By Jaena L. Mebane, BlackDoctor.org
First, things first. Protein is essential to not only build muscle but to develop and maintain healthy bones, skin, and hair. It also makes hormones and enzymes. It is one of the three macro-nutrients (carbohydrates and fat are the other two) that your body needs to build and repair tissue. Registered dietitian and senior clinical nutrition specialist, Lora Edwards states that “it is vital for our immunity and even makes up the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood.”
As for how much we need, there is no set number that applies to everyone. The recommended daily amount for protein intake is roughly 0.36 grams per pound according to individual body weight. If you’re 120 pounds, then your protein intake would be 43 grams.
There are specific calculations depending on your goals:
For the average woman, your calculation would be your weight x 0.36 grams of protein.
For weight loss, the calculation would be your weight x 0.7 grams of protein.
For muscle gain, the calculation would be your weight x 0.8 grams of protein.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting your protein is to get it from whole food sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and grains. If you’re not able to get it from those sources then you might have to supplement with powders, bars, etc.
Keep in mind that whatever your fitness goal, it is important to consume fewer carbs and/or fat because of the additional calories coming from protein. To make tracking easier, try using an app. There are several different ones to choose from. See what works best for you.
Jaena Mebane, a graduate of Fordham University-B.A., Fitness Professional, Bodybuilder and creator of GLUTEUS FABULOUS. My motto is “Inspiring Others to Live a Healthy Lifestyle, Mind, Body, and Soul.” You can find me on Instagram @gluteus_fabulous