What is protein? How much protein a day do you need to build muscle? Protein is one of the essential nutrients we take in through our diets. How much protein a person should consume depends on several factors, including his age, weight and lifestyle.
Proteins are the basic building blocks of our body. Muscles, ligaments, hair and skin are made of proteins. They make about 16 to 18 % of our body mass. Protein function involves more than muscle tissue repair. It includes repair of red blood cells, hair and skin, regulation of hormone secretion, maintenance of the body’s water balance, protection against disease etc.
How much protein a day do you need?
– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily intake of protein is 0.4g per pound of ideal body weight.This means that a 200 pound man would have to consume about 80 grams of protein a day. The recommendation however is based on studies done on average people.The daily recommendation for weightlifters is a lot higher than 0,4 g per pound.
While some nutritional experts say that 0.8 to 1 gram of protein is optimal for building muscle, others recommend as high as 2.5 to 3 grams of protein per pound. A good rule of a thumb is to take 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound a day for muscle building.
Good protein sources include:
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Red Meat – Steaks.
Poultry – Chicken breast, ground turkey, whole chicken.
Fish – Canned tuna, salmon,herring.
Dairy – Low fat milk, cottage cheese,low fat yogurt, whey.
Eggs – Whole eggs.
Nuts – Walnuts, almonds, pistachio,peanuts.