Protein - The Missing Link?
Hungry all the time? Having a hard time losing weight? Have cravings you can’t shake? Having a hard time recovering after workouts? Take a look at how much protein you are getting in each day… you may need to increase it!
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Without an adequate protein intake, our bodies can’t function well at all. Protein helps replace worn out cells, transport various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair. Consuming protein can also help to control body fat.
How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level. The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram (or around 0.36 g per pound) of body mass in untrained, generally healthy adults. For instance, a 150 lb (68 kg) person would consume around 54 grams a day.
However, this amount is only to prevent protein deficiency. It’s not necessarily optimal, particularly for people such as athletes who train regularly and hard. For people doing high intensity training, protein needs might go up to about 1.4-2.0 g/kg (or around 0.64-0.9 g/lb) of body mass.
These suggested protein intakes are what’s necessary to create new proteins. The most we need to consume throughout the day for protein synthesis probably isn’t more than 1.4 – 2.0 g/kg.
We can only store so much protein at one time. The body’s protein stores fluctuate over the course of a day. Consuming more protein may help maintain an optimal body composition (in other words, help you stay leaner and more muscular), maintain a strong immune system, good athletic performance, and a healthy metabolism. It may also make you feel full longer and consequently help you manage your body weight.
Along with incorporating protein with each meal/snack you eat, one of the best ways to ensure you get in enough protein throughout the day is to add in a protein shake after your workout or drink one as a meal replacement. The easiest way for the body to digest protein, especially following a workout, is in liquid form. One scoop of protein powder mixed with almond or coconut milk is perfect! Or you can blend it up with fruit, veggies and a little almond butter for a tasty treat and an added bonus of fruit/veggie servings! Drinking a protein shake within an hour of your workouts will help you recover quicker and help to build stronger muscles.