When fitness nutrition is the topic of discussion, there is one nutrient that cannot be ignored.
That is, you guessed it, protein! Even if you are not into training and nutrition, you probably know that protein is important for the body, because technically, the body IS protein.
There are also essential proteins that the body needs but cannot produce on its own, which is why, in the context of optimal health, we must derive those essential nutrients from food.
Needless to say, if we don’t give the body enough protein, certain malfunctions may be experienced.
Those include but are not limited to:
Low sex drive
But how much protein do you really need? Well, the answer depends.
There isn’t really a universal protein intake, since every single body has different needs.
One thing we know for sure though - The widely recommended daily protein intake varies between 0.6 and 1g of protein, per pound of bodyweight.
Where on that range should you be? Well, think of it this way - More active people, who have more muscle mass, would require way more protein than someone who’s working a sedentary job and chills at home after their shift.
In other words, if you are not really engaged in daily and training activities, you’ll be good to go with just 0.6 grams of protein, per pound of bodyweight.
If however, you’re an active trainee that leads an active lifestyle in general and wants to get the best out of their training, you would need around 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
Then again, the amount of protein isn’t everything!
Besides securing the total amount of protein needed for the day, you must make sure that it comes from the right sources.
Proteins are made from amino acids, which are basically the building blocks of proteins.
There are 20 amino acids in total, and as we said, 9 of those are ESSENTIAL - Ones that the body needs, but can’t produce on its own.
Animal foods appear to be the food products that have the best amino acid profile, as all of them contain the full set of amino acids.
On the other hand, most plant foods lack one or more amino acids, thus making them less biologically viable.
From this, we can draw the conclusion that omnivores should put animal products at the core of their diet, while plant-based individuals should mix different types of grains, beans and legumes, to grant the sufficient amounts of essential proteins.
So there you have it, daily protein intake depends on your body composition and activity levels, ranging from 0.6 grams per pound of bodyweight for less active non-trainees, to 1 gram per pound for active trainees.
Assess your body composition and your activity levels, then test around with different amounts of protein per day and see what feels best.
THIS is how you determine protein intake for YOURSELF.
Got any questions? Ask in the comments below!