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The Truth About Protein

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Many people believe that in order to build muscle, they need to supplement their workouts with protein powders, shakes, and bars. In reality, most of us can meet our protein needs through food; exceeding those needs will not help us build muscle faster because there’s only a certain amount of muscle that our body can produce per day. Real protein-rich foods are also an important source of vitamins and minerals not found in protein supplements, such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

How much protein do I really need?[1]

Category Grams of protein per pound of body weight per day
Sedentary adults 0.4-0.5
Endurance athletes undertaking moderate to heavy training 0.6-0.8
Strength athletes undertaking heavy training program 0.6-0.9
Endurance athletes undertaking extreme training program or competition/All adolescent athletes 1.0

 

Weight (lb)                  × Protein requirement (g/lb)                         

 

=                                   grams of protein per day

 

Reference:

Escott-Stump S. Nutrition and diagnosis-related care. 6th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

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