How much protein do you need in a day?
Everyone needs the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fruits and veggies to be healthy. But how much protein you should consume everyday depends on a lot of factors, such as your weight, age, activity level, and fitness goals.
It is generally recommended that you consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. The average man in Australia weighs 85kg, so that’s around 68g of protein daily. But this figure is the bare minimum – if your goals include weight loss, fat burning, or lean muscle-building, you will need to take more.
For women and men who are looking to improve their body aesthetic, that figure is closer to 25-30% of your daily caloric intake, or 1.2-1.8g of protein per kilogram of weight.
Using this number, the average man in Australia should consume about 102-153g of protein every day to lose weight. To gain weight and muscle mass, 1.6-2.2g per kilogram of lean mass (or your goal weight) should suffice.
Symptoms of protein deficiency
The following are signs that you are not consuming enough protein:
- Swollen or bloated skin (edema)
- Brittle or flaky skin, hair, and nails
- Muscle loss and degeneration
- Stunted growth
- Compromised immune system
- Poor appetite
- Depression, anxiety, and/or unstable moods
- Fatigue and exhaustion
What happens if you consume too much protein?
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to protein. Eating too much protein can result in:
- Weight gain
- Bowel problems (constipation or diarrhea)
- Foul breath
- Kidney problems
- Heart disease
- Loss of calcium
Food that is naturally high in protein
If you want to incorporate more protein in your diet without using supplements or protein powder, you can do so with high-protein food. Here are some of the best natural, organic, and cheap sources of protein:
6g per egg
31g per 100g
63g per 100g
Seeds and nuts
6g per 30g (almonds, pistachios)
8g per 100g (tofu)
Lentils and chickpeas
9-19g per 100g
Protein powder 101
Protein powder is a nutritional supplement that adds more protein into your diet. It is often consumed by athletes, models, and anyone who wants to change their body shape through weight loss or muscle gain. This supplement comes in a powder form so that you can easily mix it in with water or milk.
Types of protein powder
The most common type, whey protein is also the most effective at reducing appetite and improving muscle mass. However, it is not lactose-free nor vegetarian-friendly.
Casein, like whey, is a milk protein that can increase weight loss and promote muscle growth. It absorbs slower than whey.
Being made out of soybeans, this protein powder is one of the better choices for vegans and vegetarians.
Pea protein is great for people who have sensitivities to dairy or eggs. Studies are still limited on the effectivity of pea-based protein powders.
This kind of protein is made out of brown rice. Research is still in the early stages, but so far, rice protein has been producing similar results to whey.
Egg protein powders contain a high amount of leucine, an amino acid that plays a big role in muscle development.
Adding protein powder into your diet
While you can technically eat protein powder ‘raw’ or on its own, the best way to consume it is by drinking it. The low-calorie option is to mix it with cold water. But if you want a more decadent and enjoyable experience, try mixing it with your choice of milk. You can also combine it with fruits, veggies, and other ingredients to make delicious protein powder shakes.
Drinking protein: before or after a workout?
There is much debate about the best time to consume a protein shake. Studies have shown that it doesn’t matter whether you prefer pre or post-workout shakes, what really matters is that you get the recommended intake of protein everyday. Still, workout websites and fitness gurus advise that you drink your protein 30 minutes before or after your workout to hit the so-called ‘anabolic window’ which maximises protein absorption.
The 4 best protein powders
Price: $AUD 69.95 (1.32kg)
Protein per serving: 22g
Flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate, Banana Cream, and more
Uprotein 100% Whey Protein Hydro + Enzymes
Price: $AUD 69.50 (2kg)
Protein per serving: 32.6g
Flavours: Vanilla Custard, Choc Brownie, Banana Sundae, and more
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein
Price: $AUD 54.95 (450g)
Protein per serving: 24g
Flavours: Vanilla Ice Cream, Double Rich Chocolate, Birthday Cake, and more
Fighter - Supreme Lean Muscle Building Protein
Price: $AUD 60.11 (2kg)
Protein per serving: 25.1g
Protein powders are a great way for both men and women to get closer to their fitness goals, whether that’s to lose weight or build muscle. If you want to make the most out of your workout and see actual results, it might be time to add a protein shake or two to your daily diet!
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