How much protein should you eat?
Firstly, why should you even care about your protein intake? The media has told us that sugar and carbs control our weight right? Well, wrong! If you’ve found this article we can safely assume you have an interest in making sure you consume an adequate amount of protein (unless you landed here accidentally, in which case stick around anyway).
Your entire body is made up of around 10,000 different proteins found throughout every tissue in your body, it is essential for repair and growth both inside the gym and out. Without this nutrient, or with too little of it, the body cannot function optimally, injuries take longer to heal and it is near impossible to grow muscle or increase strength.
So now you know what it does you’ll want to know how much is not enough and how much is too much?
Unfortunately there isn’t an answer that fits everybody, however there are suggested amounts depending on what you’re trying to achieve in and out of the gym.
But lets start with the recommended amount as per the
British Nutrient Foundation
In the UK, adults are advised to eat 0.75g of protein for each kilogram they weigh, based on the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). So if you weigh 70kg (11 stone), you should eat about 52.5g of protein a day.
The figures above are OK for the average person outside of the gym, this is wholly attainable by eating a healthy balanced diet. But what if you train or take part in recreational sport? Your requirements will increase. Lets now look at some figures suited to a more active person or someone wanting to grow, develop and repair themselves faster.
Protein Requirements www.activeiq.co.uk
So where do you fit in the table? Are you eating enough protein to ensure your body recovers from sports or enough to repair muscle when its ripped apart in the gym?
The sweet point for most adults trying to gain lean muscle mass is 1.5g – 1.7g per kilogram of body weight, that’s not to say it is an absolute must as we are all different, however it is a good figure to base your macros around when working out what you need to eat to grow huge!
Whats this upper limit about?
Unfortunately you can have too much of a good thing, thats why there is an upper limit, pushing past this limit will not hold the key to instant muscle mass gains or being able to train twice a day seven days a week, it can in fact have some pretty nasty side effects.
Processing excess protein can put pressure on the kidneys, with excess animal protein linked with kidney stones and, in people with a pre-existing condition, kidney disease. Some experts say too much protein may impact bone health and, according to the British Dietetic Association, excessively high levels of protein can also cause side effects such as nausea.
So unless you’re the size of Eddie Hall or The Mountain and have a trained medical team telling you what to eat and when to eat it, just stick to the guidelines in the table above and you’ll no doubt notice a difference in your training and progress if you’ve been underestimating the importance of protein!