protein shake in 2 minutes before you hit the gym, most of that is going down the toilet. You want to slowly sip on the shake for over an hour so your body has time to absorb all of the nutrients.
It's important to realize that protein is not a wonder drug that will pump up your muscles and turn you into the hulk if you consume enough of it. It is one of many building blocks your body needs to reach its peak performance. If you're looking for protein-rich recipes, consider viewing this blog on some of our favorite hummus recipes. If you're interested in activities that will help build muscle, read this blog on the best lightweight hiking gear.
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