Do we need it?

Well, we know that protein is the building blocks of muscle. It helps to support muscle growth, recovery, retention & repair. It is important to note that resistance exercise is the best way or ‘gold standard’ for building muscle mass. After exercise, both muscle protein breakdown & muscle growth occur at the same time, this is a natural response. The inclusion of protein in your post-exercise meal helps to ensure that muscle growth exceeds breakdown allowing for an overall net gain of muscle protein! So when resistance exercise & protein work in tandem, muscle gain is optimised!

So how much protein should I have?

  • A simple calculation will help you to figure out what a protein feeding should look like for you: multiply your body weight (in kg) by 0.4. For example, a 75kg male/female = 75(0.4) = 30g protein
  • It’s important to note that as we get older, the receptors (aka signals) in our body that initiate muscle growth require more protein in each feeding to be stimulated. The muscle protein receptor we are trying to target is stimulated by leucine, an essential amino acid. The leucine content is higher in high quality protein sources (meat, eggs, dairy) than plant protein sources for example, which is why we recommend you try to include a variety of protein sources in your diet. As we age, our muscle protein receptor becomes less receptive to dietary protein intake so older adults should aim for closer to 40g protein per feeding to help stimulate muscle growth.
  • Protein intake should be split evenly throughout the day over at least 4 feedings (ensuring that one of these feedings is included post-exercise!)
  • Protein intake should remain consistent. Try to consume the same amount of protein on both training & rest days

Hopefully some of these tips will help you to make sure that your protein intake is sufficient to support both health & exercise.