An important question to ask before starting any fitness program is, “How much protein should I consume?” The amount of protein you need depends on your body weight, how much muscle you have, and how much you want to put on. When choosing protein foods, always look for sources that are high in quality and contain less carbs. This way, you will consume less calories but still receive the same benefits.
What Is The Purpose Of The Protein Intake?
Although protein is not essential for human survival, our bodies do not produce it naturally and therefore it has to be consumed in food. The protein we consume has several functions in our bodies. Primarily, it acts as a building block for tissues such as muscles and bones. Proteins also help maintain a healthy balance between nutrients and vitamins in our bodies. Moreover, proteins play an important role in the immune system by stimulating our specific immune cells. The protein intake also helps regulate blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.
Choose The Correct Type Of Protein Food
When choosing protein foods, always look for sources that are high in quality and contain less carbs. The best types of proteins for those wanting to gain muscle include:
- BEEF: Beef is an excellent source of protein and is highly digestible. Moreover, consuming beef can help prevent many chronic diseases. Its high content of iron and vitamin B12 can enhance the functioning of the nervous system and the generation of new blood vessels in the human body.
- LAMB: Lamb is a very common source of protein that is found in most supermarkets. The high protein content of lamb makes it an excellent choice for individuals who want to bulk up. The low-carb content of lamb makes it an excellent choice for those wanting to shed extra weight. Moreover, lambs are generally low in fat and high in nutrients. Additionally, you can use lamb to make recipes specifically designed for people with dietary restrictions. For example, if you are vegan or vegetarian, you can use lamb to make meat-free lasagnas and stews.
- PORK: Pork is also a very common source of protein and is a versatile meat that can be used to make a variety of dishes. The main difference between lamb and pork is the latter’s higher fat content. This makes it a better choice if you are looking to gain mass while sticking to a strict diet. Pork is very affordable which makes it a popular choice among those on a budget. For healthier options, choose pork with the loin removed. This way, you will not consume as much fat and calories. Additionally, look for forms of pork that are organic or free-range to avoid excessive antibiotics and pesticides.
- FISH: Fish is another great source of protein and is another preferred choice for those seeking to gain muscle. The high-quality protein in fish helps build strong muscles and connective tissues. Moreover, fish is a great source of vitamin D which is important for the bone health of individuals. The most popular type of fish to eat is salmon. This fish is high in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids which provide important nutrients for the human body. Many people choose to eat fish because of its heart-healthy fats.
How Much Protein Should I Eat?
The amount of protein you need depends on your body weight, how much muscle you have, and how much you want to put on. When choosing protein foods, always look for sources that are high in quality and contain less carbs. Remember:
- Less carbs = less calories
- More protein = more muscle
- More muscle = more calories burned
If you are looking to gain mass, the easiest way to do so is by increasing your protein intake. By consuming more than the average adult needs, you will experience a noticeable increase in both muscle mass and strength. When choosing the amount of protein you should eat, start by looking at the calories in the food you are consuming. For example, if you are taking in 500 calories per day, consuming 50 grams of protein daily would be a good target. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. There are also apps and websites which can help you determine the ideal amount of protein for your body size and composition.
The Pros And Cons Of Eating More Protein
Eating more protein is not always beneficial and can have many negative effects on the human body. Individuals who consume excess protein often gain weight which makes them more susceptible to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, consuming more protein does not always mean you will lose weight. If you consume too much protein, your body will start prioritizing its nourishment and might fail to utilize its amino acids for muscle growth and repair. Moreover, consuming more protein can sometimes cause you to become addicted to junk food which leads to other health issues. This is why you should not eat more protein than you need and why you should look for healthy options whenever possible.
On the other hand, there are many benefits to eating more protein. First, higher protein intakes are associated with increased muscle mass and strength. Second, protein helps maintain a healthy balance between nutrients and vitamins in the body. Third, proteins play an important role in the immune system by stimulating the activity of our specific immune cells. Fourth, proteins help regulate blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes,
- lower cholesterol
- reduce the risk of heart disease
- prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases
- lower the risk of some types of cancer
- increase bone strength which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis
In conclusion, there are many benefits to consuming protein and a good rule of thumb is to increase your daily intake if you want to get these benefits. Remember, however, that too much protein can have many negative effects and therefore you should not exceed the recommendations suggested in this article. Moreover, if you want to get the most benefits from protein, always choose high-quality sources that are inexpensive and have fewer carbs.