How Much Protein Do You Really Need? This is why protein is so important:
- Protein is the building block of lean muscle mass
- Muscle mass is the main body tissue that burns calories.
- Decreasing muscle mass slows your metabolism, causes weight gain, and increases your risk for diabetes.
Did you know that around the age of 30 most of us start to lose about half a pound of muscle each year? And when the muscles start to expand, the fat begins to flow inward. So whether you are trying to lose a few pounds or just want to maintain your healthy weight, you need to understand the value of protein in the body. your diet.
Build it, break it
When you eat foods high in protein, whether it’s fish, cheese, meat, or nuts, your body breaks down protein into smaller particles called amino acids. Amino acids act as the building blocks that build muscle tissue. Unfortunately, the same process can be reversed if your diet lacks protein.
Your body will actually begin to break down muscle tissue in order to obtain the amino acids necessary for other cells to function properly. In short, if you don’t give your body a regular supply of high protein foods, it will take what it needs from your muscles, which can seriously impact your metabolism.
How long will it last?
How much protein do you actually need per day to store these essential amino acids? The recommended daily allowance is currently around a third of a gram of protein for every pound of body weight. In other words, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should aim to consume a minimum of 47 grams of protein each day.
But that’s not an exact science, because not all of us are the same when it comes to our metabolism. According to some studies, as we get older and start to lose muscle mass, we may need twice the recommended daily allowance. And if you are exercising a lot or trying to build more muscle, this should be taken into account as well.
Here and everywhere
Not all sources of protein are created equal, and some foods contain more protein than others. Eggs for breakfast each have 6 grams of protein, and cottage cheese has 14 grams per cup. Fish, poultry, and pork are great sources of daily protein – about 28 grams per 4 ounces. But even if you prefer a more natural vegan meal plan, you’ll find that tofu and legumes are strong protein contenders – 12 grams per 3 ounces and 7-9 grams per ½ cup (cooked), respectively.
Regardless of your protein choices, trying to pack them all into one meal is usually not an effective way to get enough protein. Since the body maintains a regular pattern of building and breaking muscle tissue throughout the day, you will benefit much more from your increased consumption of high protein foods.