Protein is no longer just for the guys who want to beef up.
Not only does protein help in building muscle, but it also keeps hunger at bay and boosts your energy levels. But here’s the burning question: how much protein do you actually need?
According to the Institute of Medicine, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you should aim for 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. But if you exercise regularly, that number goes up to 0.85 grams per kilogram. So, for example, if you weigh 126 pounds and you’re a couch potato, you only need about 23 grams of protein a day. But if you hit the gym a few times a week, you need around 48 grams.
But hold on, These are minimums not your daily macro nutrient requirement. Building muscle and getting strong isn’t as simple as that. If you’re serious about gaining muscle or participating in intense workouts, you’ll need even more protein. And if you’re cutting calories to shed body fat, you’ll need to up your protein intake to prevent muscle loss. According to a study published in 2011, you may need up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for optimal results. That means our 126-pound woman might need a whopping 115 grams of protein per day.
Now, rather than spending hours in the kitchen, there’s a simpler and more convenient solution: protein powders. Just pour some powder into a shaker bottle, add water, mix, and voila – you’ve got a protein-packed shake to fuel your muscles. The best part? You can increase your protein intake without piling on extra carbs or fats, which is great news for your heart health.
In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high protein intake doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease. In fact, it may even lower the risk. So, if you’re worried about fat intake, opt for protein powders with minimal amounts of fat.
But what about those of you who are vegetarians or have dairy issues? Don’t worry, there are protein powders available made from rice, hemp, and peas to suit your dietary needs.
Remember, a healthy lifestyle requires a balance of all three macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fats. But if you want to build more muscle and rock a toned body, it’s time to up your protein game. Add an extra egg to your omelets, grab a thicker cut of steak, and make good use of that protein shaker bottle. Your body will thank you.