Protein: How Much Is Enough?

Excerpts from the original article courtesy of Canadian Living

Do YOU know how much protein you should be eating in a day?  If not, this article is for you. 

Protein is one of the three macronutrients that is a requirement in the daily diet (the other two macronutrients are carbohydrates and fat).

As a major constituent of the diet, protein serves as the foundation for health, repair and replenishment. Our muscles, skin, hair and connective tissue are all made up of protein. This essential macronutrient is also involved in many of the body’s important chemical messengers such as enzymes, neurotransmitters and hormone function.

How much protein is enough?
In the athletic world, there is no greater debate than how much protein you require on a daily basis. There are a number of varying recommendations and calculations when it comes to how much protein you should be consuming. On closer inspection, the daily intake of protein depends on age and activity level. For example, weight trainers and teenagers require more protein than a sedentary individual.

There are a few calculations that can be used in terms of protein recommendations. You can go by total percentage of calories per day. In other words, it is safe and within normal limits to consume 20 to 30 per cent of your total daily calories from optimal protein sources such as lean meats, eggs, and dairy products. In other words, if you are a female consuming 1,800 calories per day and 20 per cent of the calories are derived from protein, the calculation would be:

1800 x 0.20 = 360 calories from protein
Since 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, divide protein calories by 4  = 90 grams of protein daily

Another method of calculation
An alternative calculation is to go by your current body weight. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is to consume 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. On average, based on the RDA, the average male who weighs 154 pounds should consume approximately 56 grams of protein per day, while the average female who weighs 110 pounds should consume approximately 40 grams of protein per day.   (The RDA increases by 30 grams per day during pregnancy and 20 grams per day during lactation.)

Many nutritional experts feel the RDA for protein is far too low and is only suitable for sedentary adults. For those who are active, insulin sensitive, overweight or seeking weight loss or are in their teenage years, the amount of protein should be higher. If this is the case, you will likely need to increase your protein intake from the RDA’s recommendation of 0.8 g/kg to 1.2-1.8 g/kg. The calculation would be:

1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm

If you are pregnant, recovering from an illness, stuck in a metabolic rut, under stress or work out intensely, I recommend using a number between 1 and 1.8. The calculation would be:

Example: 150 lb female who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights
150 lbs/2.2 = 68kg
68kg x 1.5 = 102 gm protein/day

Remember: Proteins are not as “grabbable” as carbohydrates and need a bit more thought and planning. As a general rule, it is important to have a protein source at most meals.

Now it’s time for each of you to take some time to think about what YOU’RE consuming on a daily basis, and make sure your body has everything it needs!

 Today’s Workout:

Buy-in:  100, 200, 0r 300 double unders (or single skips) for time

  • 10 min time limit

WOD:  “Happy Barfday”

This wod is dedicated to our very own Brigit, so it popped up in March 2011 right around her birthday.  It’s a gooder and those wall walks are surprisingly difficult!

2 rounds for time:

  • 500m
  • 8 wall walks
  • 21 kettlebell swings (35/55)
  • 400m run
  • If you missed the long wod on Tuesday, feel free to add another round 😉

Zone 3 – scale kbs to 20/40

Zone 2 – scale kbs as needed

Zone 1 – scale wod as needed

Cash-Out:  Lat and shoulder stretches, plus lacrosse ball upper back (agains wall – find the angry bits between your shoulder blades and behind your shoulder joint)


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