While weight training is important for building muscle, consuming the right amount of protein is equally important. The amount of protein needed to optimize muscle growth has been the subject of ongoing research and controversy. In this article we look at current research evaluating the role of protein in muscle growth and how much protein a person should consume each day.
Protein is present in every cell and tissue in the body. Although it has many vital functions in the body, protein is crucial for muscle growth as it helps repair and maintain muscle tissue. The current recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiencies in less active adults is 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. However, more recent research suggests that people trying to build muscle need more than this.
Consuming less protein than the body needs has been associated with a decrease in muscle mass. On the other hand, protein intake above daily needs can help increase strength and lean body mass when combined with resistance exercise.
Why is protein important for muscle development?
Proteins are made up of amino acids that serve as building blocks for cells and tissues in the body. There are 20 amino acids that combine to form proteins. While some can be synthesized by the human body, others cannot. The nine amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body are called essential amino acids. They must be obtained from the diet.
When a person eats protein, it is digested and broken down into amino acids, which are involved in many processes in the body, such as tissue growth and repair, immune function, and energy production. Like other tissues in the body, muscle proteins are continually broken down and rebuilt. To build muscle, a person must consume more protein than is broken down. This is often referred to as a positive net nitrogen balance, since proteins are rich in nitrogen.
If a person does not consume adequate amounts of protein, the body tends to break down muscle to provide the body with the amino acids needed to support bodily functions and preserve larger tissues. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in muscle mass and strength. Ultimately, the body uses amino acids for muscle protein synthesis, the main driver of muscle repair, recovery and growth after intense exercise.
How much protein do you need?
Most healthy adults over the age of 19 should get 10-35% of their daily calories from protein. One gram of protein provides 4 calories. This means that a person who eats 2,000 calories per day should consume between 50 and 175 grams of protein per day.
The figure of 0.8 g per kg of body weight for protein is based on the amount needed to maintain nitrogen balance and prevent muscle loss. However, it may not be appropriate to extend these recommendations to active individuals seeking to build muscle. When it comes to increasing muscle mass, the ideal amount of protein a person should consume daily varies depending on several factors, such as age, gender, activity level, health and other variables. However, several studies have given us a good idea of how to calculate the amount of protein adults need to build muscle, based on body weight.
What do the studies say?
Although most studies agree that higher protein intake is associated with improved lean body mass and strength when combined with resistance training, the optimal amount of protein needed for muscle development remains controversial.
Here’s what the latest research says.
A 2020 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that protein intake of between 0.5 and 3.5 g per kg of body weight can promote lean body mass gain. In particular, the researchers noted that gradually increasing protein intake, even by as little as 0.1 g per kg of body weight per day, can help maintain or increase muscle mass.
The rate of lean body mass gain resulting from increased protein intake declined rapidly after exceeding 1.3 g per kg body weight. Strength training suppressed this decline. This suggests that increased protein intake combined with strength training is the best way to gain lean body mass.
Another 2022 meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine concluded that higher protein intake, on the order of 1.5 g per kg body weight per day, combined with strength training, is necessary for optimal effects on muscle strength. The researchers observed that the benefits of increased protein intake on strength and muscle mass appear to plateau at 1.5 to 1.6 g per kg body weight per day.
Finally, a systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2022 in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle concluded that a protein intake of 1.6 g per kg body weight per day or more results in a slight increase in lean body mass in young resistance-trained individuals. Results for older individuals were marginal.
In particular, 80% of the studies examined in this review reported that participants consumed a minimum of 1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, which is still above the current RDA. This may be a possible contributing factor to the diminished effects of protein intervention in combination with resistance training in older adults. Although it is difficult to give exact figures due to variable study results, the optimal amount of protein for muscle development appears to be between 1.2 and 1.6 g per kg body weight.
This means that an 81.8 kg man, for example, would need to consume between 98 and 131 g of protein per day, in combination with resistance training, to promote muscle growth.
What are the best sources of protein?
A person can meet his or her daily protein needs by consuming both animal and vegetable sources of protein.
Animal sources of protein are.
lean meat (beef, pork or lamb).
fish and seafood
whey protein powder.
The sources of plant-derived proteins are.
protein powder of vegetable origin.
Some nutritionists consider animal protein sources to be superior to vegetable protein sources when it comes to increasing muscle mass. This is because they are complete proteins that contain all the essential amino acids the body needs in sufficient quantities. They are also easy to digest. Some experts consider most vegetable proteins to be incomplete proteins because they do not contain all the essential amino acids. However, incomplete protein sources can be combined to form a complete protein. For example, rice and beans, hummus and pita bread, or peanut butter on whole wheat bread.
How much protein is too much?
In general, physicians agree that healthy adults can safely tolerate a long-term protein intake of up to 2 g per kg body weight per day without side effects. However, some groups of people, such as healthy, well-trained athletes, can tolerate up to 3.5 g per kg of body weight. Most research suggests that consuming more than 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day can lead to long-term health problems.
Symptoms of excessive protein intake include.
The most serious risks associated with chronic excessive protein consumption are:
kidney and liver damage
When combined with resistance training, protein intake above the current RDA can support muscle development. The best way to meet daily protein needs is to consume lean meat, fish, beans, nuts, and legumes. Since the optimal amount of protein a person needs depends on their age, health and activity level, consider consulting a health professional or dietitian to determine the right amount of protein for you.
Three good reasons to eat a croissant first thing in the morning even if you are on a diet
When it comes to breakfast pastries, croissants are definitely at the top of the list. Flaky, buttery, and delicious, it’s hard to resist, especially in the morning. However, if you’re trying to take care of your figure, you may be wondering if a croissant is really the best option. Here are three good reasons to continue enjoying your favorite breakfast, even if you’re on a diet.
A plain croissant is relatively low in calories.
A plain croissant only contains about 220 calories, which is lower than other breakfast options like muffins or bagels. Plus, croissants help you enjoy a gourmet breakfast that will fill you up all morning. This will help you avoid snacking later in the day.
There’s no shame in indulging once in a while.
Crossing the line and indulging your cravings for a day will only boost your metabolism. Think of your indulgence as a “cheat meal” that bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts make to boost their metabolism and make their bodies burn even more.
One study found that dieters who eat a 700-calorie breakfast lose more weight than those who skip that meal. So if you’re looking to rev up your metabolism, eating a croissant early in the morning might be just what you need. Just be sure to pair it with healthy ingredients, like eggs and avocado, to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
Depriving yourself to hold the line would only make you succumb to covetous desires.
For fear of derailing your diet, you deprive yourself of your favorite foods and this only affects your mood. You become more irritable and anxious, which is of little benefit to your mental or physical health. You can maintain your ideal weight or lose weight by controlling portions and eating your food. However, if you crave a croissant on a Sunday morning, grab one and balance out your subsequent meals or engage in some high-intensity activity. You deserve to take a break and treat yourself however you see fit.
What other false enemies can we afford from time to time?
When we try to lose weight, many of us immediately eliminate all starches from our diets. However, this can be detrimental to our health. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, and complex carbohydrates like starches are an important part of a balanced diet. The key is to choose the right starches and consume them in moderation. Whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice are good options. These foods are high in fiber and nutrients, and can help us feel full throughout the day. When we cut calories, it’s important to make sure we’re still getting the nutrients our bodies need. By including healthy starches in our diet, we can achieve this.
Many people think that fat is taboo when it comes to losing weight, but that is not the case. In fact, our body needs fat to function properly. The key is to choose healthy fats that support our weight loss goals instead of sabotaging them. One way to do this is to cook with olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil is lower in saturated fat and contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Another option is to eat more fish. Fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to aid weight loss. Finally, nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of healthy fats. Just be sure to choose unsalted and unroasted varieties for best results. By incorporating these healthy fats into our diet, we can achieve our weight loss goals without sacrificing our nutritional needs.
Green leafy vegetables and tea protect against cognitive decline
Flavonols are a class of antioxidant compounds found in tea, red wine, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, and leeks that have anti-inflammatory properties.
The data, mostly from animal studies, suggest that higher intakes of flavonols may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
A recent longitudinal study found that higher dietary intake of flavonols was associated with a slowing of age-related decline in general and specific areas of cognitive function.
A recent study published in Neurology shows that a higher intake of flavonols, a category of flavonoids found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine, was associated with slower cognitive decline in older adults. The study adds to limited but growing data showing an association between dietary flavonol intake and brain health.
A healthy diet containing a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for good health, especially brain health. In general, it is known that the vitamins and minerals present in these foods are important. But we now understand that it is the entire composition of the food, including bioactives like flavonols, that makes these foods beneficial.
Flavonoids and brain health
Flavonoids are a class of compounds produced by plants that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids are found in commonly eaten fruits and vegetables, including berries, cherries, leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, apples, citrus fruits, and beans. Beverages such as tea and red wine are also important sources of dietary flavonoids.
Previous studies have shown that higher dietary intake of flavonoids is associated with slower cognitive decline that normally occurs with aging and also due to Alzheimer’s disease. These effects of flavonoids have been attributed to their ability to reduce oxidative stress, decrease inflammation in the brain, and increase brain plasticity.
There are six main subclasses of flavonoids, namely flavonols, flavan-3-ols, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, and anthocyanins. Additionally, several compounds make up each subclass of flavonoids. For example, flavonols include compounds such as quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and myricetin. Although animal studies suggest a beneficial impact of certain flavonols and their individual components on cognition, similar data from human studies is limited.
Does the intake of flavonols affect cognitive function?
The present study includes data from 961 participants who reside in Chicago retirement communities and public housing for the elderly and are enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. The Rush Memory and Aging Project is a longitudinal study whose objective is to identify the factors associated with the deterioration of cognitive and motor functions caused by aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Participants were between the ages of 58 and 100 and had not been diagnosed with dementia at the time of enrollment. The researchers annually assessed the participants’ cognitive function and risk factors associated with cognitive decline.
To assess cognitive function, a trained technician administered a battery of 19 tests spanning five different cognitive domains. These five areas were:
episodic memory: a form of long-term memory that encompasses memories of events and experiences
semantic memory: a form of long-term memory that encompasses factual and conceptual knowledge
working memory: a form of short-term memory that temporarily stores and manipulates information
perceptual speed: the ability to quickly process visual information
Visuospatial Ability: Ability to perceive spatial relationships and manipulate images mentally.
Based on overall performance on the 19 cognitive tests, the researchers quantified each participant’s overall cognitive function.
To assess dietary intake of flavonols and individual flavonol components, the researchers used a standardized questionnaire to estimate the frequency of consumption of flavonol-containing foods in the past year. The researchers then examined the association between dietary flavonol intake and cognitive function after adjusting for factors associated with cognitive decline, including age, gender, education level, smoking status, physical activity level, and participation in activities that enhance cognition. The analyzes suggested that a higher intake of flavonols was associated with a slower decline in general cognitive function.
In this study population, people who ate the most flavonols (an average of 7 servings of dark green leafy vegetables per week) compared to people who ate the least had a 32% decrease in their rate of deterioration cognitive.
2 Antioxidants Linked to Slower Decrease
Furthermore, higher consumption of flavonols (kaempferol and quercetin), but not isorhamnetin or myricetin, was associated with a slower decline in general cognitive function. Looking at changes in specific cognitive domains, the researchers found that higher flavonol intake was associated with slower declines in episodic memory, semantic memory, perceptual speed, and working memory, but not visuospatial ability.
Among individual flavonol components, higher kaempferol intake was associated with a slower rate of decline in all five cognitive domains. By contrast, myricetin was not associated with a change in cognitive abilities, but was suggestive for working memory. Quercetin consumption was associated with a more gradual decline in episodic and semantic memory, whereas isorhamnetin consumption was correlated with a more gradual decline in episodic and suggestive memory for visuospatial memory.
Leafy vegetables are the richest source of kaempferol. Tea, onions, leeks, broccoli, beans, tomatoes, and berries are some of the other main sources of other flavanols.
In addition to having beneficial effects on brain health, another recent study reported an association between increased intake of flavonoids, including flavonols, and a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. This further highlights the potential protective effects of flavonoids on not only brain health but also cardiovascular health.
Eat eggs to lose weight, this is how
As part of a balanced diet, eggs can have many health benefits. A growing body of research suggests that eating eggs may also promote weight loss. Eggs are high in protein, low in calories, and can boost metabolism. In this article, we describe how to use eggs to aid weight loss, including when to eat them and how to prepare them.
Why are eggs good for weight loss?
Eggs can promote weight loss for three reasons:
1. Eggs are nutritious and low in calories.
Eggs are low in calories and high in protein.
One large hard-boiled egg contains 78 calories and several important nutrients, including:
lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that promote good eyesight.
vitamin D, which promotes bone health and immune function
choline, which stimulates metabolism and contributes to fetal brain development.
The easiest way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake, and adding eggs to your diet can help with this.
For example, a lunch or dinner of two hard-boiled eggs and a cup of mixed vegetables is only 274 calories. However, cooking eggs with oil or butter significantly increases their caloric and fat content. A tablespoon of olive oil, for example, contains 119 calories.
2. Eggs are rich in protein
Protein helps with weight loss because it is extremely filling. Eggs are a good source of protein, with a large egg providing around 6 grams (g). The dietary reference intake for protein is 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight.
That means :
the average sedentary man needs 56 g of protein per day.
an average sedentary woman needs 46 g of protein per day.
Therefore, two large eggs provide more than 25% of the daily protein needs of the average sedentary woman and more than 20% of the needs of the average sedentary man.
Some research indicates that eating a high-protein breakfast increases a person’s satiety, or feelings of fullness. The results also suggest that a high-protein breakfast reduces calorie intake for the rest of the day. A 2012 study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that dietary protein helps treat obesity and metabolic syndrome, in part because it makes you feel fuller.
3. Eggs can speed up metabolism
A high-protein diet can improve metabolism through a process called the thermic effect of food. This happens because the body has to use extra calories to digest and process the nutrients in food. Carbohydrates and fats also stimulate metabolism, but to a lesser extent than protein.
According to the results of a 2014 study:
Protein increases a person’s metabolic rate by 15-30%.
Carbohydrates increase metabolic rate by 5 to 10 percent.
Fat only increases metabolic rate by 3%.
Therefore, eating eggs and other protein-rich foods can help people burn more calories than eating carbohydrates or fat.
when to eat eggs
Research suggests that someone who eats an egg-based breakfast may consume less food throughout the day. Eggs can be especially helpful for weight loss if a person eats them for breakfast. In 2005, researchers compared the effects of eating an egg-based breakfast and a baked breakfast in overweight female participants. Both breakfasts had the same number of calories, but the participants who ate eggs ate significantly less food the rest of the day. In a 2013 study, adult men who ate eggs for breakfast needed smaller breakfasts and seemed to feel fuller than those who ate high-carb breakfasts.
However, it is still important to monitor your calorie intake. A 2008 study indicated that an egg-based breakfast promoted weight loss in overweight or obese participants, but only as part of a calorie-controlled diet.
How to eat eggs to lose weight
The key is to incorporate them into a healthy diet. It seems that eating eggs for breakfast is the best approach, as it can reduce the number of calories a person consumes for the rest of the day.
Eggs are nutritious and easy to prepare. People often like:
Serve them with vegetables for breakfast for a filling, fiber-rich meal, or add hard-boiled eggs to a salad for lunch. For a hearty dinner, top a salad of quinoa and sautéed vegetables with a poached egg.
How many eggs should a person eat?
Incorporating a moderate amount of eggs into a balanced diet may have health benefits. Recent research suggests that eating one egg a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The researchers tracked the effects in nearly half a million adults living in China over a 9-year period.
However, it is important to note that the people in this study were not following the standard American diet. The authors of a 2018 study reported that eating at least 12 eggs a week for 3 months did not increase cardiovascular risk factors in participants with diabetes or prediabetes.
It is important to note that these participants followed a diet designed to lose weight. These results suggest that consuming a moderate amount of eggs can be beneficial for health, as long as the person incorporates them into a balanced diet. However, since egg yolks are high in cholesterol, people at risk for heart disease may want to limit themselves to one or two egg whites a day. You should also avoid adding animal fats, such as butter or bacon grease, to your egg meals.
Eggs are a low-calorie food rich in protein and other nutrients. Eating eggs can promote weight loss, especially if the person incorporates them into a low-calorie diet. Research suggests that eggs stimulate metabolic activity and increase feelings of satiety. Eating an egg-based breakfast can keep a person from consuming extra calories throughout the day. To promote weight loss, avoid preparing eggs by adding too much fat, butter or oils, for example.
If a person is at risk of cardiovascular disease, they should eat only egg whites and carefully monitor their cholesterol intake.
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