Getting enough protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. However, with so many protein-containing foods available, it can be hard to determine which ones you should choose to help ensure that you are getting all the protein your body needs.
- New research suggests you may require more protein than you think to maintain a healthy body.
- Too much can be bad for your heart health, kidneys, and bones. With this in mind, here’s a breakdown of how much is enough and how much is too much.
- Find out how your body digests protein. How much is too much? Is protein even healthy?
- Dig into the research here.
What is Protein?
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the human body. It is a macronutrient necessary for building and maintaining healthy body tissues. It is a protein like carbohydrates, fat, and amino acids that your body needs to build itself. Proteins are combined with carbohydrates, fat, and water to make proteins stored or broken down by enzymes inside cells. All cells need proteins every day from protein to be used by the body to build proteins and maintain the body’s health and strength.
It was discovered that protein molecules are made up of certain kinds of smaller molecules called amino acids. Protein can be classified into two categories: animal and plant. Animal proteins come from meat, fish, and eggs. Plants include beans, peas, and lentils.
Protein is essential for building lean muscle, hand muscles, brain function, immune system function, and various bodily functions. That’s why some health experts research and recommend consuming animal protein rather than plant protein for optimal health.
Proteins are used to grow, maintain and repair muscle tissue. When someone has a lot of protein, they develop stronger muscles versus burning fat to building more muscle. By increasing muscle mass, you build strength and fitness faster and easier!
Why is protein important?
Protein is important for several reasons, but it’s not just because it’s a source of protein for your muscles. It’s also because it helps support lean body mass, which positively impacts endurance and athletic endeavors.
Protein is important because it is the essential macronutrient for building muscle. People often focus on increasing their body’s lean body mass rather than increasing its muscle strength. Protein helps promote muscle growth and repair breakdown; it builds lean muscle cells in the body. As you age, your body needs more protein to keep itself running properly.
Protein is a nutrient essential for the growth and repair of tissues, especially muscles, bones, and organs. Proteins aid in protein synthesis within the body. They promote lean muscle mass, a protective layer of fat surrounding the body’s organs and joints that burns more energy and helps keep you feeling energetic. If you consume enough protein, you can make it easier to maintain a strong immune system and healthy muscles.
How Much Protein is Enough?
Research by Dr. Geraint Lewis and others at King’s College London found that your body needs around 20-25 grams of protein a day to reach normal levels of body protein. Many people tend to underestimate how much protein is required by their bodies. Many people tend to consume too little protein or intake they can’t even process properly into useful forms within that day. This can be limiting their ability to perform well on exercises such as strength training or mixed martial arts.
The amount of protein required for maintaining adequate nitrogen balance varies with age and sex. The ideal amount for healthy adults is about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (about half a pound for a 130-pound person). The RDA for protein is about 0.8 grams per kilogram per day for adults and females age 19 through 64, 0.6 grams per kilogram per day for males age 19 through 64, and 0.4 grams per kilogram per day for females age 19 through 64.
High-protein foods are foods that have a high amount of dietary protein per volume of food (e.g., legume sauces, cottage cheese, meat, baked beans), and that are convenient to cook and eat because of their quickness to prepare, such as soybeans, nuts, chicken, turkey, cheese, and beef.
Strength-training, specifically weight-lifting, puts enormous stress on the muscles. For example, the intense stress on the muscles involved in the bench press, or round pushup, is directly related to the hearing thresholds of the participating athletes and their overall cardiovascular fitness, which is inherent to the exercise itself.
Essential amino acid
The body needs various essential amino acids to help build cells, process food, and repair damaged tissues. Research suggests consuming around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day is enough to meet these needs. A typical adult needs about 30 grams of protein a day for bone health, muscle growth, infertility, and metabolic processes in general. Most people get too much or not enough of the right types of proteins in the right amounts.
Protein deficiency is a significant problem among older people or people with chronic illnesses. It can cause muscle stiffness, joint pain, dementia, osteoporosis, and infertility.
As our world population grows, protein deficiency is becoming a growing problem. The World Health Organization has put forward a list of six globally recognized nutritional requirements for people to maintain health, including high intakes of key nutrients essential for building and maintaining lean body mass, including protein.
The body needs protein to repair cells and tissues damaged by germs or disease. Protein helps convert carbohydrates into energy in the form of carbohydrates and fats. Carbs are broken down into sugars by the liver. Sugar is then stored as fat in fat cells. If these fat cells are not getting enough protein, they can turn into tumors.
Women require about 60g of protein per day; men need between 65g and 130g- Don’t skimp on protein – Make sure your protein comes from healthy sources: high in fiber and healthy fats, low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
How much protein do I need?
The current recommended daily allowance of protein from the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (or 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight). For a 150-pound woman, that’s 54 grams. 24 grams is generally considered the minimum amount of protein necessary daily for good health. Beyond these two recommended daily protein intake levels, how much protein should you consume?
The primary role of protein is to aid in protein synthesis, which allows your body to build new muscle. If too much is consumed, your body may deteriorate quickly. Therefore, it’s impossible to consume more than the minimum amount of protein that your body requires.
Most adults worldwide get less than the recommended daily allowance of protein because our malnutrition causes our bodies to break down muscle tissue instead of tissue designed for growth.
Similar to how you wouldn’t drink 12 cups of coffee (no matter how “strong” or “super” your coffee tastes), you shouldn’t drink the minimum daily amount of protein unless you’re training like a machine twenty-four six times per day.
So, what is your current protein intake?
Well, if you’re consuming approximately 35 grams of protein per day — it best advises you to stop reading this article and get up and move around for at least an hour.
And please consume as much high-quality, slow-digesting protein (eggs, milk, hemp, legumes, coconut) as you can handle.
Protein serves a variety of functions in your body. It contributes to muscle protein synthesis, tissue repair and boosts metabolism, to name a few.
For each of these functions, more is better. When considering the amount of protein to consume each day, eat your protein at the following levels:
Weight management and body composition are often negatively impacted by simple calorie restrictions. Our brains need protein to survive.
Furthermore, the reduced availability of 24-hour energy production may lead to increased food cravings.
Sources of high-quality protein for people on a budget
If you’re looking to add more protein to your diet and you’re on a budget, there are lots of great options for you. When it comes to protein, quality is more important than quantity. You’re going to get better value for your money if you buy high-quality protein sources instead of ramen, cake, and other processed foods. Over the years, we’ve debunked many popular myths surrounding protein consumption, including but not limited to:
When it comes to business, it’s essential first to do your research. While it’s great to try and be a “have what it takes” person, you don’t want to become reliant on one source of protein. If you’re not a health nut or you’ve never been curious enough to dig into nutrition, it might be time to leap. There are tons of excellent protein sources, and depending on the type of protein you’re looking to include, you can find it in many different places. Just remember, where you get your protein is far more important than how much it gives you.
The best source of animal protein is the red meat variety
Research conducted at the University of Aberdeen in 2013 concluded that people who ate more red meat were more likely to develop heart disease than people who ate a higher percentage of non-meat protein. It’s no surprise that red meat is correlated with heart disease. Why is this the case? Well, your arteries become clogged with plaque, which clogs them up better than healthy cholesterol. This can cause serious damage to your heart.
Harvard Health Publishing recently published a study showing that big arteries in the legs become clogged when pigs are fed a diet high in saturated fat. As a result, cholesterol glides into the ventricles of the arteries instead, causing them to clog even more.
Tips for getting enough protein in your diet
There are many ways to get enough protein in your diet. The first is to have a protein source at every meal. If you need extra help making sure you’re getting enough protein, then there are protein powders, protein bars, and veggie burgers that can help.
If you have trouble making sure you’re getting enough protein, we recommend selections from five of the top protein supplement companies we recommend below. We highly recommend that you begin with a lean, quality source of protein such as eggs. Eggs are a complete protein source, contain all nine essential amino acids, and are among the most popular foods you can eat for optimal protein intake.
Eggs contain 4–8 g of protein per yolk and thus are an excellent protein source that is easy to integrate into your diet.
When buying eggs, check the labeling to see if they contain essential amino acids as additional protein. For example, if the egg’s label states that the eggs have LAA, the eggs are also a complete protein.
Amino acid-dense food
We suggest purchasing an amino acid-dense food as often as possible during the runs or the races for an additional boost. These foods can help supply your body with different building blocks and amino acids that play a vital role in keeping you energized.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and can be found in beans, grains, and starches. Also, depending on the type of carbohydrates you consume during a run or race, you may need more or less amino acids for optimal recovery.
When selecting carbohydrates to fuel your body during a run or race, consume complex carbohydrates. Specifically, complex carbohydrates include sugars, that is, dessert, cakes, and brownies. We want to avoid including simple carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, white bread, and pasta.
Experiment with varying carb sources to see what works best for you.
Good sources of vegan proteins
There are many protein sources that vegans can eat, such as legumes, quinoa, nuts, seeds, soy products.
Ideally, we’d get all the necessary amino acids our bodies need. Still, while plant-based protein is a complete protein source, it is incomplete without a few essential amino acids. That’s why not everyone can get all the essential amino acids their body needs from a plant-based diet. These essential amino acids (EAs) can be obtained through a variety of different methods. The most common (and most healthy) way to get these essential amino acids from a plant-based diet is through plant-based nutrition.
The following most common method is through animal products and some sources of animal ingredients. Not everyone can consume all the essential amino acids their body needs.
It’s important to understand that animal products can be helpful in some contexts and exploitive in others. Some animal products may be consumed as stand-alone foods or alongside other foods. Regardless of where these products accompany us, it’s essential to understand how animals are raised. Plant-based nutrition doesn’t exclude the contributions of animal products to our diet.
Since all white/lactose-intolerant individuals can become intolerant to certain animal products, it’s essential to learn how to avoid those products altogether.
Eating specific complete and incomplete proteins made by plant sources does not come without its share of risks. The foods you eat contain raw materials that have been processed before consuming them. They may also contain microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, and parasites. These microorganisms can cause mild (such as intestinal discomfort and cramping) to serious (such as vomiting). That being said, it’s important to avoid raw ingredients that are known to have harmful effects on our health, such as shellfish, eggs, and any raw animal/plant products.
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.