How much protein should I eat?
Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Will protein help me lose weight? Should I eat it at every meal? Can I eat too much of it? There are many questions swirling around about protein including how much is right for YOU. Let's take a simple look...
Protein is one of the three main macronutrients that makes up the food we eat. (The other two are fat and carbohydrate.)
Protein itself is made up of amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks for most stuff in our bodies.
Unlike extra fat (which we can store very easily), we don’t store lots of extra amino acids. Protein is always getting used, recycled, and sometimes excreted.
If we don’t get enough protein, our body will start to steal it from parts that we need, such as our muscles.
We have to constantly replenish protein by eating it.
Everybody NEEDS protein.
Protein is so important that without it, we die or become seriously malnourished. All of your enzymes and cell transporters; all your blood transporters; all your cells’ structures; 100 percent of your hair and fingernails; much of your muscle, bone, and internal organs; and many hormones are made of mostly protein. Put simply, you are basically a pile of protein. No protein, no you.
How much protein do we need? It depends. You must take into account several factors:
How much total energy (i.e. calories) you need
Your carbohydrate intake
When you eat the protein
How active you are
What activities you do
How “eco-friendly” the protein sources are
What this means for you?
If you are a "regular person" who just wants to be healthy and fit..
Start with a portion of protein at each meal. Always be ready to help your body repair & rebuild.
Try different kinds of proteins. This will help you get the best range of nutrients from your food.
Eat for your age. The older you are, the more protein you'll need.
If you are a plant-based eater, plan your meals carefully. Without animal protein, you'll need to work harder to get enough protein.
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