Protein Guide For Beginners
Over the last few months, we have been collaborating with House Of Chunk, providing their athletes with high-protein snacks and drinks to fuel their workouts. Their founder, Tim has shared a protein guide for beginners.
We bet 99% of the people you talk to in gyms always ask you, what supplements are you taking? How many grams of protein are you taking a day? Are you taking whey, egg, hemp, or casein? Each has its own benefits, but what do I choose? It can be a total minefield.
As a beginner's guide here is a quick helpful rundown of what protein is, what it does, what’s best for you, protein snacks, and an idea of how much to take and when depending on goals.
By no means this is not an official ‘how to' or a 'bible’ on the subject, but hopefully, it gives you a better idea about how to approach the subject – even if you just want to sound a bit more clued up at the water bottle fill-up station in the gym.
What is the basic role of protein in the human body?
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many crucial roles in the human body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs.
Protein is made up of 22 amino acids, nine of which are essential, meaning we have to get them through food because our bodies cannot produce them. Each gram of protein provides 4 calories. You have to eat protein every day. The body can't store protein like it can carbohydrates and fat. You can get your additional protein through various food sources such as meats, fish, eggs, nuts, yoghurt, soya and protein powders.
Is a high protein diet good for me for weight loss as well as muscle gain?
Yes, protein is ideal as a food to consume for weight loss as well as muscle gain. Relying on high protein snacks to keep you going between meals and not reaching for sugary or fatty foods is a great idea. It's easier to lose weight or maintain your weight when you are eating fewer calories, but at the same time making sure you hit those gains whether trying to lose fat or gain muscle. Read on for an idea on how much protein to consume.
How much protein should I eat to gain muscle and lose fat?
Depending on your own goals, the below will change, but as a finger in the air point of reference or if you are using the app MyFitnessPal to help monitor your calorific intake a rule of thumb is as follows:
For most people, a daily dose of around 0.8 -1g of protein per 1kg of body weight is recommended. For weightlifters and strength athletes; 1.4 – 2g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended per day, with a recommendation of 1.2-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day for endurance athletes
Multiple sporting bodies and studies have supported these figures, however at House of Chunk, we always recommend that if you have a Personal Trainer or Coach helping you with your training, please consult with them on your personal requirements depending on your own dietary preference and / or belief systems.
We recommend that after exercise, protein is particularly important since muscles need it to recover and grow. A portion of protein (15-25g) is recommended within 30 minutes of exercise, when your muscles are particularly receptive to protein synthesis.
Can I have too much protein?
A mixed review on this question – again it depends on the individual, their lifestyle, activity levels, sports they partake in and your own physical / genetic make-up.
The consensus is that an estimated intake of more than 2g of protein per kg of body weight is the limit for most adult males, but again referring to our earlier amounts indicated it depends on your lifestyle, activity levels etc. Studies show that potential long-term risks that might lead to health issues such as kidney problems and osteoporosis.
However, this research is mixed so we advise you to do your own research, talk to your coach and understand that so many other factors need to be considered. It’s not a black or white answer. As well as taking into consideration where you get your protein source from; animal, vegetable – how balanced your diet is etc.
7 x healthy protein fuelled snack ideas
- Protein snacks – bars or shakes
- Whole grain toast with peanut or almond butter
- Banana with Peanut butter on rice cakes
- Yoghurt with fruit
- Cheese and Crackers