Whether you’re a weekend warrior or someone who goes to the gym daily, getting enough protein is one of the most important nutritional strategies you could take today.
The Benefits of Protein
- Protein Improves Muscle Development
Whether you’re aiming for muscle strength or muscle mass, protein’s amino acids are the building blocks your body needs to grow your muscles. “Protein supplementation may promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals,” reports a study published in the Sports Medicine journal. “Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.”
- Protein Repairs Your Body
When you exercise, your tissues and muscles are damaged and torn. This tearing-and-rebuilding process is integral to fitness improvements.
Protein accelerates the rebuilding process, helping you to recover faster. This is key if you’re trying to limit how many rest days you take in a week.
- Protein Improves Body Composition
Eat more protein and what you see in the mirror will reflect that. Researchers have found that a healthy balance of protein in your diet or supplements can improve fat loss while retaining lean muscle mass, helping you to get a more toned, healthy look.
A side benefit: Protein helps you to stay full longer, so you’re less likely to snack or binge. It may also have a small boosting effect on your metabolism compared to carbohydrates. All this comes together to help you achieve your weight loss and body composition goals.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
How much protein you need depends on your level of physical activity. If you’re moderately to very active, you’ll want to aim for 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
If you’re a bodybuilder, athlete or someone who is active on the higher end of the scale, you may need to adjust your protein intake if you aren’t seeing the results you want. Many professional athletes and heavy lifters aim for approximately 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.