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nordwood
on 30 Mar 2017 4:21 PM
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How much protein do you really need?

Have you noticed that we are talking about more and more proteins? On grocery shelves, many bars, cereals, yogurts, beverages and other products now boast about being high in protein. Do we really need all these proteins? Here’s a little overview to better navigate.

It is important to remember that proteins play many different roles in the body. They allow not only repair and growth of muscles, but also of organs of the body, skin, hair and nails. They are also an integral part of hormones, digestive enzymes, defense molecules of the immune system and many more.

It is important to note that the amount of protein required daily is unique to each individual and varies according to weight, sex, purpose, level of physical activity and many other parameters. Your protein requirement is calculated in grams based on your weight in kilograms (g / kg).

Here are three different profiles and their protein needs:

1. Sedentary citizen

Do you have a healthy weight and are you sedentary? You are among those with the lowest protein requirements, that is to say 1.2 to 1.8 g / kg per day. Even if you are losing weight, these values apply. Take the example of a woman weighing 60 kg (about 130 lbs) who must therefore eat 72 to 108 g of protein per day. Here is an example of how she could reach her needs in a day:

Breakfast :

2 whole wheat toast (8g protein)
2 tbsp. of peanut butter (7g of protein)
1 medium banana (1g of protein)

Snack:

1 small container of Greek yogurt (8g of protein)
1 apple (0.5g of protein)

Lunch :

Tuna wrap (75 g) in whole wheat tortilla (19g + 4g of protein)
½ cup of raw vegetables + 2 tbsp. hummus (1g + 2.5g protein)

Snack:

1 cup soy beverage (7 g protein)

Dinner :

100 g of cooked salmon (22g of protein)
½ cup of brown rice (3g of protein)
1 cup of broccoli (4g of protein)

TOTAL for the day = 87 g of protein

2. The weekend sportsman

Do you ride a bike to work, do a few sessions at your local gym and go on a weekend hike when the weather allows it? You will need a little more protein than a sedentary person, that is to say from 1.4 to 2.2 g / kg. Here is the example of a typical day for a man of 70 kg (about 155 lbs) who must therefore fetch 98 to 154 g of protein per day:

Breakfast :

2 whole wheat toast (8 g protein)
2 eggs (12g of protein)
1 slice of light cheese (8g of protein)
1 orange (2g of protein)

Snack:

½ cup of cottage cheese (15g of protein)
½ cup of raspberries (1g of protein)

Lunch :

1 small container of Greek yogurt (8g of protein)
Couscous salad :
1 cup of cooked couscous (6g protein)
100 g of cooked chicken (28g protein)
1 ½ cups of mixed vegetables (8g protein)

Snack:

Coffee with milk (1 cup of milk) (8 g of protein)

Dinner :

100 g cooked salmon (22g of protein)
1 cup of brown rice (6g protein)
1 ½ cup of broccoli (6g protein)

TOTAL for the day = 138 g of protein

3. The athlete

Are you in the process of gaining muscle mass, training for performance, and wanting to maximize recovery between workouts? High protein intake is essential; aim for 1.4 to 3.3 g / kg per day. Remember that eating a lot of protein is not enough, because to promote muscle growth it is essential to combine a healthy diet to a training program adapted for muscular resistance. Here's how an 80 kg (about 175 lbs) man could meet his protein needs (112 to 264 g) in one day:

Breakfast :

Oats :
1 cup of large flake oats (16g of protein)
1 cup of milk (8g of protein)
½ cup of egg whites (12g of protein)
1 cup of berries (2g of protein)

Snack:

Sandwich:
2 slices of whole wheat bread (8g of protein)
75 g tuna + 1/4 cup cottage cheese (19g + 7g protein)

Lunch :

½ cup Greek yogurt (12g protein)
Couscous salad :
1 cup of cooked couscous (6g protein)
125 g of cooked chicken (35 g protein)
1 ½ cups of mixed vegetables (8g protein)

Snack:

1 serving of protein powder (25g of protein)
1 medium banana (1g of protein)

Dinner :

125 g of cooked tilapia (39 g protein)
1 ½ of cup brown rice (9g protein)
2 cups of broccoli (8g protein)

Snack:

50 g light cheese (14g of protein)
50 g whole wheat crackers (5g protein)

TOTAL for the day = 234 g of protein

To remember Do we need protein to be healthy? Certainly! Are protein-enriched products needed to meet our needs? Not really! For most people, diet is enough to meet protein needs. Remember that the best sources of protein are foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and soy products. However, remember that almost all foods contain protein, even carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables! The important thing is to space the protein sources between several meals and snacks throughout the day, instead of eating the majority in the evening meal, as many people do. Vegans, on the other hand, should multiply the values presented in this article by 1.2 because the plant-based proteins are less well assimilated.

Do you want advice tailored to your needs? Do not hesitate to consult an Équipe Nutrition nutritionist who will guide you towards the achievement of your goals.