Why You Need to Start Supplementing with Protein
Protein is a staple of any balanced diet, yet many people fail to get enough each day. Athletes, sports competitors, and anyone else who is physically active tend to be more aware of their protein consumption; however, other factors such as optimum amounts, and healthy sources are sometimes ignored.
Firstly, why do you need protein?
Most people know the obvious reasons: to maintain, repair, and build muscle mass, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Protein is a critical component of almost all of the thousands of biochemical processes occurring in the body all the time. Processes involving the production of hormones, the regulation of enzymes, oxygen transport, and immune function, just to name a few. Insufficient protein consumption can dramatically reduce the body’s ability to carry out these crucial physiological functions, and this leads us to our next question.
How much protein do you need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This recommendation was established by the Institute of Medicine in the United States, and should be met each day to satisfy basic nutritional requirements. In other words, this is the minimum amount of protein necessary to sustain bodily functions.
That’s all well and good, but is this amount optimum? Many studies suggest that it is not; especially in the context of athletic performance and physical activity in general. One study published in the Journal of Sports Science found that protein consumption in the range of 1.3-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight maximized muscle protein synthesis, and prevented lean mass loss during times of energy restriction. Furthermore, another study published in the journal Food & Function found the tolerable upper limit of dietary protein intake to be 3.5 grams per kilogram of body weight in well-adapted individuals. The optimum dose depends heavily on the individual and the type of physical stress they inflict on the body, but there is strong evidence to support a consumption of protein greater than the RDA.
How can you get more protein?
To consume an optimum amount of protein through food alone would be burdensome. Most people simply don’t have the time to buy, prepare, cook, and eat 5-6 meals each day. This is where supplemental protein comes into play. Protein powders are the single best way to increase your intake of protein and decrease your time spent in the kitchen. But be warned, not all protein powders were created equally. Always read the ingredients label to avoid things like added sugars, fillers, and artificial flavors and colors.
Remember, protein is a vital part of healthy living and it’s more accessible today than ever before. If you hate the taste of protein shakes but love the taste of coffee, we recommend you try WarmUp High Protein Coffee Powder! Composed of only three simple ingredients and delivers 15 grams of high quality protein, as well as 223 grams of caffeine, it is the ultimate fuel for go getters like you!