Is Protein only beneficial for Gainz?
First of all, what is protein? Why is this such a popular topic when it comes to fitness? Is it really that important, or is this just like Steph Curry (over rated)? Sorry Warriors fans, but hey, let me tell you why protein truly IS important to have in your diet!
Proteins are one of three macronutrients we discussed on our previous blog. To briefly recap, macronutrients are what our bodies need in large amounts daily to function properly. Protein is most commonly found in animal products, but can also be found in other food sources like dairy and beans. Proteins are made up of smaller unites called amino acids, which are joined together differently to make up for the structure. Protein is extremely popular in the fitness community, because it is associated with high performance when working out. Many reference it to being the building block of muscles, which technically is true. Protein not only works with muscles, but it also aids the following.
- Protein is needed to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
- Builds and repairs damaged tissues.
- Protein is a component of pretty much every cell in the body, even hair and nails are made of it.
- Controls body fat by increasing levels of glucagon.
So how much protein do I need?
This question is not a one size fits all. The answer greatly depends on numerous factors of each individual, which more importantly includes their activity level. However, there are general guidelines one could address when taking their first steps into getting an adequate amount of daily protein.
For example: The recommended minimum protein intake for sedentary activity, generally healthy adults, is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass. This recommendation is to simply prevent protein deficiency and cover the daily requirements for protein turnover (balance between protein synthesis and protein degradation). These requirements increase for athletes that take part in high intensity activities, and the protein need for these individuals range from 1.4-2.0 grams per kilogram.
Interestingly, while these recommendations may be adequate to cover protein turnover requirements, new research has suggested that higher amounts of protein in the diet may be vital for immune function, metabolism, satiety, weight management, and performance.
Still not sure how much protein you need to fuel your activity level? The best way to fuel your gainz is to talk to a nutrition coach, who can help develop your personalized nutrition program. All Unchained Nutrition coaches are certified in Fitness Nutrition and have experience working with a range of athletes and their unique goals. Whatever your goal may be, Unchained Nutrition can help you develop a program specialized just for you!