I recently asked long time members of Spring Fitness to describe in one word what comes to mind when they hear the word Protein. Elijah Jackson had this to say: “Gains.” He is spot on.
Protein is vital to assist the muscles in rebuilding and growing after they are broken down during strength training. You know that sore feeling you have after a great training session? Those are torn muscle fibers. So how do we nourish them? Yep. Protein.
Let’s talk about how much protein we should have.
If you want bigger muscles, men, you need more protein. And of course you must lift heavy. The general rule of thumb, for men and women, is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and no less than 0.8.
For men who are trying to make those big gains, like Jackson, you can go up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. For women who want to maintain their weight, consume .5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. Adjust depending on your hunger level and training schedule.
When is the best time to eat protein? With every meal! But especially after training. This is when your muscles will act as a sponge to absorb your source of protein.
So what are our sources of protein?
- Chicken (perfect protein)
- Beef (lean cuts)
- Pork (lean cuts)
- Protein shakes
And that’s just to name a few! The more you read labels (upcoming topic!) the more you will learn what and how much you are eating.
NOTE: Too much protein can be detrimental to your health. For example, it can put stress on the kidneys, cause weight gain, and dehydration.
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Fitness Tips With Tara! is a health and exercise series by fitness expert, Tara Campbell (NASM, CPT). Tara teaches aerobics classes and personal training at Spring Fitness at 2400 FM 2920 in Spring, Texas. For more information, please call 281-353-1268.