Why do you need protein?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps to repair and rebuild the tissues in your body.
Although our bodies naturally produce protein, consuming protein from outside sources helps to sustain muscle mass and increase our daily energy expenditure.
How much protein do you really need?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 10-35% of daily caloric intake come from quality protein sources. Therefore, between .8 - 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is sufficient for satiety, muscle repair, and weight loss for the average person.
For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds, roughly 68 kilograms, requires 54 grams of protein each day.
Is there such thing as TOO MUCH protein?
Most people consume about 25-35% of their daily calories from protein. This is considered a high protein diet.
The is the maximum amount of protein that a person can digest in one 24 hour period is 2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Exceeding this amount can be dangerous, as it often leads to toxic build up within the body, resulting in dehydration, dizziness, fatigue and a decline in both muscle mass and bone density. Consuming more than 45% of your body's mass in protein also causes nausea, stomach upset and kidney disfunction.
How to keep yourself in check:
The key to obtaining all the benefits of protein without any of the unwanted side effects is to create balance within your diet by incorporating a variety of different protein sources. Try to consume only natural sources - doing so will help to prevent overconsumption based upon your body type and activity level.
Need a few easy snacking options? Try these:
Beef or Turkey Jerky
2 Tablespoons Nut Butter