Are you eating enough protein?
Protein requirements depend on many factors including activity level, goals, and age to name a few.
An intake 0.35-0.40 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is recommended for those who are mostly sedentary individuals. This amount of protein is easily attained through a traditional American diet.
Protein requirements for those who are non-athletes but live an active lifestyle should aim to eat a slightly higher amount of protein, about 0.45 - 0.65 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Elderly individuals also need a higher protein intake due to the neccessity of preserving muscle mass.
Endurance athletes, who often disregard proper protein intake in favor of more carbihydrates, would benefit from a higher intake. Around 0.5 - 0.65 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is neccessary to help endurance athletes recover more efficiently from the demands of endurance training.
Strength athletes, physique competitors, or anyone looking to build muscle mass can benefit from an even higher protein intake. Strength training is a process that involves breaking down muscle and rebuilding it to improve size and strength. The rebuilding/recovery process is dependent upon protein and amino acids. Protein is the only anabolic macronutrient. This means protein is the only source of energy that has properties to rebuild muscles.
An intake of 0.75- 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is suggested for individuals participating in strength or hypertrophy activities. Most studies report that an intake above 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight show no more benefit for recovery than those who consume between 0.75 - 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
If you do eat more protein than the recommended intake, don't worry about any negative side affects. Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown no detrimental effect on the kidneys when a higher amount of protein is ingested.
Summing up, protein plays an important role in recovery, especially in individuals who are more active. By eating a proper amount of protein every day, you allow your body to recover at it's best. Eat lean sources of protein, hit your daily recommended intake, and reap the benefits!
Till next time,
Rodriguez, Nancy, William Martin, and Lawrence Armstrong. "Dietary Protein Intake and Renal Function." Nutrition & Metabolism. BioMed Central, 20 Sept. 2005. Web. 19 May 2014.