How Much Protein Do I Need?

Why daily protein power isn’t just for bodybuilders. And how you can even lose weight with the right amount of protein.

Our body needs around 21 amino acids to function. They combine to form various proteins and ensure that our cells regenerate, oxygen is transported and hormones and enzymes are formed. In short: proteins are the building blocks of life. And since our body cannot produce them all itself, we have to help with the right nutrition.

The biological value of the proteins in food

The biological value (BI) quantifies how similar the amino acid pattern of food is to that of our body. In other words, how much of a contained protein we can convert into endogenous proteins? For a long time, it was thought that the egg had the maximum value and was given a reference value of 100. It is now clear that if we cleverly combine foods, the next meal will result in an even higher-quality protein bomb: potatoes with eggs, for example, have a biological value of 136.

Muscle building: with protein to success?

If you want to build muscle, you should pay particular attention to your daily protein dose and need more than someone who “just” wants to maintain weight and muscle mass percentage. If we take in too little protein over a long period of time, at some point the organism will start to use the body’s own proteins during heavy exertion (e.g. endurance sports) – and will break down muscles. So try to provide your body with enough protein throughout the day. And: Treat yourself to a large portion of protein (e.g. low-fat quark or a protein shake), especially in the 45 minutes after strength training. Because in this so-called “anabolic window” the organism absorbs 30 percent more proteins.

By the way, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is an essential component of connective tissue and the basis for tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. Collagen-rich connective tissue organizes muscle fibers, transmits mechanical forces between muscles and bones, and allows for optimal movement. This is why this important protein can be taken in through dietary supplements in order to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, especially as an athlete (for example with a tri-collagen complex in the “Triple Perform” product).

Speaking of “more”: Contrary to popular belief, if you overdo it with your daily protein ration, you will not damage your kidneys, provided the organs are strong and healthy. Keep a food diary for a while and calculate how much protein is in your meals. If it is less than expected, you can also use protein powder. This usually consists of pea, soy or milk protein. But look at the label: Often there is a lot of sugar, flavoring, and coloring in it. Anyone who wants to lose weight should also feed their muscles with protein: the larger the muscles, the more fat they burn – even when at rest. Proteins also fill you up and help against food cravings.

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Written by Crystal Nelson

I am a professional chef by trade and a writer at night! I have a bachelors degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and have completed many freelance writing classes as well. I specialized in recipe writing and development as well as recipe and restaurant blogging.

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