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Physical performance depends on various muscle functions, including strength. Muscle protein synthesis and breakdown are vital in determining both strength and overall function.

What are the main reasons a person decides to eat some of the common meal-replacement products such as protein shakes, bars, etc.?

The reasons cited for using protein and amino acid supplements include:

  • stimulation and maintenance of muscle growth and strength,
  • enhancement of energy utilization
  • stimulation of the release of growth hormone

The food supplement industry gives us a lot of reasons to consume their products – claims of increased fat loss, higher energy levels, or better protein availability are just several of the more popular claims.
But is there any real evidence to support the use of these products? Protein supplements have been very popular in the sport of body building for many years now.There were many heated debates about the value of specific sources of protein, and the value of consuming individual amino acids or hydrolyzed proteins over whole proteins.

What are proteins?

Proteins are substances which are made up from Amino Acids. Almost everything in a human body contains proteins. In fact the only thing human body has more of than protein is water.

Proteins are the building block of our whole body – they can be found in our muscles, tissues, hair, nails, etc. It is proven that, if you do not have enough protein in your body you cannot build muscle mass, because the body needs to break protein down to amino acids to build muscles. The bottom line is that no matter how much you work out, if you don't have protein, you will not gain muscle mass.
Proteins are also necessary to repair and rebuild your muscles.

How much proteins is enough? 

There is no doubt that weight lifters and other athletes need more protein than the rest of the people who are not practicing these high-powered sports.
Recent studies are indicating that a 90kg heavy athlete should eat between 120 and 180 grams of protein every day, while a 90kg heavy computer-relate employee can get by quite nicely with only 70 to 90 grams. It is reasonable to assume that athletes also need more calories than the rest of us. The typical American eats 50 to 70 percent more protein than necessary and almost all athletes get their daily requirement in what they eat. There is a universal formula - 45 to 55 percent of calories should come from complex carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent should come from fat, and only 10 to 35 percent from protein.

When too much protein is ingested, the body must eliminate it, resulting in dehydration and calcium loss through the urine.

It is estimated that you should consume between 0.7 - 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Women have higher body fat than men, so they should be on the lower end of the scale.

Here are some examples:

  • 150 pounds = 105 - 135 grams of protein a day
  • 160 pounds = 112 - 144 grams of protein a day
  • 170 pounds = 119 - 153 grams of protein a day
  • 180 pounds = 126 - 162 grams of protein a day
  • 190 pounds = 133 - 171 grams of protein a day
  • 200 pounds = 140 - 180 grams of protein a day
  • 220 pounds = 154 - 198 grams of protein a day
  • 240 pounds = 168 - 216 grams of protein a day
  • 260 pounds = 182 - 234 grams of protein a day

What types of food are filled with proteins?

Proteins are found in common foods such as beef, fish, chicken, milk, eggs and cheese. Eating a diet rich in these foods is a good way to get proteins. Unfortunately it can also be a good way to increase a lot of other things like fats and sugars, which most of us don’t want in our bodies.

Food Amount of Protein

3 oz. broiled ground beef

21 grams

3 oz. roasted ham

18 grams

3 oz. veal -broiled

23 grams

3.5 oz. roasted chicken

27 grams

3.5 oz. baked/roasted salmon

27 grams

3.5 oz. tuna canned in water

28 grams

1 beef frankfurter

6 grams

1 oz. sliced ham

5 grams

1 large boiled egg

6 grams

1 cup of Milk

8 grams
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