It is important to get enough protein in your diet for whatever reason, be it to gain muscle, lose weight or for healthier nails and skin. However, an adequate amount for you could be adding a few more eggs to your diet while to someone else it could be protein shakes and steak. The advisable guideline when it comes to protein consumption is that your intake should be sufficient for your maintenance but increasing your intake is always better. Muscles take up a larger protein load, but organ function, hormones, hair, and healthy skin all require protein intake.
A higher protein intake helps you with your endeavors whether you want to work towards athletic goals, maintain weight loss, or lose weight. As opposed to taking a specific amount of protein, a range of 0.57-0.76 grams for every pound of your body weight is recommended. This means you will be eating twice the amount of protein and this will take some getting used to. If you do not have an existing kidney problem, then a high-protein diet will do you justice but a heads up, it might be slightly more expensive.
Post-Workout Protein Consumption
Protein is essential for recovery from a strenuous workout while helping to maximize performance. The best time to consume protein would be following a workout because at this point the amino acids constituting protein are used to repair any damaged muscle tissue.
The puzzle surrounding what you should eat after a workout is most about how much you should consume specifically protein since it should be a priority after any workout. However, there are still questions regarding how much protein you should consume post-workout in order to boost muscle repair and muscle hypertrophy or growth.
The amount of protein you should consume after your workout session is dependent on your daily protein intake. Once you have locked down your daily protein consumption, then you will be able to narrow down on distinct factors such as eating the right amount following exercise. Recent studies indicate that 20-25 grams of protein i.e. four eggs, a 3-ounce chicken breast, or a can of tuna eaten in a meal at a specific time following your training session is enough to restart muscle repair or muscle growth in your body. This seems like a reasonable amount of protein for an average person but recent research suggests that an even better amount of protein to consume after your workout would be 40 grams. Subjects in this study performed full-body workouts (strength training). This indicates that if lots of muscle groups are used during the training session for example during exercises such as deadlifts or squats, then you would do yourself justice to eat 25 grams of protein and high-quality protein at least. It is important to get an adequate amount of high-quality protein increasing your protein consumption from 25 to 40 grams after your workout might be beneficial. The worst case would consumption of excess protein and this could disrupt any strict diet.
The General Guidelines
Your Daily Protein consumption is connected to the amount of protein required following a workout session. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology suggests that women need to consume roughly 0.8 grams of protein daily in relation to each kilogram of body weight. This equates to 0.36 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. However, a slightly higher intake can enhance any adaptations your body needs to make for intense training sessions. 0.6 – 0.91 grams of protein/ pound or 1.4 – 2 grams/ kg could be more suitable for both women and men. Dividing your daily protein between all meals is wise even if your intake is higher.
Determining Factors for Your Protein Consumption Post-Workout
Your diet and your training will also determine the amount of protein you require after your workout. Women taking on strength training workouts will need a higher protein intake post-workout compared to those taking on endurance training. If you are eating fewer calories than normal or dieting for weight loss, then you will need to increase your dietary protein intake to help you conserve your lean body mass.
More Exercise = Higher Protein Intake
If you are exercising consistently, then you need to increase your protein intake. If you want to get stronger, then your muscle growth and repair rate should outpace muscle breakdown. You need to eat food, more specifically protein, for this to happen. The type of training you undertake requires you to switch up the recommended amount of protein to take.
Weightlifting calls for 0.63-0.82 grams per pound of your body weight.
Endurance sports such as cycling or running calls for 0.54-0.63 grams per pound of your body weight.
Eating More Protein Helps with Weight Loss
The irony of things is that you will need to eat more protein to lose weight compared to if you were aiming for muscle building. Weight loss requires muscle tissue breakdown at a faster rate than it is being created so that the muscles benefit from having more protein.
– If you are undertaking any light activity or you are sedentary, you will want to aim for a range of 0.45-0.68 grams per pound of body weight.
– If you are very active, you should aim for a range of 0.6- 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, particularly if you want to maintain muscle. If you have less body fat, then you will benefit from the higher end of that range. Your protein intake would be based on lean mass (muscle: body fat ratio)
One of the main benefits of consuming more protein when you are aiming for weight loss is that high-protein foods help you feel fuller and more satisfied in comparison to fats and carbs not to mention they help to curb your appetite. Calories matter most at the end of it all so when you are satisfied and full you will not need to look for extra calories. If you also want to have an athletic physique, you will see the best results by combining a weightlifting training regimen with an increased protein intake. The power used to lift weighs signals to your muscles to remain instead of having to eat a high-protein diet alone.
You Need Less Protein Than You Think if You Are Looking to Build More Muscle
Generally, eating 0.36-0.54 grams per pound of body weight while following a good weight lifting plan and eating sufficient calories to gain or maintain is adequate for building muscle. Most lifters will not get any extra muscle building advantages from eating more than 0.8 grams. The number can reduce as gain experience and require a lower protein intake seeing as you are not new to this and your body is not breaking down a lot of protein as you train. The bottom line is you can eat more protein if you would like but past a specific point, eating any more protein will not help with faster muscle building because the additional amount will be simply calories.
Making Your Protein Intake Work In Your Favor
There aren’t any clear-cut protein recommendations but a simple guideline suggestion would be to go with 1 gram of lean body weight and then modifying it according to your needs. If you are unaware of your percentage body weight then you could use your goal weight. If for example, you weigh 150 pounds currently and you are looking to get to 125 pounds, then you can go for 125 grams of protein.
Calculating Your Post-Workout Protein Intake
In order to put together your individual protein needs post-workout, you will have to multiply your weight (pounds) by 0.8 if you are a strength trainer or multiply it by 0.6 if you are an endurance trainer. The number you get will be your cumulative daily protein intake. You will then divide the number you get by the total number of meals you take daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you would need 120 grams if you were strength training and 90 grams of daily protein if you were endurance training. If you take 5 meals daily then this would equate to 24 grams of protein following a strength training session and 18 grams of protein in your meal after an endurance workout session.
Post-Workout Protein Meal Suggestions
Some good examples of post-workout snacks and meals that are packed with protein include:
– A whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheeses and smoked salmon
– Vegetable and noodle stir-fry with tofu or chicken
– Flaked almonds with raspberries and cottage cheese
– A blended protein shake with banana and milk
– A blended shake with a frozen banana with almond butter, low-fat plain yogurt, low-fat milk
– Pesto, a medium sized sweet potato, and sirloin steak
– Baby kale, brown rice, and chicken breast
– Chopped pineapple, hemp seeds, and cottage cheese
– Cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, canned navy beans, and albacore tuna
– Broccoli, quinoa, and salmon fillet
– Blueberries, whey protein, and Greek yogurt
And if you’re interested in supplements that can help you along the way, we’ve got you covered. We recommend starting with the following muscle-building essentials:
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