what is protein

 

What do you know about protein?

Is it just for repairing muscles?

Is it only for body builder?

I will dig into those questions a little later, but first let’s understand what protein does.

Protein comes in a variety of different food sources

The main 2 types are

 

 

Plant based – Soy, seeds, hemp, tofu, quorn  etc

Animal based – Eggs, red meat, poultry and fish

 

There is also traces of protein found in other foods too, but in smaller quantities.

 

The Purpose Of Protein

The main purpose of protein is to repair the body after exercise, illness, cuts and bruises.

The structure of protein Is made up of Branch Chain Amino Acids(BCAA) which is natures version of rocket fuel for repairing our muscle’s after exercise.

The best quality protein sources will not only have all of the building blocks that are needed to repair the body , but also keep you fuller for longer due to its high fibre content.

Now this is where different foods provide better quality protein.

Animal sources in particular meat, fish and poultry are the best sources due to the amount of protein per serving and also they contain all of the essential amino acids(BCAA)

To put this in perspective

1 hand size portion on tofu or quarn may have the same amount of protein as a palm sized portion of animal protein.

But

Plant based proteins do not contain all of the essential amino acids, so a variety of different plant based food sources will be needed if you are a vegetarian (usually complemented by a lot of supplements to to match up with a meat eater)

This by no means is demonising a vegetarian diet, I just feel as though vegetarians can sometimes be mislead by the media and big corporations telling them  that meat alternatives are a better source of protein.

So now you know what protein does and the different types, how much do you actually need?

 

How Much Do I Need?

This varies from person to person, but I will break down different categories as a general rule of thumb.

You first need to know your bodyweight (BW) in KG and then X that by the amount in each column below, to which you match.

Male amount                                    Female amount

No exercise                   1.25g                                               1g

1-2 workouts                 1.5g                                                 1.25g

2-4 workouts                 1.75-2g                                            1.5-1.75g

 

Once you have your number this is the amount in grams of protein you need per day.

So for example a female who trains 1-2 times per week who weights 70KG needs 105grams of protein per day.

The average chicken breast when cooked tends to have around 20g. (roughly 5 and a bit chicken breasts needed per day)

 

This is a lot right?

 

Especially if you are only used to having a pea sized amount of ham on your sandwich at lunch and protein with your evening meal.

If you attempt to increase your protein consumption too quickly then more than likely you will feel awful.

The best approach is always slow and steady over time.

I would start by increasing by  adding an additional protein snack in your day such as home made protein snacks, Quest protein bars, protein shakes or the best solution REAL FOOD.

 

Let us know what you current protein content is and how often are you eating it?

 

Comment below

 

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CategoryAll, Nutrition
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