Protein is an essential nutrient to the human body and is the most important food for building muscle and losing weight. With myths flying around the gym, it’s hard to tell the true facts about protein. So here’s a bit of information on how to incorporate protein into your diet, in order to improve muscle strength and stay in shape.


How much protein should you eat?

The amount of protein needed each day varies for everyone, depending on activity levels, body weight, and dieting. The RDA for an inactive person is just 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. However, when you bring exercise into the equation this requirement nearly doubles. It is recommended that endurance athletes consume between 0.5 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day and for strength athletes it is 0.7- 0.8 grams.


Is there such thing as too much protein?

Protein promotes the muscle-building process, called protein synthesis but you don’t need enormous amounts to do this. If you are working out hard, having more than 0.9 to 1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight is a waste. Your body won’t be able to process those extra calories, and they will end up turning into fat.


Should I consider taking a protein supplement?

If your body’s not getting enough protein, you might want to consider taking a protein supplement. Taking both types of protein supplement, whey and casein, is proven to be better for building muscle. Casein provides a steadier stream of amino acids to the body, whereas whey gives an immediate boost. Combining both will have beneficial results. Depending on the protein drink, it is usually advised to drink a protein shake an hour before exercise to boost energy levels, and then again immediately after, to help repair muscle damage and to encourage new muscle growth.


What happens if you don’t get enough protein?

Many men believe that their muscles will shrink if they don’t meet their daily protein requirements. But if you normally eat the right amount of protein, an occasional low-protein day won’t affect muscle growth. Loosing muscle is usually due to injury, lack of use, or severe calorie restriction.

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