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How much protein should I get every day?

Finding a healthy diet and sticking to it can sometimes feel like the Holy Grail. Try as they might, many Americans don’t know how to eat a healthy diet. The long list of fads found on Instagram, Pinterest, and morning talk shows are often misleading. Not only are their punishing menus not sustainable in the long run, but they don’t supply the body with enough nutrients. It’s no wonder with all these flashy quick-fix distractions, that settling on a well-balanced diet seems as likely as spotting Bigfoot. Protein is one of the most important nutritional needs for creating the body that rocks the party. So if you plan on partying, you need to eat your protein. The question is, how much is the right amount for a healthy body?

When it comes to daily amounts, there are many factors to weigh in such as age, activity level, muscle mass, health and what your goals are. If you are the get-up-and-go-type, you are going to need more protein to keep your system humming along.  If you are just looking to maintain your health, then you can keep the status quo with the average amount. If you work out a lot or are looking to lose weight, you are going to want to add more amino acids to your menu. You aren’t doing your body a favor by cutting back on protein in order to shed weight. Protein is very important when you are trying to lose weight because it increases your metabolic rate as well as reduces your appetite. According to Healthline, when protein makes up 25% of your daily calories you can burn 100 more calories than when you eat a low protein diet. Health reports that a serving of protein, when digested will secrete peptide YY in the gut, which reduces hunger. This aids you in eating less. In addition, protein helps to create muscle mass, which, if you are trying to slim down, is going to make you stronger and look trimmer.

There is a difference of opinion on what the correct daily amount of protein is. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations vary. They average out to be around the Dietary Reference Intake amount. According to Healthline, the DRI recommends .36 grams of protein per pound which is about 56 grams a day for a sedentary man and 46 grams a day for a sedentary woman. This number is pretty low if you are on the move. The CDC recommendation is the absolute minimum of protein needed per day for an active lifestyle. A 150-pound individual who exercises regularly should get 120-150 grams. Athletes and bodybuilders would increase that number.

Leading an active lifestyle whether for pleasure or on the job will require you to add more protein to your daily plate. If you are an endurance athlete, you will definitely need more protein than the average bear – approximately .5 to.6 grams per pound. If you are recuperating from an injury or are elderly and shown signs of osteoporosis, protein can help you in the strength department by improving your muscle mass. Natural proteins like lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy are great ways of getting your amino acid fix. Over 50% of that protein should come from a food source. However, if you are vegan or need a faster more convenient way to get your daily dose, 30-50% of your protein needs can come from supplements. Protein powders that contain little to no sugars or carbohydrates can provide you with the nutrients that you need.

How do you know if you aren’t getting enough protein? Aside from feeling all fainty or not being able to walk that flight of stairs you used to bounce up, you may find that you have a craving for sweets. If your body doesn’t have enough protein to keep your blood sugar levels elevated, your brain will tell you to grab the neared Mars bar or go o.d. on fro-yo. Your body looks to the sugar to give you a quick burst of energy that the protein would have provided you. Of course, the sugar is only a temporary solution and you will spike and crash. If you feel a breeze on your pate it could be because you’re not eating your meat. Hair loss can be a sign of not getting enough protein. The hair follicles are kept strong and hair strands are kept thick by the amino acids your body takes in with a well-balanced diet. Further, if you don’t get your grams in you might find your nails breaking, your skin itching, and that you are more susceptible to colds and viruses.

With all of these reasons to load up on protein, a well-balanced diet is a good idea for maintaining optimum health. If you are looking for a protein supplement, SFH has whey powders, that are a natural source of amino acids, in PURE, FUEL, and RECOVER, featuring a wide variety of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, candy cane, strawberry, churro, and coconut.