It is no rocket science to understand that protein works wonders for your body, in both intrinsic as well as extrinsic ways. It works well for great skin, helps in keeping it looking younger and elastic, boosts hair health and not only that but also helps you keep satiated for longer thereby cutting down your chances of overeating or eating junk food.
But the question that gets asked most of the time is how much of it is too much?
No doubt, high protein diets are recommended, in accordance with the RDA as well as individual body and activity types, so that you have a better fat% profile and cut down several health risks. However, anything that has been widely known for innumerable benefits cannot exist without being surrounded by questions of its long term effects on health. Protein being no different, has since long been surrounded be myths that claim protein intake affects kidneys and bone health. However, these claims have not been proven right scientifically and therefore do not stand true under all conditions.
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How much do you need?
The RDA for protein in healthy adults ranges between 0.8-1.0 gm./ kg. Body weight per day. This is the protein RDA that is precise to meet the protein requirement of the major population. However, for individuals who have a higher activity level, their protein intake can range from 1.2-1. gm of protein/ kg body weight/ day.
According to a JISSN study, high protein diet as compared to basic RDA level of protein had substantially better evidence for showing improvement in the body composition especially when such diets were taken in combination with exercising on a regular basis.
Few points to consider:
- People with higher activity levels have higher demand for protein.
- When taken as a part of a balanced diet, protein intake at the 1.2-1.5 gm/ day is not detrimental to kidney or bone health.
- Protein consumption when balanced with the rest of the macronutrients does not lead to kidney damage and only those who have a pre-existing kidney ailment are not advised high protein levels.
- Different types and quality of protein influences the effect that it will have on the body, and therefore, you may see varied results with various protein types.
- For efficient muscle protein synthesis, it is important to time the intake of protein especially in consideration to exercise.
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While the earlier recommendation as per the Dietary guidelines are in terms of % kcal and grams/ kg or body weight; newer researches emphasize on the relevance of protein grams per meal and essentially focusing more on the essential amino acids (EAA) that improve the protein turnover and achieve optimal health outcomes. In addition to taking higher protein amounts while being balanced with the rest of the diet being safe, it has also been found that at least 30 gm. protein/ meal in adults should be the focus.
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