Protein, protein, protein. Knowing your correct protein intake is essential for optimising your results. Nutrition is key for creating ‘gains’ in the gym as well as maintaining a fit and healthy physique. Our Global Head of Education, Mark Carroll explains how much protein you should be consuming on a daily basis.
Protein is the first macronutrient that your Clean Health coach will set when prescribing macronutrients for performance and results. Once the energy balance has been decided, we will create a tailored meal plan from there. There are generally two situations that we as coaches see a lot with clients:
- Women who under eat protein
- Men who dramatically overeat protein
So what is the benefit of high protein levels for fat loss?
- Increased the thermic effect: The process of digesting protein is far higher than any other macronutrient. When eating protein you will burn roughly 3 times more calories than carbohydrates and 4 times more than fats. If a client has a diet of higher protein vs low protein and calories are equal, then more calories will be burned each day!
- Increased satiety: Compared to other macronutrients, protein has the highest rate of satiety. Eating protein leaves us feeling fuller for longer, compared to the feeling after consuming carbs and fats. When a client has increased satiety it is far more likely that they will stick to a plan, when you have a client hungry they are less rational. So the key take away is that having increased satiety is imperative for results.
- Optimising Nitrogen Balance: Nitrogen balance is the balance between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. We need to be favouring protein synthesis to preserve lean mass when in a hypocaloric period. The raw materials from protein are essential to keep nitrogen balance optimal, and also the synthesis of our hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters.
With saying all this, we must remember, protein is not an efficient energy source. Our energy sources are carbohydrates and fats. Running off purely protein is not realistic or healthy.
Maintaining Muscle Mass in a Deficit
A key for maintaining muscle mass in a deficit is maintaining training volume and intensity. Having too many calories taken away from key energy sources means that we train with less volume and become weaker which is terrible for muscle retention.
Protein for Calorie Deficits
- Men: 1g – 2.5g per kg of body weight: The leaner and more advance the client the higher the range of protein.
- Women: 1.6 – 1.8g per kg of body weight: This is lower than male intake as most general population women tend to struggle to eat more protein. Women also seem to handle less protein whilst maintaining lean tissue.
- Vegans: 1.4g – 1.8g per kg of body weight: As the nature of vegan protein sources generally have additional calories a lower protein split is a more iso-caloric meal plan.
If you are interested in learning more about all macronutrient prescription for performance and results, we cover all of these topics in-depth in our Performance Nutrition Coach certification, which is soon to be completely ONLINE! You can enrol today and take advantage of our pre-sale price, HERE.
Yours in health,
Mark Carroll / Global Head of Education
Clean Health Fitness Institute