When we think about muscles, the first thing which comes to our mind is Protein. That makes it one of the most researched topic in fitness industry.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.9 – 1.2g/kg of body weight . Proteins are made up of 21 biological amino acids. Out of these 21, 9 are classified as ‘Essential amino acids’. Because our bodies can’t produce them. Thus, they must be taken from outside food sources. The 9 essential amino acids are phenylalanine, leucine, lysine, valine, threonine, methionine, isoleucine, histidine and tryptophan. When you eat protein, body breaks it down into amino acids. Amino acids are used by the body for various purposes. A complete protein source is one which contain all 9 essential amino acids.
While taking protein from any source always keep in mind one parameter that is: its Biological Value. Biological value is defined as how efficiently our body synthesizes external protein once it is absorbed. It’s maximum score can be 100. Let’s elaborate, suppose a protein source contains all the essential amino acids in a portion alike to that required by the body, then this protein has high biological value (100) and if some amino acids are missing then the protein will have low biological value (<100).
Example of Biological Value of Protein
- Whey Protein 100
- Eggs 98
- Cow Milk 90
- Casein Protein 82
- Beef 80
- Chicken 79
- Soybeans 72
- Peanuts 43
Unused carbohydrates and fats are stored by the body for future use, whereas the unused amino acids are expelled. If we consume food which has protein of low biological value, that means it will not be much effective, as some quantity of protein will not be utilized by the body.
Several studies and researches point in the same direction :
A study shows that athletes who consumed 3.15 g/kg of protein per day, for a course of 11- week resistance training program gained sufficiently greater strength compared to a control group whose protein intake was low. Another study shows that participants whose daily protein intake was 3 g/kg of body weight gain 2.5 kg of lean mass after a six-week resistance training program. Increased in squats strength increased by 25 kg and bench strength by 8 kg . Another study shows that during a 10-week resistance training, participants who consumed 2.2 g/kg of protein per day led to an increase in 1.9 kg more lean mass than other groups. In older adults of age group 70 -79 years whose daily protein intake was nearly 1.1 g/kg body weight had lost 40 % less lean body mass over the time period of three years compared to those who consumed 0.8 g/kg of body weight.So the amount of protein one should consume during resistance training is approximately 2 to 3 g/kg. We recommend consuming 2g/Kg of body weight. If you are 60+ in age, we recommend 1g/Kg.
Protein in each meal ?
Next question is how much protein you should consume in each meal for optimal muscle protein synthesis? Several studies show that consumption of 25 to 30 grams of protein in each meal is required to arrive at the threshold for muscle protein synthesis. In case of older people consumption of 1.0 to 1.3 g/kg of protein per day with resistance exercise twice a week mitigates age-related muscle mass loss and for the optimal physical function of the human body.
It’s time to learn how to prepare your diet chart!