Proteins are the main building blocks of our bodies. Protein sources generally speaking are from animals, such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy. It you are a vegan or vegetarian, it may be challenging to get enough protein without being informed of good sources and the amount of protein your body requires.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, some being produced by our body whilst others we need to get from our diet. Essential amino acids are the ones we are unable to produce in the body, making a protein shake a handy addition to the daily diet – as well as a great protein source. Like foods, some protein shakes will have all amino acids!
How much do you need?
|Person, Situation & Goals||Ideal Daily Protein Intake|
|Average healthy sedentary adult (male or female) that does NOT work out or have any related goals. This is just what I consider to be a good minimum daily protein intake for general health/function.||0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult (male or female) that IS doing some form of exercise regularly or IS trying to improve their body (lose fat, build muscle, etc.). This is the minimum I’d recommend in this case.||0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult FEMALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned,” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.||1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
|Average healthy adult MALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned,” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.||1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.|
When do you need protein?
Protein is needed to build strong and elastic muscle, just exercise will not build muscle; an adequate consumption of protein is needed.
- Early Morning
During sleep energy and nutrients are used from what has been consumed prior sleep. Once this energy store is depleted, we lose protein. Eating protein in the morning will replenish these stores.
- Post Workout
Resistance training creates tiny tears in our muscles – a normal part of the growth, repair and muscle rebuilding process, which requires adequate protein consumption.
- Between Meals
Eating protein between meals sends a steady and continual supply of protein to our muscles. Protein also helps us keep full and can prevent unhealthy snacking.
NB: Protein powders and supplements should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Make sure you discuss with your personal health carer before taking any supplements. Protein shakes should not replace meals.