Proteins are essential for our health and well-being. However, we are not usually clear about the amount of daily protein that we really need.
There are various generalizations about daily protein intake needs. And you have to keep in mind that they are just that, generalizations. In other words, they do not necessarily have to be adjusted to the person since we must take into account very diverse factors. In other words, there are a series of general figures, but then each person may have specific needs.
The most accepted proportion is 0.8 g of protein for every kilo of weight . With this relationship, a person of average weight would need approximately 8 grams of protein for every 10 kilos.
Proteins to increase muscle mass
Muscles, as dynamic tissues, are constantly deteriorating and rebuilding. In these processes proteins are basic. A very fit musculature needs to synthesize more muscle protein than it consumes . Therefore, you need to have more protein than you really, as a basic sustenance, need to have.
This is why when looking to gain muscle it is necessary to consume more amounts of protein . Of course, those who want to lose weight but not muscle mass should also incorporate protein systematically into their diets. This is very common in weight loss diets once the body’s fat reserves are depleted. It is essential to know how many kilos you can lose per month without damaging your health and the presence of protein in these diets and calculations is essential.
In these cases, protein intake can increase even above 2 grams per kilo of weight. However, these are important decisions that should always be consulted with a health professional due to the implications they may have on our well-being.
What are the best proteins to increase muscle mass? The three most successful are soy, egg and milk or those that come from these. But many athletes combine them with artificial proteins to enhance their effect, the well-known protein shakes. For a correct diet and to help increase muscle mass, you must adjust your protein intake to your weight , and leave at least 3 hours between the intake of protein shakes. Another recommendation about protein shakes is to drink them 30 minutes after finishing the workout, since the muscle absorbs the protein better at that time.
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Factors that influence the amount of protein needed
We have seen a general approach to the need for daily protein intake, but there are important factors to take into account that modify this criterion .
In the first place, both the person’s physical activity and their age and state of health will influence the need for protein . The less physical activity and lower energy consumption, the less protein need. On the other hand, a common mistake is to associate the weight of the food that we are going to eat directly with the amount of protein it provides , and this is not the case. What we are interested in deducing is how much protein the food contains.
These calculations are not easy, but fortunately there are calculators on the internet that allow you to fine-tune the amount of protein per 100 g of certain foods. All this is important, since the lack of adequate protein is very present among the dangers of detox diets .
Where to get the necessary protein?
Proteins are made up of molecules called amino acids that, linked together, form complex chains. There are amino acids produced by the body itself, while others, the so-called essential ones , come from food.
In a balanced diet, with normal physical activity and average health, there are usually no problems due to a lack of protein since, unlike the vast majority of nutrients that are only found in certain foods, proteins are going to be found in many food . If our diet incorporates animal protein, this will be enough to obtain the amount we need. However, it is not the only option since we can also obtain protein from vegetables, cereals, legumes, fruits , and in some cases in significant amounts .
As with so many other things related to our health, a healthy diet and regular exercise would really be enough to have a good protein ratio in our body. However, there are situations where protein intake is increased voluntarily.
The 10 foods and meals with the most protein
These are some of the foods and meals in which you can find more protein and take advantage of it when training and gaining muscle.
- Meats, such as chicken breast or beef
- Fish, such as salt cod, salmon, or fresh tuna
- Garbanzo beans
- Fresh cheese or cottage cheese
- pumpkin seeds
As you can see, there is a wide variety of foods rich in protein and that give the opportunity to prepare healthy and varied menus . It does not matter if your daily menu is vegetarian or vegan since protein is also found in legumes, soy and other similar foods. It’s your time to innovate in the kitchen and healthy menus are not boring!