What is Protein?
Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks for healthy growth of body tissues like your muscles, heart, internal organs and even skin! Protein is also essential in the repair of these tissues – this all means that protein is an important part of your daily diet, and it’s key to make sure you are getting enough.
How much Protein do you need?
The amount of protein that any one person needs can often vary. This is due to a number of reasons such as gender, height, weight, age and physical activity level. The British Nutrition Foundation recommends that an average adult should aim to consume 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
This means that for example, a male with a body weight of 80kg, should aim to consume 60g of protein per day, whilst a female with a body weight of 60kg should aim to consume 45g of protein per day.
Which foods are good sources of Protein?
Good sources of protein can be found in animal produce such as lean meat, fish, dairy foods, eggs and vegetarian alternatives such as pulses (peas, beans and lentils, quorn and soya. As well as some vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and to a lesser extend cereal products also provide protein.
Protein – the importance for Sport and Exercise
Whether you are cycling or swimming, going to the gym or playing team sports, protein in your diet becomes more important when you exercise. This is because during exercise your muscles are continuously worked, this causes damage to the muscle tissue and it’s the role of protein to repair and rebuild these damaged fibres. With an increase in activity level, comes an increased demand on working muscle and ultimately more damage to the muscle fibres, so it’s vital to get the right amount of protein in your diet.
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