How Much Protein for Healthy Smart Weight Gain?
Weight Gain Protein Requirements – How Much Protein Do You Need?
By now you should know about the importance of consuming protein after working out. But do you know how much daily protein you really need? The amount of protein a person needs is determined by two things: body weight and physical activity.
The US RDA recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight per day for a normal person. However, if you are currently doing strength or mass training, then your daily weight gain protein requirements should increase to 1.2 grams per kilogram of ideal body weight per day.
For example, a 150-pound weight trainee would require approx 82 grams, whereas a 120 pound trainee could sneak by with 65 grams of protein daily. It’s estimated that an athlete’s protein requirement is 25 to 50 percent higher than the rest of ours.
Meeting your protein needs with your diet is a cinch as long as you are not restricting your calories and are eating plenty of carbohydrates (bread, pasta, veggies, and fruits) that can be used for energy.
Just don’t overdo it. Eating too much protein IS bad for your kidneys, because your body has to break the excess protein down. The waste products are literally flushed down the toilet. (Sorry for the graphics.) If you have eaten your quota of calories for the day, the overload of calories from the protein will be stored as fat.
You can get all the protein you need at the grocery store. Meat, fish, and chicken are big ticket items in the protein department, slicing up about seven grams of protein per ounce. But there are plenty of other protein sources. In fact, lean dairy products can be just as potent. A cup of skim milk or yogurt will serve you about eight to nine grams of protein. An ounce of part-skim mozzarella cheese will put seven grams of protein on your bread.
And – are you ready for this? A cup of low-fat cottage cheese delivers 28 grams of protein. Eggs are another good hit, providing about six grams each. I know, I know, you’ve been told to crack open no more three to four yolks per week. No problem. Go ahead and have a field day with the egg whites because about half of the protein is in the white part of the egg, yet all the cholesterol is thrown out with the yolk. A cup of beans will shell out 13 grams of protein, whereas tofu (OK, I realize tofu is not exactly on everybody’s “A” list) is a winner at about 20 grams a cup.
Protein can add up quickly. Here are some ideas:
1 1/2 cups of raisin bran drowned in 1 cup of low-fat milk and topped off with a banana for your morning starter.
At lunch, take the easy route and slap 2 tablespoons of peanut butter between 2 slices of whole wheat bread and grab a tossed salad with 1/2 cup of chickpeas from the salad bar at work. Don’t forget to wash all this down with another cup of low-fat milk.
In the afternoon, grab a container of low-fat yogurt mixed with dried fruits/nuts and a bran muffin for a snack.
After working out, have a weight gain protein shake. Include 1 banana, 2/3 eggs, low-fat milk, and 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
If you are a strict vegetarian and eliminate all dairy products, you’ll have to make sure that you have a variety of fortified cereals and grains mixed with legumes and other meat substitutes such as kidney beans, soy burgers, tofu, and soy milk to meet your protein and nutritional needs.
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