Before we talk about how much Proteins we need, let us look at what they do to our body. Did you consider Protein as a source of nutrient for bodybuilding or to get those six-pack abs? This critical nutrient provides us with a lot more than assisting us in muscle building. Along with muscular function, that helps us in building muscles, proteins are also an essential component of our hair, nails and skin, It is also a requirement for our various metabolic functions for our body like certain enzymes. So, what are these Proteins? Proteins are made of 20 amino acids, of these 9 are considered essential, like the most important ones, and these must come from our diet as our body doesn’t make these. An Indian diet comprising both daal and rice makes it a complete wholesome essential amino acid meal diet.
So let us look at some sources of Protein in our Indian Diet, Daal ( Lentils), Pulses like Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Cow Peas and many, Dairy and dairy products like curd, buttermilk, paneer or cottage cheese, cheese, fish, nuts, chicken, mutton or meat of any variety and eggs and some grains.
You may ask if there are any side effects of high protein consumption – If you consume less than 2g/ kg bodyweight of protein a day, it is less likely to cause any side effects. This means, If your current body weight is 70 kgs, you must not consume more than 140gm of protein a day. Following foods below are approximate in their 10 gms of Protein:
- 35gm cooked lamb or mutton
- 40gm cooked chicken with no bones
- 50gm cooked fish
- 1 cup double toned milk
- 200gm low-fat curd
- 1.5 slices or 30gm cheese
- 70gm paneer
- 2 small eggs
This means the maximum you must consume is no more than 140gm of Protein from above in a day. If you consume more than 2 gm/kg/day per day of protein, it will not show any improved benefit. Did you know that muscle growth or building is only possible when you provide adequate protein in the diet? Muscle growth will happen if you consume the required amount of protein throughout the day. For example, a person consuming 140gm Protein must consume this throughout the day appropriately.
Any extreme diets are not beneficial in muscle building. On average, an adult must consume 1 gm of Protein/kg. Day of his body weight. My personal favourite post-workout drink is 2 tablespoons sattu ( roasted gram powder) in 1 glass buttermilk for recovery or 2 glasses of milk with some almonds. Milk provides a complete essential amino acid profile which makes it ideal to consume a post-workout drink.
Research shows that large doses of protein if consumed along with any kidney disease, can trigger the condition. I strongly recommend any Protein source should be a natural source of food in the diet, and one must consume an ethical and tested Protein supplement only if there is a need for it.
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