Revealing the myths: Do you know how much protein you should eat? Or when? Or why?

Protein makes up the building blocks for muscle, cartilage, skin and blood and contribute to the maintenance and repair of your cells and body tissue. It provides you with energy, and plays an especially important role during childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. If your protein intake is too low, there could be many consequences such as a slow metabolism, lack of energy, difficulty in losing weight, a loss in focus and a weakened immune system. But how much is enough? And in what forms should it be consumed?

The recommended daily consumption of protein for both male and female adults is 0.8 grams for every kilo of body weight (or approximately 0.03 ounces for every 2.2 pounds). This equates to about two handfuls of food like meat, fish, tofu and pulses. Bear in mind that if you follow a low-carb diet, train often and hard, are vegetarian or vegan, are elderly or are breastfeeding you may need closer to 1.7 grams. Only in these cases does it make sense to consume protein supplements since you can normally get the recommended amount of protein from your diet quite easily.

When purchasing protein powders or pills, be careful of additives including sugar and flavoring that will most certainly make the concoction easier to consume, but will also have negative side effects. Also be weary of seed-based supplements that may contain protein but none of the amino acids offered by animal protein and the whole point of taking the protein in the first place (it is in fact the amino acids your body needs and not the protein).

To simplify things, just remember that if you increase your consumption of protein to 30% or more of your total calorie consumption, then you will lose weight. And if you consume liquid protein about 45 minutes after a workout, then you will be well on your way to improving your metabolism and supporting your muscle development.

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