Your essential protein guide

Have you just signed your new gym contract with visions of looking like Mr Olympia? Congratulations for wanting to better your health, but if you are not planning to increase your protein intake, you won’t reach your goal.

The facts

  • The more exercise you do, the more protein your body will need, especially if you are going to focus on strength training.
  • Lifting weights will make you stronger, but it causes muscle breakdown and you need protein to help the muscle tissue repair faster, which in turn, supports muscle growth, giving you the lean muscular appearance that you want.
  • Personal trainers recommend that you take some protein before and after your workout because this helps prevent muscle protein breakdown.

Does protein quality matter?

As with most things, the better the quality, the better the results. There are different sources of protein, but animal sources such as meat and chicken contain the essential amino acids that the body needs – some fruits and vegetables also contain a bit of protein.

The generally accepted rule for the necessary amount of grams of protein needed per day is twice your bodyweight e.g. a 75kg man will require 150g of protein per day, but if you are training heavily, you will probably need more.

You will also need to decrease the amount of refined carbohydrates and fats that you eat to achieve a strong, lean body – good luck!

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