Health & Wellness

Let’s Talk Protein: How Much do You Truly Need

Protein intake is essential for good health. You need it to grow and develop, to gain muscles, to make enzymes, blood, antibodies, etc. Many athletes are aware of the importance of protein intake and sometimes intentionally overdose with intake (extra protein can help some bodybuilders to bulk up) but when it comes to the rest of us – we have to pay attention not to eat too much protein.

 

Why do we need protein?

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First things first, it is important that you know why you need protein. It is a critical nutrient that helps you grow; it is essential for maintenance and growth of all body tissues, as well as your skin and muscles. Regular intake of protein is critical for healthy bones while including more foods that contain it, helps slow down the rate of absorption of sugars.

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The sugars in food are the main reason why you have trouble getting rid of fat and reducing the intake of sugar keeps blood sugar rise more stable. Therefore with proper physical activity and nutritious diet perfect for your body’s need you can easily get in shape and change your life for the better.

 

How much do we need?

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The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight. It refers to the amount of a nutrient you need in order to meet your body’s basic requirements. In a way, it can be explained as a minimum amount you need to keep your body strong and to save yourself from getting sick.

 

To calculate the right dosage for your body you should multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 and you will get your RDA of protein.

 

For example, for a 50-year-old woman weighing 140 pounds, the recommended dietary allowance of protein is 53 grams per day, if she is sedentary (doesn’t work out). An average man (who doesn’t exercise at all) needs 56 grams per day while an inactive average woman needs 46 grams a day which leads us to a conclusion that all they need is a glass of milk and a meal containing a piece of meat and beans and they are all set.

 

There is no universal “right” amount

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Those numbers are enough to prevent protein deficiency but not enough for optimal health. The “right” amount of protein is not consistent for all individuals, the optimum for a one person depends on many factors such as age, physical activity, muscle mass, health issues etc.

 

What should you do?

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You should consider talking to a dietitian before jumping to any conclusions after researching online. Firstly, don’t understand “more protein” as “more meat” since it might not meet your body’s needs.

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There is high-quality protein in meat (beef, poultry, pork) as well as cheese, milk products, and eggs as well as there is in plant foods. Including whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and more veggies in your meals might even have a better impact on your body.

 

Vegan and vegetarian athletes needs

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Vegan and vegetarians athletes often find the solution in supplements – powder protein such as easy to absorb whey protein concentrate or high-quality slow release casein protein that helps keep the necessary protein intake steady.

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It is crucial to aim for protein sources that are low in saturated fats that are bad for your body as well as in processed carbohydrates and rich in nutrients. Keep in mind that if you increase protein you should eat less of other things in order to keep your daily calorie intake under control.

 

Woman and her baby’s needs

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During pregnancy or breastfeeding, women need additional protein intake. Pregnant women need about ten grams more while women who are nursing babies need twenty grams more protein to support milk production. It is no wonder why they are encouraged to intake more dairy products which not only satisfy the amount of protein but also provide calcium and vitamin D that are essential for both mother and her baby and its proper development.

 

Additional protein for bulking up?

Athletes need more protein since engaging in sports can cause wear and tear on the muscles (they tend to break more frequently). The more intense your workout routine gets, the more they need to think about the foods they are including in their diet and the daily intake of protein. Bodybuilders also need additional protein. In their case, the amount they need is double the regular.

 

Even though the protein that active individuals need, can be found in various foods some people opt for additional supplements. It is not something you should worry about because there is no need for protein supplements to meet your daily requirements if you have calculated the amount of protein you need and you sick with your nutritious diet. On the other hand, consuming good quality protein after the workout is a great way to replenish amino acids that help rebuild your muscles.  

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In conclusion, think about timing, because eating at the right time can make a huge difference when it comes to health benefits. Be smart, and take care of your body the right way to help it stay strong.

 

Read Also – Home Made Protein Snacks – All That You Need!

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Catherine Palmer

Cate is a nutritionist, writer, and a huge geek. Her fields of expertise could be summed up in well-being, health, and lifestyle-related topics. Her interests are on the other hand wide and ever-evolving. Cate enjoys sharing her knowledge via collaborating with other awesome bloggers. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.

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