5 Signs That You Probably Don’t Need More Protein
When it comes to dieting, protein is the main food group we tend to turn to. The majority of us can always benefit from more protein, from the elderly to the paleo dieter. However, like most things in life, there is an upper limit to how much our body can take and – in particular – our bank balances! Here, we explain five signs that indicate you may have reached your protein limit:
A lot of strength training beginners find it hard to believe that gaining pure muscle mass is hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight and even the genetic freaks or steroid enthusiasts are only putting on ten pounds of muscle a month. Five or six in a month is a very decent return for a novice weight lifter.
If you’re noticing changes in the mirror, then it’s more than likely that you’re getting enough protein. Also if friends are commentating on your gains, that’s another sign that whatever you’re eating is working. Adding more protein on top of this probably won’t make a difference.
The key point to any diet – If you’ve reached that point during weight loss that you can control your junk food urges, focus on the correct foods and not feel hungry all the time, then your protein intake is probably at the right level. Protein is the best food for short-term satiety ahead of fats and carbs. It also applies to long-term satiety too, which means if you’re not experiencing strong cravings, then you’re likely to have settled on a good protein amount.
In order to prevent lean mass loss during weight loss, many dieters increase their protein intake. However, if you’re trying to maintain weight and not actively trying to lose it, then your protein levels don’t need to be boosted. On the other hand, if higher protein levels are helping you maintain your weight by fending off appetite and cravings, then keep doing what you’re doing.
Gram for gram, animal-sourced proteins such as eggs, dairy, and offal are all more efficient than plant protein. They contain more amino acids, are digested easier and support growing mammals better. This means if you’re eating many plant proteins, you’ll need more grams of protein than a meat eater in order to get the same effect.
The majority of scientific evidence suggests that muscle protein synthesis max out in most athletes at 0.82 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. However, others argue that eating more can be beneficial but there is no solid research to back-up these claims. Try aiming for a gram per pound of bodyweight – anymore than that is likely to be unnecessary.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.