Importance of Protein
Anna Langridge from 1FitLife interviews Barney Linssen from The Nutrition Coaching Company with one of our reader questions: How important is protein for our body and how does it benefit us?
The role of dietary protein in building muscle is fairly well understood, but what about if that’s not your goal, how important is protein intake for those looking to lose weight? To support their exercise, or simply to optimise health?
Our bodies are made up of hundreds of thousands of proteins, which play a variety of complex roles from hormonal function to fighting off illness (antibodies are proteins produced by our immune system). Dietary protein is an essential nutrient for all of us, but how much is optimal for YOU depends on a number of factors, including your activity level and your goals.
In this short article, Barney provides some actionable guidelines to optimise your protein intake (relative to your bodyweight to allow for individualisation), while breaking down some common misconceptions.
For healthy adults, not seeking any change in body weight
Aim for 1-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight, per day. So for a 70kg adult (approx 11st) – 70-84g of protein per day.
For fat loss
The aim of a diet is to intentionally create a negative energy balance (where you burn more energy than you consume), this enables weight loss by forcing our body to break down tissue to release stored energy. High protein diets have been shown to better preserve lean tissue and increase the proportion of weight lost from body fat – very beneficial from a body composition perspective! An added bonus is protein is both the most satiating (filling) macronutrient, and has the greatest Thermic Effect (amount of calories our body burns digesting food).
For muscle gain
Without sufficient resistance (weights) training, all the protein in the world won’t lead to meaningful muscle gain. To support this with your nutrition you need both enough energy (calories) and adequate protein to provide the building blocks for this new tissue.
Both fat loss and muscle gain require increased dietary protein:
Aim for 1.6-2g per kg bodyweight, per day. So for a 70kg adult – 112-140g of protein per day.
To find out more about Barney or to book a private consultation contact him at email@example.com