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Protein is one of the three macronutrients that our bodies need to survive. A protein is like a building block for life and even our own bodies are made up of these building blocks. Our bodies go through protein synthesis, which is the process of breaking down and replacing proteins. This is the reason why eating protein is so important, to replace the building blocks our body has broken down. Not all proteins are the same. A protein is made up of amino acids, some proteins will have more or less of each amino acid, so the quality of protein is just as important as the quantity. How much protein each individual should be eating comes down to how many building blocks you need to replace.

PROTEIN SYNTHESIS

An example of protein syntheses in the human body is our finger nails. Our bodies are constantly building and growing new fingernails. In sport and performance our bodies are constantly breaking down and replacing muscle. When we exercise our muscles get micro tears that are then repaired and rebuilt to be stronger. For the rebuilding to occur, we must be getting protein in our diet. The amount of protein required for each person depends on the amount of muscle the person has and the amount of repairing required. A large muscular athlete training three times a day will need more protein than a smaller athlete training every second day.

AMINO ACIDS

There are 21 amino acids that can be found in a protein. Our bodies require 9 of these a amino acids, for that reason they are called essential amino acids. These nine aminos are essential because our bodies can not make them, they have to be digested and we need them to thrive. So it is essential we get them through our diet.

Essential Amino Acids

WHOLE PROTEIN

A whole protein refers to a protein that has all 9 essential amino acids. You do not need to eat all whole proteins, if you vary your sources or protein you will get all 9 essential amino acids. However if you want to keep it simple eat whole proteins.

QUANTITY AND FREQUENCY

Now understanding that our bodies are going through protein synthesis all the time it is easy to see that we need to have constant supply of protein. Every meal should contain a source of protein. This doesn’t mean you have to eat eggs and only eggs every meal, it just means you should aim to have one source of protein in every meal. The quantity for each person will depend on their Lean Muscle mass and activity level. There is not going to be a perfect answer to How much protein should I be eating, but if we have a method of measuring we can start with a initial prescription and adjust from there. If you have a method you have a way.

Lean Body Mass (LBM) X Activity Level = Daily Protein in Grams

Lean Body Mass: Is the amount you would weigh in pounds (lb) if all fat from your body was removed.

Activity Level: is ranked on a scale of 0.1 to 1.0

0.1 – Do not move at all

0.5 – Exercises every other day

0.7 – Exercise every day

1.0 Exercise twice a day or once a day while working an active job during the day.

Example

150lb (LBM) X 0.7 = 105grams of protein every day.

How much protein should you eat?

You should be eating protein every meal. The exact amount Depends on haw active you are and how much you weigh. You can complete the formula and figure out an exact starting point or if you are exercising and want to get stronger, here is a simple way to work out a starting point.

Double your body weight in grams and that is how much protein you should be eating in grams a day. So a 60kg person should aim for 120grams of protein a day. Spread it out over the day. 4 meals of 30grams of protein each meal. Vary your sources of protein and aim for whole proteins.

If you need any help with your Nutrition, book a time and we can go over your goals.

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