Protein Controversies: Taking A Closer Look

If there’s one nutrient that is heavily debated in the diet industry, protein is definitely it.  People everywhere are often finding themselves very confused with how much protein they really should be eating to see success, leading to misinformation and protein controversies everywhere they look. 

Do they need the recommended one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day? Or is less protein needed as long as they’re eating a well-balanced diet? Will more protein speed up results? Or is more protein just going to cause bodily damage? 

Let’s take a closer peek into the main things that you need to know about protein as it relates to your diet plan. 

Protein And Muscle Building 

The very first thing that you need to think about is protein as it relates to muscle building.  Some people often get stuck in the thought pattern that the more protein they eat, the faster they will build lean muscle mass. 

This, however, isn’t the case.  While you definitely do need to meet your protein requirements to successfully build lean muscle, if you take in more than you need, your body isn’t automatically going to make this into more lean muscle tissue. 

There is a limit as to how much protein the body can use to help build lean muscle in any given day. Any more consumed over and above this will be converted to body fat or used as energy. 

Protein Requirements 

So what are your protein requirements? Active individuals will require more protein than sedentary individuals, to the tune of 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass per day. 

Note that if you are on a lower calorie diet for fat loss reasons, you will actually need more protein as there is a higher chance that protein will be used up for energy and that means less is left over to maintain your muscle mass. 

Most people will do best taking in 1.0-1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass per day while dieting.  Protein also helps to decrease hunger, so that’s an added benefit to be aware of. 

Protein And Safety 

Finally, the last thing to consider is protein and safety. A lot of people tend to believe that high protein diets will place the kidneys in great harm and while an extremely high protein intake of more than two grams per pound of body weight would cause some health concerns, if you’re already a healthy individual, taking it higher isn’t going to be a problem. 

Most people will do fine with intakes up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight each day – not that you need to be taking in this much, but if you do, you shouldn’t stress that your kidneys will be at risk of major health implication. 

Higher protein diets do tend to cause dehydration though, so just be sure that you drink more water on the days you are eating more protein. 

So there you have the main things to note and remember about your protein intake.  Protein is a very important nutrient on your diet plan so it is important that you get your facts straight.

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