Protein is a key macronutrient that the body uses for a variety of purposes. For anyone looking to build a bit of muscle, get leaner, and develop some new strength, protein is an absolute requirement. Are you giving your body enough protein each day? The recommended daily intake is at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weight 135 pounds, you should be consuming at least 135 grams of protein per day. If you’re looking to add new muscle, then a better number would be 1.5 times your body weight.
Your body can only absorb 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal. This means if you’re the type of person who only eats twice per day, it’s time to change things up! Split your daily food total into smaller portions. If you are used to eating 3 meals per day, bump that up to 5 smaller meals. You won’t get fat from doing so. You’ll actually get leaner (assuming you keep the total calories constant) because your metabolism will increase accordingly. Our bodies enter a series of periods of muscle fasting each day, mini-starvation modes which raise and lower the metabolism. The more frequently you eat, the less frequently your body enters a starvation phase in which you preserve fat and burn up muscle.
Keep a running count of your protein gram totals from each meal is imperative. Using an application on your smart phone, or just a plain ol notepad or calculator, can give you the physical tools you need to keep track. If your goal is 35 grams per meal, or
about 100 grams per 3 meals, it should be an easy count. Plan each meal so that you have about 2 pieces of meat on the plate, or 35 grams of protein. Your protein sources should include chicken breast, lean slices of steak, pork, fish, and of course, whey protein powder. Eggs are also an excellent choice if you can minimize the yolks.
As you increase your daily protein intake, you will also need to boost the amount of water and fiber you’re consuming. Protein can take a slow ride through the digestive system, but that’s okay because the outcome will be well worth it. You’ll feel stronger and your body will grow harder. Your brain will work more efficiently, your sex drive will increase, and you’ll enjoy an overall level of aggression in everything you do. Enjoy the new “you” that added protein consumption will deliver!