Proteins major role is muscle repair, which is essential for muscle growth/maintenance. Since the sport of bodybuilding began, we have associated protein intake and resistance training with looking big and bulky. We forget that muscles are not just on the body to form lumps under our skin, they make our body move. Muscle ‘growth’ does not only mean that it gets bigger in size, it also means that our muscles improve efficiency, speed, endurance and density.
The type of training, total calories, and many other factors dictate the way our muscles grow. It is therefore important to consume adequate amounts of protein regardless of what we are trying to achieve, whether it is to lose weight and look toned, improve at a sport, or to build muscle.
The consumption of protein therefore doesn’t only mean we are going to get bulky so it is pointless to make these associations. For the average population, the consumption of 1-1.2g/KG of bodyweight protein is sufficient to body functions. For those with specific physical goals, try to aim for 1-1.2g/pound of bodyweight. There is no need to exceed this much as we only have a certain amount of cells that can perform protein synthesis, so excess will simply be converted into fat or carbohydrates to be used as energy or excreted as waste. This is also a reason why we should not be too concerned with consuming too much protein (unless we decide to consume ridiculous amounts, then we have other problems) as we have the chance to use it as energy before potentially being stored as fat. As our bodies do not store protein, this is also a reason why we should consume protein regularly throughout the day, as we want to make sure we are constantly recovering or repairing.
Our recommendation at Fit Kitchen Barcelona is to consume 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, spread over 4 meals for any training goals, including weight loss and weight gain. Make up the rest of your calorie requirements with carbohydrates and fats.