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Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough of it each day. But when should you eat protein? And how much should you consume at each meal? In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of protein timing and provide tips for ensuring you’re getting the most out of your protein intake.
The Importance of Protein Timing
Protein is one of the three macronutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Protein provides us with energy and helps build muscle, which means it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you’re overweight.
Protein timing is important because it helps your body repair and build muscle. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscles and other tissues in our bodies. If there aren’t enough amino acids available when needed, then protein synthesis will stop or slow down… meaning you won’t be able to build muscle.
Protein synthesis is the process by which our bodies create new proteins, and it’s an important part of muscle growth. When you work out, you damage your muscles. Protein synthesis helps repair these muscles and make them stronger than they were before. So if you want to see results from your workouts, you need to eat enough protein throughout the day.
How Much Protein Should I Eat Daily
Let’s be honest here. The average person does not consume enough protein throughout the day. Why is that? Nutrition is a topic that is very poorly understood by the general public. Healthy and balanced eating is not a subject taught in schools. While teachers in school will tell you that it is essential, no one explains why.
Consequently, people do not understand that protein is one of the three macronutrients. Among all the nutrients, protein is the most satiating.
The recommended amount of protein per day depends on your weight and activity level. But, generally speaking, most people need around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need about 54 grams of protein per day.
This doesn’t mean that you have to eat 54 grams of protein at every meal! You can spread it out throughout the day… but it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough protein at each meal. What is the Recommended Amount of Protein Per Meal?
Ideally, you should aim for around 20-30 grams of protein per meal. This will help ensure that your body has enough amino acids available to repair and preserve muscle. Protein sources include:
- Meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
- Seafood (fish, shrimp)
- Eggs (whole eggs or egg whites)
But how much is really needed to get you started? To achieve maximum results, you should aim for 1,8 – 2,2g/kg if you are a dedicated trainee, which is likely if you’re reading this blog. When you’re not that active, your body doesn’t need that much protein, so you don’t need to keep track of it.
You still need to consume around 1,2g/kg for good health. Unless you love tracking your nutrition and calories, aim for 2-3 high-protein meals a day that contains high-quality protein products, like meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, etc.
What is the recommended amount of protein per meal?
Over the years, there have been lots of studies on the subject. Researchers tried to figure out what’s the best protein distribution among trainees. A study from 2013 that involved three different groups sheds some light on the topic.
The second group ate 4x20g whey protein every three hours. The last sample took 2x40g every 6 hours.
The second group, which distributed protein intake equally, produced the most anabolic stimulus. Now you’re probably wondering: “Based on the recommendations above, I should consume around 200 grams of protein daily. Does that mean I should eat ten times a day and distribute it equally?”
Nope. You’re busy people, and working out is just a part of your life. It might also work to distribute 200 g of protein over four meals. Eating every 3 – 3,5 hours keeps you full throughout the day, and you’ll have plenty of time for focused, efficient work. There’s also the time between meals for a workout.
Tip: Wait for 1 to 1,5 hours after eating before hitting the gym. No one wants to feel bloated while training.
Let’s talk about protein shakes.
The Post Workout Protein Shake – Fact or Myth?
You probably saw people drinking protein shakes after training if you’re a regular trainee. Protein shakes have been a must-have for many athletes since the dawn of the fitness industry.
What is the reasoning behind it, however?
Our muscles suffer micro-tears when we exercise heavily (also known as microdamage). Muscle protein synthesis is required to rebuild those fibers.
Protein shakes are the easiest way to get protein into your digestive system and trigger muscle protein synthesis. In fact, whey protein is one of the best protein sources for its biological value (meaning it is digested quickly, easily, and largely).
Protein Shakes Are Filling
Protein drinks are also filling and can help curb hunger cravings in between meals if you’re trying to lose weight. Protein shakes are a great way to make sure you’re getting enough protein each day, and they can help you reach your daily calorie goals.
But a big misconception among trainees is that they will lose muscle if they don’t take their post-workout shake in time, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Some experts argue that it’s best to consume your nutrients within one hour of finishing up, while others claim this recommendation lasts 24 hours or more depending on the individual’s needs for recovery from workouts and workout frequencies in general. What we do know with confidence though?
There’s no scientific basis for the anabolic window. It is okay if you don’t drink the post-workout shake, as you can eat a balanced meal when you get home, even if you get home 1 hour or 1,5 after you finish the workout.
Whether you drink a protein shake depends on your preferences. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to Protein timing – it’s something that you have to figure out based on your own body and lifestyle. Protein synthesis doesn’t stop after the workout, so you don’t need to worry about missing your shake. Just make sure you’re eating enough protein throughout the day!