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Importance of Protein

If you've never tracked your food before, it's very likely that you won't be eating enough protein. It's probably the most important out of the 3 macro-nutrients (carbs, fats, protein), but often the most neglected.

protein surrounded by high protein foods- fish, meats, eggs, nuts and grains

Protein is the building block of all cells in your body. It helps repair and build muscle, which is especially important when you’re training hard in the gym. This isn't to say that increasing your protein intake is going to make you put on a load of muscle, but actually will help you achieve a 'toned' look.

It also acts as an enzyme to speed up chemical reactions in the body, it’s used to transport molecules in and out of cells, and it’s also what hormones are made from.

In other words, it's essential for functions within the body to take place.

A sedentary adult is recommended to consume 0.8g of protein per kg of bodyweight. This means that if you train regularly you should be getting considerably more: at least 1.1-1.5g per kg.

It's not only important for the above reasons, but once you reach 40+, sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss begins. To help prevent this and maintain a good quality of life and independence as you age, your protein intake should increase to around 1-1.2 g per kg. E.g. if you weigh 75kg you should be eating 75-90g a day.

The best protein options to include in your diet are things like: lean meats such as chicken or turkey, low fat mince, fish or seafood, egg whites and soy-based products.

Give tracking a go, it doesn't have to be a permanent thing, but use it to see what your average protein intake is and how much you need to increase it by.

To summarise, protein is essential for functions within the body to take place. It helps repair and rebuild muscles after training. Someone who trains regularly should be getting at least 1.1-1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight.


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