If you’re not exercising frequently, the reply to how much protein you need is pretty simple: Government recommended amounts are more than adequate – around 0.3-0.4 grams per pound of bodyweight. However, if you are lifting weights, running, cycling (or taking part in any kind of physical activity, for that matter) you should probably your intake up a little.
While exercising, you put more stress on the body. Protein synthesis is the process whereby biological cells produce new proteins that help repair and rebuild the tissue. Higher levels of protein assist for this process in addition to contributing to improved brain function and insulin response.
When endurance training, you should up your intake to approximately 0.45-0.65 grams per pound of body weight – based on level of activity. If powerlifting, or looking to bulk up, this raises further to around 0.75-1 gram per pound. There are more infrequent situations where it’s essential to increase intake further. By way of example, if you’re training 5 times per week, you’re in a caloric deficit, you’re already very lean, and you’re looking to build or maintain muscle you should consume more than one gram per pound. Even so, the upper limit should be 1.4 grams per pound of body weight.
When planning your diet, it’s important to consider whether the protein is complete or not. Bread, for example, contains protein but lacks certain amino acids. This means that it is “pristine”. However, by mixing bread along with different foods (such as beans, which contain the missing amino acids), you can form a complete protein. A complete protein is one which comprises all nine essential amino acids.
In regards to forming whole proteins, it can be hard work looking for foods that complement each other. Because of this, there is a great site which allows you to examine the protein on thousands of foods. When viewing a product, there is even an option to see foods with complementary amino acids profiles.
Calculating Daily Requirements
If you are in doubt about how much protein you need while exercising or dieting, there are a few online calculators which can help you discover the solution. This is probably one of the better protein calculators as it takes account of a wide range of criteria while including references to the study used to construct it.