The Basics of Protein
Protein is found in foods such as chicken, fish, lean beef, and egg whites. Each gram of protein equals four calories. For example, if you have twenty grams of protein you would consume eighty calories.
Protein is a useful source of energy. You should eat .8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds you would eat between 96 and 120 grams of protein total per day. This food staple has multiple functions in the body that make it a necessity for healthy living.
If you are specifically looking to bulk up, or increase muscle mass, I would increase that amount. One to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day is ideal.
If you are specifically looking to tone up, try to get one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day and make sure it is lean protein (best: chicken, fish, turkey; avoid: red meat and pork).
helps to build and repair muscles in your body. (When you exercise you cause minute tears in your muscles. Protein helps repair those tears. This is what makes you stronger.)
stimulates your metabolism.
repairs, builds, and maintains the body’s cells—including regenerating healthy hair, skin, bones, and fingernails.
supports main organ function, such as regulating the digestive process.
creates antibodies that help fight infections.
Complete proteins are proteins that provide the essential amino acids to help repair and build muscle fiber. Complete proteins are found in animal meat such as chicken, fish and beef.
Incomplete proteins come from plants and legumes such as beans, rice, tofu, and certain vegetables. These provide lower amounts of protein per gram and should be combined together in order to provide a meal higher in protein, such as rice and beans. Incomplete proteins are also higher in carbohydrate content than complete proteins. Vegetarian and vegan diets typically consist of these proteins.
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