Hello Fitness Enthusiasts!
Welcome back to the Force of Will FItness blog. Did you know that protein is the most important nutrient to health and fitness, and overall body function in general? You can’t live without it! This post will cover how much protein your body needs, and then, where you should be getting that protein from.
Protein intake will vary based on weight and activity level. An active person (meaning someone who follows an effective fitness plan) should consume approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass per day. Contrary to popular belief, factors such as age and sex do not play a role in how much protein one should ingest in a day. For example, a fit 40 year old 140 pound woman would need to consume at least 100 grams of protein per day. This is the same amount that an untrained 20 year old, 200 pound male should consume when he begins training - The reason being that their lean body mass could be very similar. It is important to start taking in more protein as your become more active, especially if your training program involves moderate to heavy weight training. This is because weight training breaks down muscle tissue, and then the body must rebuild itself, not only to its previous level, but stronger than it was!
So now that you know why protein is important, how do you get enough? And how do you get enough protein without a significant increase to your overall calorie intake? I recommend that all my clients begin by eating lean meats with every meal. This can include chicken, fish, pork, or turkey. Four ounces of lean meat is approximately 20 grams of protein and only 100 calories. This is a piece of meat that could be held in the palm of your hand. Compare that to a handfull of peanuts at only 6 grams of protein and 170 calories. You would need to eat 3 FULL handfulls of peanuts at a whopping 510 calories just to get the protein in one piece of chicken. And don’t even try to figure out how much bread you would have to eat to get that same 20 grams (it’s over 1000 calories). What if I get tired of meat, you might ask. Well, there are options available. There are many protein powders available for low cost. Most of these are derived from milk, but many do not even contain lactose, so it is not really similar to milk. There are also protein powders derived from vegetable sources such as peas. These are a good option for those of you who are vegetarians, and should become a staple of your vegetarian diet.
In short, protein is important - both quantity and quality. If you follow a balanced fitness and nutrition plan, with adequate intake of protein, expect your results to exceed your expectations! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website - www.FOWFitness.com
Andrew J. Dougan
Founder, Force of WIll Fitness