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Your Ultimate Guide to Optimise Protein Intake

Have you decided you want to get fit, exercise or run a marathon? Not sure how much protein to take or even how to incorporate into your lifestyle?

Worry no more! This is going to be your ultimate guide to help you get the results you want. Whether you are looking to build muscle, become an athlete or trying to get back into shape – the solution is given here. 

 

Why do we need protein?

  1. Your body is built on thousands of different proteins which have specific functions. 
  2. They are found in our cells and tissues and can be enzymes, hormones and antibodies. 
  3. Proteins are essential for growth and repair and become more of a demand when we choose to change our bodies physically.
  4. This makes proteins important in childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

 

Calculating how much protein you need daily?

This can be the most challenging question; after all, we all are different due to sex, age and weight.  

The simplest way to know is to note your ideal intake of calories (protein) depending on your health, body composition, and type of intensity, duration, and frequency of your physical activity. 

 

How To Calculate Your Calorie Requirement

💡 Tips and Tricks: 

Step 1: You will need your height, weight, age, and level of physical activity. 

Step 2: Use the Body Weight Planner to get an estimate number of calories you need to reach. 

Step 3: Choose your diet:

  1. Hypocaloric diet: provides you with fewer calories than you burn. Perfect for those who want to lose weight in the form of fat and not muscle. This diet requires you to get enough protein and exercise.
  2. Hypercaloric diet provides you with more calories than you burn. Ideal for those who want to gain weight in the form of muscle and not fat. This diet requires you to get enough protein and physical exercise (weight lifting).
  3. Eucaloric diet provides you with an equal number of calories as you burn. This is great for a maintenance diet since your weight stays relatively consistent; this is determined on the protein intake and exercise you get.

Step 4: Know your daily protein intake

Protein Intake calculator

 

Daily optimal protein intake is displayed in grams.

  • Per kilogram(kg) of body weight (g/kg) 
  • Per pound(lb) of body weight (g/lb). 

Maintenance: Eucaloric diet 

Muscle gain: Eucaloric diet (if sedentary) or Hypercaloric diet (if active) 

Fat loss: Hypocaloric diet | * Grams per kilogram of body weight

Vegetarians/ Vegans: As you receive most of your protein from plants, check out the table below to find the best source of protein for you. 

mg/kg/day = daily requirement in milligrams of a given amino acid per kilogram of body weight.

Milk/Pea/Rice/Soy/Whey = milligrams of amino acid per gram (mg/g).

Protein Intake calculator

 

3 Types of Hypercaloric Diets

 

Digestible Plant and Animal Protein Content

 

Optimal Daily Protein Intake

 

Healthy & Sedentary Adults

The RDA for protein (0.8 g/kg) underestimates the needs of healthy, sedentary adults, who should rather aim for 1.2–1.8 g/kg (0.54–0.82 g/lb).

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Healthy Adults

 

Athletes 

Athletes and active adults can optimize muscle gain with a daily protein intake of 1.6–2.4 g/kg (0.73–1.10 g/lb). For experienced lifters on a bulk, up to 3.3 g/kg (1.50 g/lb) may help minimize fat gain.

Hypocaloric diet. Intakes as high as 3.1 g/kg may enhance fat loss and minimize muscle loss in lean lifters.

Learn More:Protein Supplements for Athletes

 

Muscle Gain

Athletes and active adults can optimize muscle gain with a daily protein intake of 1.6–2.4 g/kg (0.73–1.10 g/lb). For experienced lifters on a bulk, up to 3.3 g/kg (1.50 g/lb) may help minimize fat gain.

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Muscle Gain

 

Fat loss (Not an athlete)

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Fat Loss (Not an Athlete)

 

Fat loss (Overweight)

When dieting for fat loss, athletes and other active adults who are already lean may maximize fat loss and muscle retention with a daily protein intake of 1.6–2.4 g/kg (0.73–1.10 g/lb). People who are overweight or obese are best served by consuming 1.2–1.5 g/kg (0.54–0.68 g/lb).

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Fat Loss (Overweight)

 

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women may require a daily protein intake of at least 1.77 g/kg (0.8 g/lb) to support both the fetus and themselves. Protein supplementation during pregnancy appears to lower some risks for the baby — including the risk of stillbirth — especially in undernourished women.

Learn More: Vitamin Supplements

 

Lactating Women

Lactating women should aim for a daily protein intake of at least 1.5 g/kg.

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Lactating Women

Learn More: Vitamin Supplements

 

Infants and Children

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Infants 

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Children

 

Vegetarians and Vegans

Plant-based proteins are of reduced quality as they have lower bioavailability and less EAA’s. If you get most of your protein from plants, you will need to consume more protein to achieve the same muscle growth as someone with a more omnivorous diet. Note: protein intake does not mean it cannot be achieved on a vegan diet.

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Vegetarians

Learn More: Protein Supplements for Vegans

 

How much protein per meal?

Disclaimer: Before you begin taking any supplements, it is crucial to discuss this with your GP or health professional. Any advice given here is to promote your internal health.


References: https://examine.com/guides/protein-intake/

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