Protein – who, when and how much to take?

Why you need to take protein at all? How much protein should you take? What protein sources should you take?

No matter where you turn, you are told that for growth you need to eat/drink protein and that you should buy a certain shake or amino acids. But how do you know in what portion and form you should consume them?

Why you need to take protein at all?

There are a wide variety of proteins, which fulfil an important function in your body. Now we will look at the important role that proteins have in muscle building. Our muscles consist of protein, therefore it is reasonable that you should consume protein if you want to build and develop your muscles. The protein that you consume is broken down into amino acids in your digestive system, and from there they are built and utilised in a wide range of functions. If you regularly exercise or train, your muscles want to adapt to the workload. It means that your muscles will develop and grow, which requires a certain amount of training, of course. During workout the muscle fibres are injured, which can be restored and regenerated by consuming amino acids and other nutrients. During this process your body prepares (adapts) to the newer workload it is going to be soon exposed to, therefore the muscle fibres start strengthening and growing. If you do sports, it results in a better nutrient storage and your vascularity (capillaries) improves to enable a better nutrient supply and an easier disposal of the waste products.

How much protein should you take?

Depending on the sport(s) you do, the intensity and your objective with the training you will need a different quantity of protein to achieve an adequate growth.

Gabriella Silye, our sports nutrition expert writes in her book “For a Maximum Sports Performance” that protein intake in stamina-related sports is the lowest, it ranges between 1.4 and 1.6g/kg (in body weight)”. In these sports you must ‘carry’ yours muscles in the long term, therefore the goal is to grow muscles only to the extent required by the specific sport activity. “When it is important to have fast energy and muscle use the recommended protein intake is between 1.8 and 2g/kg (in body weight)”, while in sports that require maximum effort, such as “bodybuilding, powerlifting and weightlifting the daily protein intake may even exceed 2g/kg (body weight)”. Age is another variable factor. “A junior sportsperson in their adolescence requires 1.5 to 2g protein/kg (body weight).”

What protein sources should you take?

Chicken breast, turkey breast, sea fish, skimmed dairy products, eggs, shakes are considered to be the best protein sources for their excellent price/value ratio. Besides their high protein content, they do not contain any unnecessary calories.


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