Protein – How Much and What Kind?
I get asked time and time again, “Kim, how much protein should I be consuming post-workout?” or, “ what kind of protein powder should I use if I am trying to slim down?” These are both great questions among many others. One thing to remember with protein is that is depends on your weight and your goals. A simple answer to anyone’s question regarding proteins would be: healthy proteins and between 46 and 56 grams per day, for the average man or woman. No matter your weight, the math should always be done. The Dietary Reference Intake for protein is .36 grams per pound of body weight. Now, if you weigh 120 lbs., you should be consuming around 43 grams of protein per day. How should these proteins should be eaten is another story, explained below.
There are two different ways to get your daily nourishment of proteins, which are high protein foods and protein powders. Each have their own personal benefits, but it is important to remember that natural proteins are the healthiest, as they are coming directly from the source. Some foods that are high in protein are – eggs, peanuts, almonds, yogurt, broccoli, artichoke, and chicken breast. There are hundreds of others, these are just a few to choose your pickins’.
As for protein powders, there are so many options it is hard to keep track, but here are two of my recommendations. Again, if you are serious about your diet and ready to step it up to the next level, get in contact with me directly to further discuss your diet necessities. Whey protein is a well known option that can be purchased at any health store, even at most grocery stores. It is fast-acting and has been proven to reduce body fat in women. It’s amino acids aid in the process of building muscle. Furthermore, it is one of the lower calorie options, more directed towards people trying to lose or maintain their current weight. Next on the list is Casein protein powder, which is similar to whey protein in the sense that it comes from milk, but opposite on reaction time. Casein powder digests much more slowly and stays in your system longer. So if you’re really putting strain onto your muscles, this may be a great night time option, allowing the proteins to work all night repairing your muscles.
Note: It is impossible to get more protein with less calories, without using protein powders. No matter what, there are always 4 calories per gram of protein, but cutting down unnecessary calories like sugars will aid in upping your protein if need be. Lastly, I can never stress it enough, even though proteins are healthy, don’t over-do it. Everything in moderation!
Kim Shapira MS, RD