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  • Clem Duranseaud

How much protein should you eat?

Updated: Jan 19


protein requirements for healthy living

Protein repairs muscle tissue and helps lower the feeling of hunger. Eating enough protein throughout the day is one of the simplest ways you can do to achieve any body composition goals whether it's weight loss, leaning out or gaining muscle.



How much protein should you eat?


If you are a physically active person, eating 1.6g of protein per kilogram of body weight is enough for muscle recovery. Thats 0.7g of protein per pound of body weight is you prefer imperial.


What does that mean?

If someone weights 60 kilograms, they need to consume 1.6 gram of protein for each of these kilos each day. The result is 60 x 1.6 = 96 grams of protein each day.


You get the same result with pound. 60 kilos is 132 pounds, so 132 x 0.7 = 92.4.


This number is subjective, like every other fitness and nutrition recommendation. You can use a broader range like 1.2g to 2.5g of protein per day.


Going below that threshold for a few days won't be detrimental, but being chronically under it can become problematic.


Going over that threshold can also become problematic if you really eat way too much protein. Kidney damage, bad breath and dehydration are all symptoms of over eating protein.


What protein should you consume?


When it comes to protein, always choose good quality, natural foods.


Since the most popular protein sources are from animal product, I refer to good quality as grass fed versus grain fed for land animals and wild caught versus farm grown for fish.


For proteins coming from plant sources, you want to make sure it was grown organically.


The best protein sources, in my opinion:

- Salmon

- Cod

- Sardines

- Chickpeas

- Lentils

- Chicken

- Turkey

- Red meat

- Tofu

- Seitan


What happens if you don't eat enough protein?


Not eating enough protein leads to decreased muscle mass and may cause feeling lethargic.


Some of your muscles like your heart and digestive muscles are controlled subconsciously by our brain. You body prioritizes those muscle's protein requirements over your bicep's or leg's.


This means that without enough protein, the muscles you use to move around and go about your day won't be able to properly recover from the day's activities, causing fatigue.


Other effects of low protein intake include nail and hair issues and edemas.


Should you have protein shakes?


Protein shakes should only be used if you cannot reach your daily protein requirements with natural foods.


Natural, whole foods will be packed with other good nutrients like vitamins and minerals that protein powder don't have. If we compare 20g of protein from whey powder with 20g of protein for salmon, we can see that whey only provides calcium and potassium as extra nutrients. On the other hand, salmon provides healthy fats, vitamin b6, iron, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium.


I always advise my clients to try and get most of their protein from natural sources.


Protein shakes become a viable options if you see that relying on natural foods get's too expensive (I understand that grass fed meat is expansive).


If you see that you need to use protein supplements you can check out my workout supplement routine here.


You can also see the protein powder I personally use at this: https://amzn.to/48XmdG0 (Amazon).


Do you need protein right after a workout?


Short answer, no.


Long answer is that nutrient timing (when you eat) is one of the last things you should focus on in your health journey.


The effects of not eating right away are so negligible that unless you are a professional body builder in contest prep, I would spend my mental energy other places.


Protein recipes


protein Zen bowls



Ingredients:

- 1 chicken breast

- 1/2 cup rice

- 1/2 cup yam, diced

- 1/2 cup red onion chopped

- 1 tbsp coconut oil

- 2 tbsp peanut butter

- 1 tbsp soy sauce

- 1 tbsp honey

- 1 lime

- 1 tbsp sesame oil

- 1 cup spinach

- 1/2 avocado

- 1tbsp sesame seeds

- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro



1. Cook the chicken in the oven. 425F for 25 min should do the trick. For extra flavour, season it with a little bit of black pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder and cinnamon.


2. In a large bowl, combine the yams with the red onion and throw in some olive oil, black pepper and dried oregano. Mix well and then transfer the yams and onion on a baking sheet and cook in oven at 425F for 20-25 minutes. I just cook this and the chicken at the same time.


3. Cook the rice in 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer. Once it's done, put the coconut oil in it and mix until all the rice is coated with it. This will add flavour and provide healthy fats.


4. The sauce: combine in a small bowl the juice from the lime, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil. whisk until it's mixed perfectly.


5. Once the chicken and yams are done, all you have to do is assemble to whole thing! Remember to add the avocado, sesame seeds and cilantro.



Chocolate protein balls



Ingredients

- 1 cup steel cut oats

- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

- 1 cup almond milk

- 1/3 cup honey

- 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter

- 1/3 cup shredded coconut

- 2 scoops of you favourite protein powder

- 1./4 cup flax seeds

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


- Pour all the ingredients in a bowl and mix


- Use the almond milk to reach the desired consistency. The past should be fairly solid, it shouldn't be able to move in the bowl when you tilt it side ways


- Put the past in a tupperware and leave it in the freezer for a few hours. After a few hours you can take it out, the past will have hardened and you can now break off small pieces and make little balls. The paste is pretty sticky so use some parchment paper to make it easy when taking it out of the tupperware.


Conclusion


Protein are essential for your all of your muscles to work and recover properly. Eating enough protein will ensure you feel more energized and progress towards your gitness goals.


It is recommended to eat anywhere between 1.6g and 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight.


Prioritize sourcing your protein from natural foods but don't be afraid to use protein powders to complement your needs.


Happy training,


Clem

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