How much protein Should I be taking?

how much protein Many people have doubts when it comes to establishing their macros (amount of carbs, protein and fat they should eat everyday). Between the vast amount of advice on the internet and official government health organization recommendations this can be a truly confusing task. Basically the general recommendation is to eat 0.8g/kg of bodyweight. This means that an average sedentary man, weighing 80kg should consume 64 grams of protein a day. But of course, that all depends not only on your size and lifestyle but also your goals.

Function of Protein

Protein is the building block of every cell of your body. It is the most abundant substance in your system, after water.  Repair and growth are one of the vital functions of protein which is one of the reasons children and physically active people require more than sedentary adults. It can also be used for energy, but in case of sufficient carbohydrate intake spare protein will be turned into fat. Protein is involved in the regulation and metabolism of some hormones and enzymes. These are responsible for regulating vital bodily function.  For example insulin is a small protein – a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Protein also forms precious antibodies that help fight illness and disease.

So How Much Do I Need?

If you train regularly for fat loss and muscle gain you will need around 2g/kg of bodyweight. Intense training breaks down your muscles and in order for them to regenerate and grow you will need to provide it with lots of quality protein. If you find it hard to eat protein rich foods, you can help yourself with protein shakes and bars. According to Dr Karen Reid, a sports science nutritionist, after a while you can reduce this intake down to 1.2-1.6g/kg of bodyweight or if your training is not as intense as the bodybuilding regime you can also take in less than 2g/kg. For those dieting for fat loss this is also beneficial as protein provides satiety and helps you stick to a clean diet and lose weight. Apart from your usual food protein try a shake before and after workout.

How Much is Too Much?

Stuffing your face with 10 steaks at a time is neither reasonable nor beneficial. There are a few main reasons for that.

Firstly, your muscles will not grow automatically from consuming protein. In fact, without the energetic expenditure protein will simply be transformed into fat cells. However, remember that swapping carbs for protein will enable weight loss.  Your body burns fat before it does protein.

Secondly, you can only absorb around 30g of protein at a time. Now you know why bodybuilders eat little and often. Thirdly, timing matters so try to focus your intake around workouts. The 30-minute post-workout window is when you need this rapidly absorbed protein to optimize muscle repair and growth. This is when you will need a simple quick snack such as a whey shake like Rule 1 Protein or Whey Protein Gold Standard some milk.

Lastly, too much unneeded protein and nitrogen from the amino acids puts extra strain on your liver and kidneys, which have to filter it out.

Healthy Whole wheat zucchini bread with protein

healthy zucchini bread

So what do I need??

-3 eggs
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 dropper full of stevia
-1 cup applesauce
-1 tbsp. vanilla
-2 cups grated zucchini
-1 scoop of whey protein  you can try either whey protein gold standard or  chocolate protein powder
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-3 cups whole wheat flour
-dash of almond milk

So now what??

-Mix the ingredients eggs – vanilla together in a mixing bowl
-Add in the zucchini – baking powder ingredients. Mix well.
-Finally, add in the flour and mix until flour is all the way mixed in.
-Add a dash of almond milk and mix again.
-Pour into 2 large bread pans
-add the chocolate chips to one or both of the pans!  Yummo!!
-Bake for 54 mins at 350 degrees.
-eat up…not the whole pan:)

Why Casein Protein Digests Slowly

 

casien proteinSo you’ve reached a point where you have your diet and workouts all figured out. But are there any supplements that could maximize your results further? What kind of shakes do you usually go for and why? If you are still unsure hopefully this article will clarify which ones to use and when.
Casein is the main protein present in milk and cheese and it is considered a ‘slow’ protein. In practice this means that around 3 to 4 hours after consumption it reaches the highest levels of blood amino acids and protein synthesis. But what is the reason for this? The simple answer is that it moves through the digestive tract slower and it takes up to 7 hours to fully digest. One common explanation is that casein coagulates in the stomach and forms gel-like ‘clots’ that cannot be quickly digested.
According to the study conducted at the University of Giessen the explanation for the slow release of casein protein is different altogether. The study concludes that the slow digestion of casein can be attributed to casomorphins (protein particles) present in casein. In casomorphins are peptides formed during the digestion of casein. These particles can cause in some aspects similar results to those of opiates. Of course, they do not cause any sort of intoxication but they can be expected to bind to the opiate receptors in the digestive tract and affect the intestinal activity, slowing down the digestion process.
Benefits
Thanks to the slow release slow digest properties, casein has been called an ‘overnight protein’. It is excellent to take before bed to ensure you put your body in the optimal state for muscle recovery and growth all night long. No need to get up and have a ‘mid-night shake’. According to a study conducted at Baylor University, men who drank a casein protein shake for 10 weeks gained significantly more muscle mass than the ones who consumed whey only. For long term muscle recovery casein as opposed to whey, which may pass through your body before you reap all its benefits, will provide a lasting anticatabolic effect. It is also believed to have metabolism increasing properties so that you can build lean muscle mass and burn fat quickly and more efficiently. What’s more, it turns out that casein significantly increases strength! In a Massachusetts study, it was discovered that casein doubled the effect of whey protein on legs, chest, and shoulder strength. But you don’t necessarily need to drink shakes ever night. If you opt for a late night snack (or simply for your supper) consider including milk products such as milk and cheese. Also, if you are on a low calorie diet, casein will prevent muscle breakdown that could normally occur in a calorie deficit.
Additional benefits of casein include protecting tooth enamel, promoting intestinal health (especially when compared to meat and soy protein sources). Finally, casein is a good choice for vegetarians who work out and want to maintain a good level of high quality protein in their diets.
Conclusion
Even though there is no magical supplements out there, slow digesting casein such as Rule 1 Protein, is superior for muscle recovery and quality protein. Don’t forget about balance (whey also has its benefits and uses) and try to keep a healthy proportion between shop bought supplements and natural milky products.