How much protein do you need each day?
- There are a lot of people who claim they have the truth. It is not that easy.
As usual, this is not a scientific article. This is me trying to write about something to simplify it. To make it easy to understand. If you become interested in the subject, there is tons of information to be found. Unfortunately there are a lot of ”proof” for different theories that contradicts one another. It is hard to call bullshit on something unless you have some sort of idea about it all. So be careful when reading about things that you don't fully grasp.
I have not linked anything in this article to scientific articles. Like I said, there are numerous of sources proving different theories. These are the ones that I have come to find most likely to be correct after years of reading and discussing. Here are some ideas for you guys. My goal is not that you will use my text as a bible. My goal is that you see that there are a lot of different things to consider when it comes to your workouts and your diet.
At some point you reach a level where you start to consider your diet on a deeper level.
There are a lot of different things to consider when it comes to how to eat and what to eat. If you ever start to measure the food. Calculate how many grams of everything you eat. Then you will most likely use some kind of database that will give you detailed information regarding how many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates you eat.
Since you are counting calories. You have most likely also started to visit the gym or exercise in some other way. One of the questions that often appear is regarding the protein.
How much do you need in order to grow muscles as effective as possible?
Different people will recommend different amounts of protein needed. When taking a look at the recommendations made by WHO (World Health Organisation) and the Swedish national advices. It seems like they are not recommending a very high amount of protein. About 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for an adult.
But at the same time they state that there have been studies showing that people who work out a lot demand more. The Swedes state that amounts like 1.4 – 1.8 grams of protein/kg can be more appropriate for athletes.
But still. That is not very high. There are a lot of people who claims that you benefit from eating more. Numbers in the area of 2 – 3 grams/kg is not uncommon. But let's be honest with ourselves here. Are we professional athletes that will require that much? We all have to decide for ourselves. I am going for 2 grams/kg. That is an easy target to hit and I believe that it will help me to keep some of the muscles I have when I am slowly losing weight during my diet. When trying to lose weight and keep the muscles. One thing that most people agree on is this. If you are on a big calorie deficit you will risk to lose more muscles than if you are losing weight in a slower pace.
When on a strict diet, how much protein is necessary to avoid losing your muscles?
When on a calorie deficit, you will lose muscles regardless of your diet. I have no idea what numbers might be helpful in this scenario. Like I said, I am aiming for at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. But regardless of how efficient it is, having some extra protein in there will help a bit. But one thing that is very important is to hit the gym. Use the muscles. Stimulate them. Tell them that you need them.
There are a lot of different ideas regarding how you should eat your protein as well. Do you have to eat protein every third hour? Or can you eat it all in one big meal? That is something I will address in another text however.