How much protein do I need a day?
Protein is an essential macronutrient for our bodies, and it is something most people are not eating enough of. Without enough protein, our bodies cannot maintain muscle mass. Protein is a key building block for healthy, athletic bodies.
You should be aiming for 0.8-1.1 grams of protein per lb of body weight. The exact amount of protein needed depends on things like your age, activity level, lifestyle, health goals, and body composition.
We need protein because it is the basic building block of our body. It helps with muscle and tissue repair as well as synthesizing skeletal and connective tissues, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and immune system chemicals. Protein is also made up of essential amino acids which everyone needs. We lose small amounts of amino acids everyday and therefore must replenish them with protein.
Eating adequate protein also helps curb hunger and maintain a healthy weight while building lean muscle. We expend more energy digesting protein creating a high thermic effect that essentially leads to weight loss. Not eating enough protein and replenishing those amino acids can lead to wasting our muscle mass, which nobody wants!
The good news is there are several animal and plant based foods that contain the protein our bodies need. Look for things like chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, pork, fish, beans, tofu, tempeh, lentils, whey protein powders, vegan and plant based protein powders, dairy, and even nuts and seeds.