If you are an active individual or have recently started going to the gym, you are probably aware of the importance of protein. Whatever diet or training regimen you follow, it is clear that protein has a big role to play. Protein supremacy is also prevalent in the supplement industry. There are pre, intra, and post-workout proteins available to help you perform better. With so much emphasis on protein, no mention is made of how much to consume or the best time to consume protein. So, if you're about to embark on a transformation journey or are unsure how much protein to consume, let's start by defining protein, its benefits, how much to consume, and more.
What Is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that our bodies require to perform various bodily functions. Proteins can be found in every cell and muscle in our bodies, including our skin, hair, and nails. A gram of protein contains four calories and 21 amino acids, nine of which are essential and 12 of which are not. Non-essential amino acids are produced by the body on their own, but essential amino acids must be obtained from food.
Benefits Of Consuming Protein
Apart from helping you maintain a healthy weight, the most important benefits of protein are that it helps you build and repair. Protein is an essential component of bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. It also aids in the formation and repair of tissues that are damaged during exercise.
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How Much Protein To Consume?
Protein consumption is solely determined by an individual's goals. A person should try to consume protein equal to their body weight to maintain a healthy weight. Assume your body weight is 80kg; to maintain a healthy weight, try consuming 80 gm per day. If you want to lose weight, you should increase your protein intake to 1.5 times your body weight. In this case, 120 gm of protein per day should suffice. To gain muscle, consume twice your body weight, or 160 gm in the example above.
Best Time To Consume Protein
Protein's primary function is to help with build and repair. So consuming protein first thing in the morning, i.e in breakfast meal is recommended as our bodies are depleted. Consuming protein before and after your workout is critical for faster recovery. A protein serving before bedtime also aids in getting a good night's sleep.
Can Protein Harm You?
Consuming protein equal to your body weight is safe and easily digested in the body. Protein can be harmful if you consume more than your body weight while not exercising or are dehydrated. When you increase your protein consumption, you should include some form of exercise because when you exercise, your body's ability to consume increases, otherwise it will stay in your stomach and cause some bodily problems. Excess protein causes dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water and your urine is clear for the majority of the day.
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If you are consuming protein more than your body weight, you should have a blood test every three months to see how your organs are responding and whether it is being digested or wasted in the body.
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