Protein Prostitution: Upping Protein Intake

So you’ve been hitting the gym with a vengeance; thrashing away at those weights and thinking that you’re doing yourself some good, right? Wrong!! Sure you need to do your fair share to build the muscle, but you also need to realize that your body develops better by focusing more on the kitchen than the gym.
In order to build and maintain muscle you need take in enough protein. On average, 0.8g’s – 1.2g’s (0.03 – 0.04 oz) per kilogram of your own body weight is what you are looking at, but it depends on how much you weigh and how much exercise you’re doing. Weighing up to 80Kg’s (176lbs) usually requires 0.8g’s if you’re doing regular exercise. For those of you that weigh between 80kg’s and 120kg’s your intake needs to be as high as 1.2g’s on a more intense exercise routine. The scales vary depending on the intensity of your exercises, so if you are at the gym regularly then your intake needs to be higher as well.
So now it’s time you move your bed from the gym to the kitchen and here’s how you can do it…
Most meats are a great source of protein, white meats like chicken and fish are the best forms of “fat-free” meat. Red meat is also ideal but it usually has high levels of cholesterol that affect blood flow, so you should eat it in moderation. Meats contain on average 25g’s (0.88 oz) of protein per 100g’s (3.5 oz) so at least one meal per day should have some form of meat. A good tip here is to avoid processed meats and fast foods; they usually contain high amounts of sodium and trans-fats which have a negative effect on your health.
We all know how expensive meats can get, so here are a couple “normal” foods for you to get. Skim milk, eggs, low-fat yogurt, nuts and cheese all have enough protein to help supplement your daily requirement. If you’re not big on raw egg, then finding a way to work some egg whites or two into your meals is fairly easy. With 33g (1.17 oz) of protein per liter, a glass of fresh skim milk or low-fat yogurt is a good way to boost that protein count in the early morning. Nuts are a great “anytime” snack that you can munch on when you’re hungry and the good news is that they can offer you up to 20g’s (0.71 oz) in a good helping of mixed nuts.  With some of these choices come a decent chunk of fat, so if that’s a concern you need to make leaner protein choices (Cheese?  Forget it.  Yolks? sparingly.)
The last way of increasing your protein is to take a good supplement. Majority of the servings have at least 20-30g’s of protein in them and they offer a great recovery meal after you’ve had a solid training session. These can come in the form of meal replacement or meal supplement. Many of these products, like Myoplex and Muscle Milk, come in “Light” versions so can  help you pick-up and maintain mass, or add protein “Calorie Economical (good protein for calories ingested.”)  You do have to watch tough because if you end up taking up too much unnecessarily, then you are likely to put on weight instead of losing it and it will consist of fat instead of muscle despite the protein aspects. Also too much protein can be a danger to the kidneys.
There you have it – protein is great way to help build lean muscle for the body. If you exercise regularly and need the extra intake then sticking to a higher protein diet will not only aid in your workouts, but they will also keep you healthy and fit for years to come.

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