You’ve probably heard a lot of sayings about proteins, especially if you practice sports regularly. “Eat proteins, it is important” yes it is but why ?
Proteins are generally and logically associated with muscles. Indeed depending on your sport activity and diet, proteins may help you keep and develop your muscle mass. During muscles growth, a substantial proteins ratio is concentrated in them. Remember your biology lessons back in school : proteins are made of chains of amino acids and the leucine amino acid in particular has a vital role in muscle growth (beef, chicken, salmon, eggs, peas, nuts). In order to hold or develop muscle mass, there is a protein level to observe :
- Sedentary life – around 0.8 g per kg of muscle
- Sportive life – between 1.5g and 2g per kg of muscle
However eating more than 2g proteins per kilos of muscle mass is not necessary for muscle growth. Make sure that you do not exceed this limit because you could have side effects such as ammonia production during the decomposition process. Above all, keep hydrated to protect your kidney (in charge of eliminating ammonia)!
Be careful : the body can’t store proteins. If you don’t get enough in your diet, the muscles will melt first.
Proteins and weight loss ?
Stimulating muscle growth is not the only benefit of proteins : they keep you filled up longer and play a major role in weight loss. Classic diets make metabolism fall. The organism has to function with less calories. If you want to lose some weight, you have to eat enough proteins to maintain your metabolism and then prevent the yo-yo effect.
Food rich in proteins stimulate your metabolism, make weight loss easier and regulate the appetite.
Where to find proteins ?
Proteins can be animal or plant-based, it is important to vary these two sources. Only some animal proteins are considered to be complete (with a correct amino acids ratio). You can find all the proteins you need in food. If you are worried you are not eating enough proteins, you can use protein powders, may them be of animal or vegetable-based. However these products are not natural and taking too much can cause serious health issues.
|Animal proteins||Vegetable proteins|
|Eggs provide the best quality of proteins||Soy|
|White meats (chicken, turkey)||Cereals : quinoa, barley, wheat, oats|
|Red meats (beef) moderately because of their high salt content||Legumes : lentils, beans, peas|
|Fish and seafood|
|Cheese and dairy products|
Watch out! 100 grams of meat can not be equated with 100 grams of proteins. To give you an idea, here are the equivalent of 20 g of proteins :
- 100g white or red meat
- 80g tuna
- 3 eggs
- 100g mozzarella
- 250g cottage cheese with 0% fat
- 1/2L milk
- 100g turkey breast
- 100g lentils