Protein supplements became very popular, almost essential, among athletes and bodybuilders. They can also be found in baby formulas, nutrition shake for the elderly and weight-loss supplements as an appetite suppressor.
It is important to understand that protein is a macro-nutrient (like carbohydrate and fat) that provides calories to your body, in other words energy. Essentially, the main role of this macro-nutrient is to build and to repair tissues of the body (muscles, bones, skin, etc.).
According to U.S government, recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein for men and women is :
- 0,8 gram (g) per kilogram (kg) of ideal body weight for the adult (not very active);
- 1 g/kg of ideal body weight for an active adult;
- 1,2 to 1,4 g/kg of ideal body weight for endurance athlete;
- 1,4 to 1,7 g/kg of ideal body weight for strength and power athlete;
- And around 1,3 g/kg of ideal body weight for pregnant woman.
Note, the best time to ingest protein is right after your training session. We call this the anabolism (building) stage, which begins after the end of the workout and lasts about 30 minutes. It is considered critical since the protein absorption at this time allows repairing trained muscles and building muscle mass, as well. In addition, during this anabolism phase, the muscle fibers are particularly sensitive to insulin, a hormone that promotes the storage of carbs. Not only you should consume protein after your workout, but it should be combine with 1,25 g/kg of body weight of carbs to restore your glycogen reserves too.
Finally, protein supplements can be very convenient because it’s easy to bring in your gym bag and it doesn’t take as much time like cooking your chicken at home, for instance. But, protein supplements should not replace entirely your diet. Here are some high protein aliments you can easily find at your grocery store:
- 1 egg = 6 g of protein
- 100 g of fresh salmon = 25 g of protein
- 140 g of tuna can = 40 g of protein
- 100 g of chicken = 25-28 g of protein
- 100 g of beef = 25-28 g of protein
- 175 g of Greek yogurt = 14 g of protein
I hope this article was helpful to you this week. For more information about this topic or if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Bird Smith C.
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McArdle, W. and al. (2001). Physiologie de l’activité physique: énergie, nutrition et performance. 4e Édition. Maloine/Edisem. 711 p.