This week I want to talk to you and help you with the topic of protein.
The word itself scares a lot off people off, and has them thinking about 1,000-calorie shakes, and massively muscular bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman.
In this article I’m going to explain everything you need to know about protein, how it helps the body and debunk some myths.
What is it?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that make up food, along with fats and carbohydrates.
It has a few roles, but the main one is to build and repair muscle mass.
Muscle cannot repair and grow unless it is fuelled with protein.
Even if you aren’t bothered about growing your muscles in size, its essential you consume enough protein daily to stop muscle wasting away.
It also helps repair and strengthen bones and joint and prevent injury.
Where can you find it?
Protein is found mostly in animal products such as meats, eggs, fish and poultry.
My most consumed protein sources are beef, white fish, chicken and eggs.
Some veggie and vegan sources include lentils, beans, pulses and chick peas. Although these are high protein, they are low compared to meat alternatives.
If you struggle with your protein intake, you can supplement with whey protein powder, a daily staple of mine. In my opinion most people could benefit from supplementing with whey protein.
How much should I be
consuming per day?
As a bare minimum I would recommend consuming one gram of protein per kilo of bodyweight, and if you are training regularly, or active, I’d look to consume up to 2-2.5 grams per kilo of bodyweight.
I’m a highly active individual weighing 80kg, so I look to have between 160 and 200g protein per day. I also look to spread that out evenly over the day, so it is digested optimally. This could be five portions of 30-40g per meal.
l Protein will make me bulky and big – incorrect.
Protein won’t increase the size of your muscles, growth and weight gain will come from consuming excessive calories.
High-protein diets are actually beneficial for weight loss and staying lean.
l Protein shakes are only for after the gym – incorrect. Shakes can be used at any time of the day and are a great way to top up your daily protein intake.
l Protein before bed will turn into fat – incorrect. A protein serving before bed (especially casein protein) is a great way to maintain muscle mass.