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The Protein Puzzle

Unlock Your True Potential By Hitting Your Protein Goal


By Davyn Braker

When it comes to optimizing your workouts and smashing through plateaus, understanding the role of protein in your diet is key. Protein is not only crucial for repairing and building muscle tissue but also for supporting a wide range of physiological functions within the body.


How Much Protein Do You Need?


The recommended protein intake varies depending on factors such as age, sex, weight, activity level, and fitness goals. However, a general guideline often cited by nutrition experts is to consume around 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for the average sedentary adult.


For individuals regularly engaging in intense exercise or strength training, the protein requirements may be higher to support muscle repair and growth. In these cases, it's often recommended to aim for a daily protein intake closer to 1.2 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight.



Timing Matters


Equally important as the total amount of protein consumed is the timing of your protein intake. To maximize muscle protein synthesis, the process by which your body builds new muscle tissue, it's beneficial to distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day, rather than consuming large amounts in one sitting.


For optimal results, aim to include a source of protein in each of your meals and snacks. This could include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, consuming a source of protein within an hour or two after your workout can help kickstart the muscle recovery process and promote muscle growth.


Quality Counts


Not all protein sources are created equal. While it's possible to meet your protein needs with various foods, focusing on high-quality protein sources can provide additional benefits. Complete protein sources, which contain all nine essential amino acids the body cannot produce on its own, are necessary for muscle repair and growth.


Some examples of complete protein sources include:


Animal-based proteins: lean meats (such as chicken, turkey, and beef), fish, eggs, and dairy products (such as Greek yogurt and cottage cheese).


Plant-based proteins: quinoa, soy products (such as tofu and tempeh), hemp seeds, chia seeds, and buckwheat.


Supplementation


In some cases, it may be challenging to meet your protein needs through whole foods alone, especially for individuals with higher protein requirements or dietary restrictions. In these situations, protein supplements such as whey protein powder, casein protein powder, or plant-based protein powders can be convenient options to help bridge the gap.

However, it's essential to remember that supplements should complement, not replace, a balanced diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods.


Listen to Your Body


Ultimately, the most important factor in determining your protein needs is listening to your body and adjusting your intake based on your individual goals, preferences, and performance. Experiment with different protein sources, meal timing strategies, and supplementation to find what works best for you.


By prioritizing your protein intake and fueling your body with the nutrients it needs, you'll be well-equipped to break through workout plateaus and unlock your full potential in the gym.


Looking Protein Powder For You?


Check out Legion Athletics! All of their supplements consist of high quality ingredients and are all 3rd party tested. Receive 20% off your first order when you use code "BarRaising" at checkout!




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