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Protein. For Building Muscle, Losing Weight and Being Healthy

Protein is typically associated to building muscle. When people think of eat protein, they usually think of some jacked body builder eating steaks and downing protein shakes.


To be honest you’re probably right. But there’s much more to it than eating loads of protein and you’ll gain muscles on top of muscles over night.


I have already discussed protein, carbs and fat in a previous post but I thought I’d do specific posts about each one and give a bit more info on each and how they affect weight loss, building muscle, recovery and more.


So looking past steaks and protein shakes, and looking at how protein can help control your hunger, how you can actually burn more calories eating certain forms of protein due to how it gets digested. It is also very looked when it comes to how it effects your health and immune system.


Introduction To Protein


This will just be a quick run through of what protein is (again, more can be found on my previous about Macronutrition).


Protein consists of amino acids. These amino acids form the building blocks for new tissue and help repair damaged tissue and cells. They also make enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Protein can even be used as fuel although it is nowhere near as good a fuel source as fat or carbs.


Protein Sources


For the vast majority of people they get their protein from the likes of meat, eggs, and fish and topped up with protein shakes.



Though there are many more sources than these few. So don’t feel you need to stick to certain “lists”. Experiment where and how you get your protein. Nuts, beans and lentils are also great sources.


There is no “best” source of protein. Though the likes of meat and fish are the most efficient ways of getting protein in your diet.


How Much?


Now there is still a bit of a debate about how much protein you need in your diet.

Like everything, it comes down to each individual and there’s no right amount that covers everyone.


The highest needs are for the likes of:

· Strength athletes

· Endurance athletes

· People with low energy

· Untrained people who have just begun training


It is also very important for children, pregnant women and people with certain disease.


Typically recommendations are 1.2-1.7g of protein per kg of body weight for athletes. Then around 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight for non athletes.


EATING LOTS OF PROTEIN DOES NOT MEAN MORE MUSCLE GROWTH AND STRENGTH!


Timing


The timing and the amount is so important for growth and repair of tissues. Your protein consumption should be spread out throughout the day.


Roughly aim for 20-25g of protein per meal as well as after exercise.


To really optimise growth and recovery consume protein and carbs together after a workout.


Endurance


Endurance athletes need just as much protein.


As I mentioned earlier, everyone seems to think of protein for growing bigger and stronger muscles. Which is true, but as we’ve covered, it helps repair tissue and cells regardless of your training.


This means that endurance athletes need just as much protein as the like of body builders.


In fact, there was a study that suggests that endurance athletes could require more protein than body builders.


Body builders only require slightly higher intake than sedentary people to maintain lean body mass and endurance athletes require even more to meet the needs of protein catabolism during exercise.


Basically endurance athletes need high protein to stop their body breaking down. Train too long or too hard and their body enter a catabolic state.


This can also affect your immune system and increase the risk of injury


Immune System and Health


Your immune system is complex system that protects your body from disease and bad bacteria. This ranges from special cells and proteins to tissues and organs. They all work together to keep us fit and healthy.


Protein can help with this.


Studies have shown that nutrition is critical for how your immune system works. Malnutrition is one of the biggest factors for cause immune issues. Protein malnutrition is directly linked to significant impairment of immunity.


Appetite and Weight Loss


Protein content is so important in promoting short term weight loss.


This is likely down to the increased satiety caused by increased protein consumption.


Now this is just speculated. So bare that in mind before you start horsing protein into you thinking this is the answer to your weight loss prayers. But it does show that it can stop weight gain by stopping us over eating.


Adults retained more lean muscle mass and lost more body fat when they consume higher protein diets.


So there are some tips on how protein can help build muscle, help with weight loss and help keep you fit and healthy.

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