Every cell in the human body contains protein as part of its structure. Without protein the structures would break down and the cells wouldn’t function. Therefore, if you want your body to run like a Rolls Royce, eat an adequate amount of protein. If you don’t consume an adequate amount of protein, it’s more likely to run like a clapped out old banger ready for the scrap heap.
How much protein?
Well, the national strength and conditioning association suggest 1.5 to 2g per Kg of bodyweight for athletes so if you are training like an athlete then that’s what you should aim for.
So a 90Kg man would aim for 135g to 180g of protein a day.
If you or one of your clients have began training recently for the first time then I would urge you to consider how much protein you or your client are consuming each day.
When you train hard, muscle tissue can sustain lots of microscopic tears. Don’t worry, this is good. When the body repairs those tears, they become denser and stronger, which can result in a more toned appearance and give you overall stronger muscles. However, if the body does not have an adequate supply of protein, the body will not even repair properly, let alone rebuild stronger muscles. Try to include some source of protein in all of your meals. You will also feel fuller and will be less likely to become hungry between meals.
Although it is possible to lose weight on a low protein diet, the majority of weight loss comes from muscle wastage not unwanted body fat.
Some good food sources that contain protein are:
- Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef
- Cottage Cheese
- Fish (including shellfish)
For vegetarians / vegans I would recommend:
- Nuts & seeds
- Protein shakes
Each time you have a meal. Look at your plate and if you have a portion of one of the above sources then your probably doing ok.
Next article in the series will look at carbohydrate.