Protein is massively important for your health. No matter your dietary preferences, the protein you eat helps build muscles, make enzymes and hormones to keep your body’s systems functioning properly, sustains healthy energy levels, and offers countless other benefits.
All cells and tissues in the body contain protein, therefore protein is essential for growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. Protein provides the body with approximately 10 to 15% of its dietary energy and it is the second most abundant compound in the body, following water.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is 0.75g of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day in adults. This equates to approximately 56g/day and 45g/day for average men and women aged 19-50 years respectively. There is an extra requirement for growth in infants and children and for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
It is commonly accepted that higher levels of exercise may require more protein though, but the exact amount isn’t a hard and fast rule amongst scientists as yet. For example, the BNF suggests that for strength or endurance athletes, protein requirements should be increased to around 1.2-2.0g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day.
The American College of Sports Medicine tends to agree and typically recommends 1.2 to 1.7g per kg in a day.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends protein intakes of 1.4–2.0 g/kg per day for physically active individuals as not only being safe but that may improve the training adaptations to exercise training.
The most recent recommendations for athletes from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) also focus on protein timing, not just total intake, ensuring high quality protein is consumed throughout the day (after key exercise sessions and around every 3–5 hours over multiple meals, depending on requirements).
So, we believe it’s safe to assume anywhere between 1.2 – 2.0 g/kg bodyweight per day as a general rule for active / exercising people. However, whilst for most people up to 2g/kg per day is going to be sufficient, it really depends on the nature of the sport or exercise. Resistance, strength, and power-based exercise which rely on muscle hypertrophy will be at the high end (sometimes well over the 2g/kg upper threshold perhaps) whereas endurance-based exercisers may be at the lower end (approximately 1.2–1.4g/kg per day).
Contrary to popular belief, protein is also abundant in plant-based food sources. Check out the list below of common plant-based sources:
How do you know if you have a protein deficiency?
Not enough protein in your diet reduces lean body mass, muscle strength, and function. It can also cause muscle cramping, weakness, and soreness. Your body will take protein from muscle tissue and use it as energy to support other vital body functions when protein is low.
- Skin, hair and nail problems - Severe protein deficiency may affect your skin, causing redness, flaky skin and depigmentation. It may also cause brittle nails and hair loss.
- Loss of muscle mass - protein is essential for muscle growth and maintenance. Loss of muscle mass (or inability to add muscle) is one of the first signs of inadequate protein intake.
- You get ill more often - Eating too little protein may impair your body’s ability to fight infections, such as the common cold.
- Slow metabolism, feeling weak with low energy and constant hunger.
Give your protein intake a convenient boost with Bodyhero:
1 Bar = 20G protein
1 Shake = 20G protein
1 Powder serving = 20G protein
Each serving contains the highest quality 100% natural pea protein sources, including all 9 essential amino acids (EAA’s) and naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). Bodyhero is also high in Leucine which is needed for maximum muscle building response.
Bodyhero products are specifically formulated to provide the highest levels of protein whilst maintaining unbeatable taste and texture. Uniquely, each serving across the range delivers consistent 20g of high-quality plant protein. With the recommended daily intake of protein ranging from approximately 0.75–2.0g per kg bodyweight depending on activity levels, a 70kg sedentary person would need 53g and a 70kg active person would need 140g of protein per day. One Bodyhero serving therefore delivers between 14-38% of your daily protein intake.
So, do the maths, eat smart and make the most of your gains.