Happy Monday! It is hard to believe that the month of January has already flew by. As Forever Fitness is expanding our education to our members about nutrition, one of the most recent topics that we have been talking about are macronutrients. Last week’s blog dug deeper into the examination of carbohydrates and addressing the negative stigma behind them. To continue the topic of macronutrients this week’s blog will discuss our beloved protein as gym goers.
What is Protein?
Protein is made of amino acids that are used to help grow and maintain skeletal muscles, tendons, blood vessels, hair, skin, and nails. There are 20 different amino acids that are needed by your body. There are 10 amino acids that are made by your body while others are received from our diet.
Non-Essential amino acids (made by your body) - alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.1
Essential amino acids (provided from our diet) - arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.1
Unlike carbohydrates, excess protein that is consumed cannot be stored in body. Failure to obtain as little as one of the ten essential amino acids can lead to breakdown of muscles.
What Foods Contain Protein?
Low-Fat dairy products
Fat-Free dairy foods
How much do we need?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, here is a chart that displays how much protein you should be consuming based off your age and sex. You may note that males need slightly a bit more protein than females. This is due to the large amount of muscle mass that is natural present in the male body.
Daily Protein Recommendation
2-3 years Female and male: 2-ounce equivalents
4-8 years Female and male: 4-ounce equivalents
9-13 years Female and male: 5-ounce equivalents
14-18 years Female: 5-ounce equivalents
14-18 years Male: 6½ ounce equivalents
19-30 years Female: 5½ ounce equivalents
19-30 years Male: 6½ ounce equivalents
31-50 years Female: 5-ounce equivalents
31-50 years Male: 6-ounce equivalents
51 years and older Female: 5-ounce equivalents
51 years and older Male: 5½ ounce equivalents
“These recommendations for protein are provided in one-ounce equivalents. One-ounce equivalents of protein foods include . . .”2
One ounce of cooked meat, poultry, or fish
¼ cup cooked beans
1 tablespoon peanut butter
½ ounce nuts or seeds
Other information about protein:
When too much protein is consumed, excesses is stored as fat and excess amino acids are excreted. Outside of proteins immediate function, consumption of this nutrient also helps fight infection, carry fats, vitamins, minerals, and oxygen around the body, build and contract muscles, keep body fluids in balance and clot blood.
If you liked this article be sure to give us a like on Facebook or leave a comment below in the comment section! Any questions that you may have about nutrition can always be answered by our Forever Fitness team. Let us start our week off right and keep happy and healthy!
1) The Chemistry of Amino Acids. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics University of Arizona. Accessed on January 25th 2021. http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/aa.html
2) Barbara G. RDN, LD. How Much Protein Should I Eat?. Eat Right Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. December 15th 2020. Accessed January 25th 2021. https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/how-much-protein-should-i-eat