Protein and Muscle Building
In the last few years protein has been the one nutrient most discussed amongst the sporting community and now it is highly featured in many weight loss programs. The question is, is it essential, what contains protein and how much should we be eating.
Good sources of protein are required for health, growth, repair and when you are involved in intensive athletic training. High Biological Value (HBV) protein from meat, fish and chicken, as well as eggs and dairy, contains the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) required for good health. Protein is required as part of a healthy diet in combination with good sources of carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins and minerals. Protein alone cannot meet all your nutritional needs.
Many people strive to gain muscle to support athletic performance. It is important that you have an increased energy intake when you are trying to build muscle mass. You are not able to build muscle mass by eating extra protein alone, it requires a combination of nutrients. Equally it is impossible to gain muscle mass and reduce fat mass at the same time. This is because gaining muscle requires more energy and to lose fat requires less energy – no matter what the gym gurus and protein supplement industry tells you.
How much protein and when?
Most people need about 1-1.2gm/kg of protein per day. Even those trying to increase muscle mass for body building purposes do not need more than 2gm/kg daily. Having a diet which includes lean (120gm) serves of lean, chicken or fish daily, with 2-3 serves of low fat dairy, plenty of veggies and fruits, plus wholegrain breads and cereals should be able to meet most people’s protein requirement.
Protein Supplements and Powders
Protein supplements and powders have become prominent not only in health foods shops but also, gyms and even in supermarkets. The belief is, if you are trying to increased your muscle mass you need to have a protein supplement. For the average person all your protein requirements can be met through a healthy diet. Protein supplements are not needed if you are eating well and including whole food groups in your diet.
If you would like more information regarding protein and your diet or any other information about nutrition, why not make an apportionment to see me at Latrobe Health centre.
See you all for the LHC River Run
Accredited Practising Dietitian
Sports Dietitian Geelong