The protein they are essential for the body and should always be present in adequate quantities in everyone’s diet because they represent the building block of muscles and are a necessary component to keep many physiological functions active.
This goes for all but sportsmen who wish to increase their muscle mass must pay greater attention to the amount of protein consumed daily, without going into deficit but not exaggerating either.
In fact, taking a few or more than necessary could become counterproductive for the result you want to obtain but also for your overall health.
How much protein should you take
For an adult person without specific pathologies and who leads a normal life, the daily dose recommended by the World Health Organization is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
This means that a person weighing 63 pounds needs approximately 51 grams of protein per day, while someone weighing 90 pounds needs 73 grams of protein per day.
These numbers equal approximately the 10-35% of daily calorie intake recommended but it is a generic estimate since in reality the variants to be taken into consideration are different.
For example, age is a determining factor. In fact, a person aged between 65 and 70 should take more, about 1 gram per kilogram of weight, because over the years the body absorbs proteins less effectively and one is more prone to loss of muscle tone or bone fractures.
Even those who exercise regularly usually need more protein than average to support their training regimen and physical activity.
How much protein to take if you play sports
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada together with the American College of Sports Medicine determined in 2016 that athletes should take 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, whether they are endurance or strength athletes.
In these cases, however, it is always good not to proceed independently or rely on standard tables but consult with a nutritionist which establishes the most suitable customized food plan and according to the training carried out.
Also because they exist studies that argue that 2 grams per body weight is too much and that to obtain excellent results in terms of increasing muscle mass, it may be enough to stop at 1.5.
For example, a 2022 analysis of 69 studies suggested that this amount should be sufficient to increase strength when combined with resistance training.
Another systematic review from the same year on protein intake in healthy adults also suggested that 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day may help people under 45 to gain slightly in body mass.
Protein intakeIndeed, it is not the only element necessary to increase one’s muscle mass but you also need to increase the intensity of your workout by using heavier weights, doing more reps, or both.
Risks of excessive protein intake
- Worsening of renal dysfunction, if pre-existing
- Unwanted weight gain
- Hyper azotemia.
Then other symptoms are associated, not entirely specific, and perhaps linked to other coexisting habits:
These problems could arise in the face of a ctoo high and protracted consumption of proteinswhich most experts attest to be over 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
However, research in this direction is still in its infancy and for this reason it is always good to ask your doctor for advice if you want to embark on a high protein diet.
Risks and symptoms of insufficient protein intake
These problems can arise if you consume one inadequate amount of protein perpetuated over time.
Recommended protein sources
Animal proteins contain 9 essential amino acidswhich should be taken through the daily diet because the body does not produce them independently.
Not all plant proteins, on the other hand, are complete protein sources but that does not mean that they are not useful or that it is absolutely necessary to consume animal-based proteins in order to build or maintain muscle mass and overall health.
However it may be necessary to combine different plant protein sources to get the necessary benefits of the nine essential amino acids.
For example, rice and beans combine perfectly to form a complete protein, while quinoa is a complete protein on its own.
On the other hand, the protein bars that are sold in supermarkets are less recommended, not because they do not give the body the right protein intake but because they are usually also rich in added sugars, which can generate some health problems over time.
Here the essential actions to build muscles.