Protein is essential to build and maintain muscle mass, but it is important to remember that muscle gain will only occur when protein intake and exercise are combined. ALSO – more is not always better. A diet high in protein but low in carbohydrates and fat simply means that your body will use protein for an energy source rather than store it and build lean body mass.
Our body needs protein for numerous reasons. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, help to build, repair, and maintain bones, muscles, and skin. Protein is also one of the major sources of energy and is involved in the creation of some hormones and enzyme production.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROTEIN NEEDS:
“How much protein do I need?” is a common question, especially among athletes. The daily recommended intake for a healthy individual is 0.8 g/kg/day. To put into context this would be around 58 grams of protein per day for a 160 lb adult.
Athletes should consume 1.2-2 g/kg/day based on their personal training and goals. Aim for about 2.0 g/kg if your goal is to increase lean body mass and lose fat mass or if you are recovering from an injury.
I recommend to consume 15-20 g of a high quality protein source within 2 hours post workout/training as well as every four hours throughout the day.
FOCUS ON QUALITY:
Consuming high quality protein sources is essential to building healthy muscle mass. Animal proteins such as eggs, meat, fish, and poultry contain all of the essential amino acids (EAAs). These are considered a high quality protein and can be consumed alone. Plant based proteins such as soy, quinoa, and buckwheat contain all EAA’s, but many common sources such as legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds are usually missing at least one or more of the EAAs. Be sure to consume a variety of plant based sources, especially if you are vegetarian, to ensure your diet provides all the EAAs.
PROTEIN PACKED MEALS/SNACKS:
As always be sure to communicate with your physician, dietitian, and trainer about any medical concerns that may impact your nutrition needs
Contact us with any questions.
Pingback: Fat in our Diet – Fit with food
Pingback: Choosing the Right Plant Based Protein Powder – Fit With Food, LLC