Protein is essential for our everyday health. Without it our bodies will not be able to function properly and perform daily activities. You can get it from a variety of sources including meat, poultry and fish, seafood as well as beans, seeds and nuts. Your body does not have a storage facility for proteins that you consume like it does for fats and carbohydrates, so it must use the protein you consume as you take it in. This is why it is so important to take in enough protein each day that our bodies require.
How much Protein do I need?
Depending on how old you are and how active you are, the amount of protein that you need each day is variable. For the average adult over 18 years of age, typically you need to consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight (or 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight). Younger children need less protein as they do not have the same requirements that grown adults do or the body mass. While the regular amount of protein does not seem like a lot, remember if you are an active individual, you will need more protein than this. This is the recommended amount of protein you require in order to not lose muscle mass for a regular individual.
The debate on how much protein active athletes need has been going on for years. You may find a variable amount of answers through medical journals, exercise magazines and even your own doctor may have his own opinion about how much you should consume while living an active lifestyle. Your best course of action is to figure out exactly how much you need in order to maintain your current muscle mass and then go up from there. Talking to a registered dietician that specializes in athletes and active, healthy diets can shed some light on your own dietary needs.
For those who are actively training for sports, their recommended protein should be increased regardless. More it will help you repair any muscle fiber damage you suffer during exercise, help with fat loss and give you extra to build more muscle mass. Typically you should increase your protein to 2 grams for every kilogram of body weight (1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight) that you are. This will ensure that your body is not only getting the protein it needs to function each day, but will keep it from losing muscle mass during exercise and build more muscle tissue.
While you can debate the amount of protein your body needs with a number of highly educated individuals, you should be aware that everyone’s body will handle protein intake slightly different and their rate of muscle growth will differ as well. Try to gauge your own diet requirements and adjust them as necessary when you feel you may not be getting enough protein, be sure to add more each day through your diet or with the use of protein powders and shakes.