Proteins are the nutrient with the greatest presence in your body and it is convenient that you know how much protein you should consume, since they are a fundamental part of your development and physical well-being.
Do not leave them aside, because they are an important component for the formation of your muscles, your brain and your vital organs. Also, it helps your immune system to function properly.
I invite you to learn everything about proteins and why it is important that you include them in your daily diet.
What is protein?
It is one of the three main macronutrients that make up the food you eat every day. The other two are fats and carbohydrates (I'll talk about them later).
Protein itself is made up of amino acids, these are the building blocks of protein in your body. They are like pieces that can be taken apart and reassembled in different ways.
Unlike extra fat, extra amino acids are not stored. And it is no secret to anyone that fat accumulates in various parts of your body.
Proteins are always used, recycled, and sometimes excreted.
If you don't get enough protein, your body will start looting it from where they are to where you need it. Like your muscles.
Therefore, it is essential that you constantly replenish protein (you can eat it or drink it). But you must take into account how much protein you need to consume daily.
What are amino acids?
The protein in your food is made up of different building blocks or amino acids.
Many people focus on the recommended daily amount of total protein, but don't think about how much of each amino acid they might need.
If your diet isn't varied enough, you may be eating enough total protein, but not enough of a specific essential amino acid.
Of course, you shouldn't spend hours in your kitchen carefully gauging your intake of these amino acids. Just eat a variety of protein-rich foods and let nature do the rest.
Indicator of Amino Acid Oxidation (IAAO)
When you don't have enough of a particular essential amino acid, then all the other amino acids, including the indispensable one, will be oxidized. That is, they will essentially be wasted instead of being used to repair tissue.
It's like soccer: you can't play without the goalie, even if they're all great players, they'll have to sit on the bench.
But if you get enough of that particular amino acid, you won't see all that oxidation. Finally, you have the goalie and the rest of the players on the pitch.
The IAAO method appears to be a very useful way of judging the metabolic availability of amino acids from different protein-containing foods and of determining total protein requirements for all types of people.
New assessment techniques like IAAO are giving a more accurate picture of protein usage, which means you can tell how much protein you need.
Most likely, based on these recent findings, the RDA for protein will increase, meaning doctors may tell you to eat more of it.
Complete and incomplete proteins
In the past, scientists used to talk about "complete" and "incomplete" proteins.
If you were on a plant-based diet, i.e. vegetarian or vegan, it was recommended that you eat an incomplete protein blend, i.e. get protein from a variety of plants.
Now you should know that this is not true.
As long as you eat a mix of different protein sources, you'll get all the amino acids you need. You don't need to do the math to figure out how much protein you should be getting at mealtimes, just make sure you're getting all your amino acids.
That being said, many plant-based sources are less protein-dense than animal sources.
So if you choose not to eat animal products, you'll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a wide variety of plant sources to make up the difference and meet your protein needs.
vegetable proteins vs. animal proteins
Every day it seems like where you get your protein has a huge impact on your health.
If you love eating meat, don't worry, just add a little more plant protein to your diet. Remember, diversity is good.
Protein quality matters
Most think about how much protein they need, but don't think much about the quality of the protein they eat.
There are huge differences in the chemical composition of a given protein source and in the nutritional value of it.
The higher the quality, the more easily you can give your body the amino acids it needs to grow, repair, and maintain your body.
The two big factors that make a protein of high or low quality are:
- Digestibility: How easy is it to digest? How much do you digest, absorb and use?
- Amino acid composition: What amino acids is it made up of?
Amino acid composition is more important than digestibility.
A high-quality protein has a good ratio of essential amino acids and allows your body to use them effectively.
You can have a lot more protein than you need, but if the protein you're eating is low in one important amino acid, known as a limiting amino acid, it stops everything else from working or at least slows it down.
High-quality proteins have more limiting amino acids, which means your body can better utilize that protein source.
A new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looks at not only protein intake, but also where people get their protein.
More than 131,000 people were asked how much protein they ate; and whether it came from animals or plants.
It found that eating more animal protein was associated with a higher risk of death. And if you were also having bad habits like the ones I will mention below, it would be a super risk factor:
- Being overweight.
- Not exercising.
- Drink alcohol.
- Have a history of high blood pressure.
- Low intake of whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables.
To the contrary, eating more plant protein was found to be associated with a lower risk of premature death.
What meaning does this have?
At first glance, you might think that you should eat less animal protein, as this study seems to say that animal protein is bad for you.
But this research does not take into account the gigantic difference that exists in the feeding of animals:
For this reason it is really important that you know the source where the protein comes from and how they are handled.
And if you are leading a healthy and active lifestyle, you can consume animal protein, without any problem, just make sure it is of good quality.
Why do you need to consume protein?
Protein is so important that without it you could cease to exist or suffer severe malnutrition.
Anything that is made up primarily of protein in your body:
- Your enzymes and cellular transporters.
- The carriers of your blood.
- The scaffolds and structures of your cells.
- One hundred percent of your hair and nails.
- Much of your muscles, bones and internal organs.
- Lots of hormones.
Therefore, protein enables most functions in your body. Simply put, you're basically a bunch of protein. Without protein, it's not you.
It is extremely important that you know how much protein your body needs, because if you have a deficiency you run the risk of having this disease:
- Kwashiorkor: It is a disease caused by a lack of protein in the body and is often seen in people who have suffered from famine or are living on a low protein diet.
How much protein should I consume?
Short answer for how much protein you should eat daily : it depends.
You must know the right amount of protein you need if you want to lose fat, or gain muscle, or if you want to be in good health.
|A 150 lb (68 kg) person would need approximately 54 grams of protein per day.|
|A 200 lb. (91 kg) person would need about 73 grams of protein per day.|
These are the recommended daily amounts of protein:
The recommended daily protein is 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lb); the more you weigh, the more protein you need.
That generally equates to about 10% of your daily calories from protein.
The recommended daily amount to survive may be different from what you need to progress. You should consider:
- How many calories you eat or need.
- Carbohydrate intake.
- When you eat the protein.
- Your biological sex.
- How active are you?
- What activities do you do.
- How organic are the various protein sources you consume.
Could I eat MORE protein?
You need protein to grow, maintain, and repair your tissues, your hormones, and your immune system. But there are times when you need to consume more protein.
You may need more protein if:
|You are physically active. Either through training or your job.|
|You are hurt or sick.|
|You do not absorb protein normally.|
|You are pregnant/breastfeeding.|
|You are younger and you are growing.|
|You are older and potentially losing lean mass.|
Could I eat LESS protein?
It seems that restricting protein rather than calories is the key to longevity. Did you know?
Protein is anabolic: it causes your body to build more tissues and other body parts.
This is great if you want to build muscle. But there seems to be a downside: Eating protein causes the body to release and produce more IGF-1 . In some people, this reduces longevity.
But it's more complicated to say that eating less protein leads to less IGF-1.
In terms of quality of life and functional longevity, a higher protein intake is probably even better.
There are people who eat less and may live longer, but probably not better.
Ultimately it's hard to decide if this is a good idea or not. Because despite all the interesting data, more research is needed to say for sure.
What is a high protein diet like?
Many often assume that "high protein" means low carb. In fact, you can eat more protein without making drastic changes to your diet.
Many types of diets can be considered high in protein. "High protein" is a relative concept; there is no clear rule.
Up to 35% of total calories is a good proportion of protein for healthy adults.
And most researchers would say that once you get more than 25% of your total calories from protein, you're in high-protein territory.
The tolerable upper limit (UL) tells you how much you can eat without health problems. Currently, there is no set tolerable upper limit for protein.
But this does not mean that you can eat as much protein as you want without side effects.
How much protein to eat? Calculate the daily maximum
Approximately 35% of calories come from protein, and this is for sure.
- If you weigh 165 lbs. (74.8 kg) and are reasonably active, you need about 2,475 calories per day to maintain your weight.
So if you get 35% of your total energy intake from protein, you would consume approximately 866 calories from protein per day.
I'll make this easier for you: 1 gram of protein has 4 calories. So 866 calories is about 217 grams of protein per day.
That's about 1.3 g per pound or 2.9 g/kg of body weight.
The 3 main macronutrients
The first three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. And there is a fourth macronutrient: alcohol.
Your body breaks down the macronutrients you eat into compounds that are used to help create energy, build body structures, create chemical reactions, and stimulate the release of hormones.
And this can affect how you feel, your performance and even your behavior.
When you track macros, you don't need to count calories directly. Instead, you record the number of grams of each macronutrient that you consume each day.
Each macronutrient provides a certain number of calories:
|• 1 gram of protein = 4 calories.|
|• 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories.|
|• 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.|
|• 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories.|
Tracking all macros means you're automatically tracking all calories. And so you make sure you know where those calories come from, if they come from proteins, carbohydrates, fats or alcohol.
- 30% of your calories from protein.
- 40% of your calories from carbohydrates.
- 30% of your calories from fat.
Your macronutrient ratio would then be: 30 cp /40 cc /30 cg
By adjusting your macronutrient ratio based on your age, gender, activity levels, goals, and preferences, you can optimize your eating plan.
If you're trying to lose weight, you may want to eat a higher protein ratio, as it can help you feel full longer after meals. Or if you're a very active athlete, you may want a higher carbohydrate ratio to meet your higher energy demands.
The easiest way to track your calories and macros
Will you wonder how you will do it? Well, very easy. With your hand. Yeah! It is the most accurate way to know how much protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fat you can consume.
This system allows you to use your own hand as a tool for more personalized portions.
You are not actually measuring your food, but using your hand to measure the serving size. It's very effective for food tracking because your hand is proportioned to your body, its size never changes, and it's always with you.
That's how it works:
|• Your palm determines your protein portions.|
|• Your fist determines your portions of vegetables.|
|• Your cupped hand determines your carbohydrate servings.|
|• Your thumb determines your portions of fat.|
Is it really effective to take the portions by hand?
I know this question is ringing in your head. And the answer is that you don't have to worry.
Taking portions by hand is 95% proven to be more accurate than carefully weighing, measuring, and tracking how much protein you should be consuming.
In addition, it is easier and more convenient for you. You need less effort and time involved.
Benefits of consuming protein
Protein to lose fat:
Eating protein helps you lose fat, for several reasons:
- When you eat more protein, you tend to feel full longer.
Protein stimulates the release of satiety hormones in the intestine. So when you eat protein, you naturally tend to eat less, without feeling hungry.
- Protein makes your body work to digest it.
Not all nutrients need the same energy to digest. Fats and carbohydrates are fairly easy for your body to digest and absorb, but protein requires more energy to digest and absorb.
- Protein also helps you maintain lean mass while losing fat.
When you have a significant energy deficit, that is, you eat less than you burn. Your body tries to get rid of everything (fat, muscle, bone, hormones, etc.), in the amount it needs. It doesn't tend to just shed fat and preserve muscle, unless you eat a lot of protein.
For all this and more, our super protein for weight loss that tastes too good Fit & Slim will help you with your goal of achieving a firm and lean body.
Protein to build muscle:
The more protein there is in your muscles, the bigger and stronger they can become.
There has long been an "anabolic window" after a workout (24 - 48 hours) during which the muscles are especially hungry for amino acids.
Therefore, if you want to build muscle, be sure to eat protein-rich foods within a few hours of your workout.
But if you want to reach your goal faster, Fit&Strong optimized protein is for you, because it has all the essential amino acids and BCAA's to build muscles for 7 hours straight.
Protein for Aging:
As you age, you lose lean mass, both muscle and bone. This affects how long you live, as well as how functional and healthy your life is.
New research shows that a large number of older people, particularly women over 65, need more protein.
Protein for athletes:
Athletes and active people should eat more protein, but it's hard to know how much protein.
Current recommendations range from 1.2 to 2.2 g/kg of body weight.
High-protein diets can also improve:
- The regulation of glucose.
- Blood cholesterol.
- Other indicators of cardiometabolic health.
The questions that many ask about protein consumption
Does high protein content cause kidney damage?
This concern about high protein and the kidneys began with a misunderstanding of why doctors tell people with poorly functioning kidneys (usually due to pre-existing kidney disease) to eat a low-protein diet.
But there's a big difference between avoiding protein because your kidneys are already damaged, and protein actively damaging healthy kidneys.
Proteins have not yet been shown to cause kidney damage.
However, high protein diets result in increased metabolic wastes being excreted in the urine, so it is particularly important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Does high protein content cause liver damage?
The liver, like the kidneys, is an important processing organ. So it's the same as with the kidneys: people with liver damage (such as cirrhosis) are told to eat less protein.
If you have liver damage or disease, you should eat less protein, but the safe amount for you should be determined by a doctor. But if your liver is healthy, then a high protein diet will not cause liver damage.
There is no evidence that high protein diets (2.2 g/kg body weight) cause liver damage in healthy adults.
Does high protein content cause osteoporosis?
Eating more protein without also increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will increase the amount of calcium you will lose through urination.
That finding led some people to think that eating more protein will lead to osteoporosis because you're losing bone calcium.
But there is no evidence that high protein content causes this disease. In fact, you can prevent it.
If anything, not eating enough protein has been shown to cause bone loss. Bones aren't just inert rods of minerals; a significant proportion of bone is also protein, mainly collagen-like proteins.
Women ages 55 to 92 who eat more protein have higher bone density. Therefore, eating more protein improves bone density in people at higher risk of osteoporosis.
And if you eat more protein and add resistance training to it, that's a double win for your bone density.
Does high protein content cause cancer?
Unfortunately, there are still no conclusive human studies on the cause of cancer and the role of proteins.
There are studies that asked people how much protein they consumed during their lifetime and then looked at how often people get cancer. Research shows a connection between protein intake and cancer rates.
But these studies do not prove that protein is the cause of cancers.
In other words, a certain amount of protein cannot be said to cause cancer.
Does high protein content cause heart disease?
Daily intake of animal protein is associated with an increased risk of fatal coronary heart disease. While plant-based proteins are not linked to higher rates of heart disease.
This suggests that where you get your protein from may be more important than how much protein you eat.
However, like cancer, the link between heart disease and high-protein diets came from questionnaires rather than a randomized study.
There is limited evidence that the protein causes heart disease.
Proteins are essential for your body. You need them to live.
Now you know how much protein you need per day in your diet and all the tricks you can do to calculate it.
It is recommended that you have a balanced diet, containing proteins, carbohydrates and good fats.
And now? Have you already calculated how much protein you should consume? tell us.