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How much protein do you actually need?
Consuming a healthy amount of protein can lead to the healthy functioning of your hormones, which promotes a strong immune system, efficient metabolism, and improved physical performance.
However nutrition can be confusing!
With so much information out there you can seemingly get on Google and find something to back up any recommendation, no matter how crazy!
One of the most misunderstood aspects of nutrition is protein, and how much we actually need.
Let’s clear things up for you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”faq-mid-con”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
What are proteins and how do they help us?
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Proteins are made of amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks for a healthy and efficiently functioning body. These amino acids join together to enhance the overall functioning of your body.
We need protein to regulate blood flow and they are also responsible for producing neurotransmitters, neurons, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies, without which our body completely fails to function like it should.
Adequate amounts of protein help replace worn out cells in your body and transport essential nutrients from one organ to another. Furthermore, it also aids in repairing your body and promoting growth. Protein increases the levels of hormone glucagon in your body, which help control body fat, and converts “lazy fat” cells into energy.
(get all of that? well done, your science degree is in the post!)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”faq-mid-con”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
How much protein is recommended?
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The amount of protein you need completely depends on your personal health and how active you are in your daily routine.
The most commonly recommended amount for the average adult is 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
However, people can easily be confused about how much they need due seemingly conflicting recommendations.
Most nutritionists will generally agree that to support overall hormone health that at least 0.36 grams per one pound of bodyweight is more beneficial. For instance, if a person weighs 150 pounds, then he or she should consume at least 54 grams of protein per day. However, that amount of protein really just protects you from falling prey to any sort of protein deficiency. It won’t help you thrive.
Nutritionists agree that we only need a small amount of protein to survive, but we need to increase the amount of protein in our diet if we want to actually thrive.
At the opposite end of the scale, bodybuilders & physique competitors may recommend as much as 2-3 grams per pound of weight. This would mean that that same 150lb person is consuming a whopping 300-450g of protein per day!
As bodybuilders & physique competitors are focused on retaining as much lean muscle as possible when going through an extreme pre-competition diet they take a ‘more is more approach.
Most studies show that there’s not much benefit beyond the upper end of 1.2-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. However, studies have found that, because protein makes you feel satisfied and full, when people eat a higher protein diet that they stay leaner due to basically being stuffed!
Back to your science degree for a moment. The body actually converts the excess amino acids (protein) into glucose (energy), through the process of gluconeogenesis. This means that if you do overeat on protein, your body will turn it into energy. As protein tends cost more money than carbs that’s some really expensive energy!
This would explain why things like the ketogenic (‘kept’) diet have gained popularity in recent years.
However, that level is protein is neither sustainable nor optimal if you wish to thrive and see long term results and have a diet that compliments normal life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”faq-mid-con”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
How much protein do you actually need?
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Whilst extremes are always great at grabbing headlines, the truth, as is often the case, is that you need to take a balanced approach.
If you want to thrive, be physically active and support regular hormone function you need to consume 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day. Going back to our 150lb person, this means that they have to consume 120-150 grams of protein per day.
Having started my fitness journey in 1996, at the age of 15, and because I am one of those people who puts on fat very easily, I’ve tried every tactic that there is! I’ve found that 1 gram per pound of bodyweight is where I’ve personally seen the most success. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”faq-mid-con”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
The right way to consume protein
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Ideally consume all of your protein from whole foods and spread your protein evenly across your meals and snacks throughout the day.
If we go back to our 150lb person and assume that they need to get 1 gram per pound of bodyweight – that’s 150 grams of protein per day.
On average we have 3 meals a day and 1-2 snacks. In this case they simply need 30 grams of protein per meal and snack. In reality this tends to work out as meals having slightly more protein and snacks slightly less.
Whilst it’s ideal to have all of your protein from whole foods, a protein shake does work very well after your workout as this is the time when consuming your protein in liquid form has been shown to help speed up your recovery.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”faq-mid-con”][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Protein is essential for your body to survive and thrive. Start looking at your food labels and find out just how much protein your regular diet provides you. If would like to log your food, we recommend the MyFitnessPal app due to its’ simplicity to use.
Aim to consistency get 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day split throughout evenly your day.
Consume the major of your protein from whole foods, except post workout when a protein shake can speed up your recovery.
Be consistent and do this every day. If you need any help, let us know.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]