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Madrid Personal Trainer David Hughes here, now If there’s one nutrient that is heavily debated in the diet industry, protein is definitely it.  People everywhere are often finding themselves very confused with how much protein they really should be eating to see success.

Do they need the recommended one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day? Or is less protein needed as long as they’re eating a well-balanced diet? 

Protein And Muscle Building

The very first thing that you need to think about is protein as it relates to muscle building.  Some people often get stuck in the thought pattern that the more protein they eat, the faster they will build lean muscle mass. 

This, however, isn’t the case.  While you definitely do need to meet your protein requirements to successfully build lean muscle, if you take in more than you need, your body isn’t automatically going to make this into more lean muscle tissue.

There is a limit as to how much protein the body can use to help build lean muscle in any given day. Any more consumed over and above this will be converted to body fat or used as energy.

Protein Requirements 

So what are your protein requirements? Active individuals will require more protein than sedentary individuals, to the tune of 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass per day.

Note that if you are on a lower calorie diet for fat loss reasons, you will actually need more protein as there is a higher chance that protein will be used up for energy and that means less is left over to maintain your muscle mass.

Protein And Safety 

Finally, the last thing to consider is protein and safety. A lot of people tend to believe that high protein diets will place the kidneys in great harm and while an extremely high protein intake of more than two grams per pound of body weight would cause some health concerns, if you’re already a healthy individual, taking it higher isn’t going to be a problem.

Most people will do fine with intakes up to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight each day – not that you need to be taking in this much, but if you do, you shouldn’t stress that your kidneys will be at risk of major health implication. 

Higher protein diets do tend to cause dehydration though, so just be sure that you drink more water on the days you are eating more protein.

So there you have the main things to note and remember about your protein intake.  Protein is a very important nutrient on your diet plan so it is important that you get your facts straight.

As you go about your diet plan, you’ll likely read some information or come across magazine ads referring to protein powder.  It would seem as though all the fitness models are using protein powder to help get lean and build their best body, so should you consider it as well?

Is there something special about protein powder that can enhance the results you see or are you just as good eating a chicken breast instead?

Let’s take a closer look into the protein powder issue so you can learn for yourself whether this is something that you’ll want to consider.

Are You A Vegetarian?

The very first thing that you’ll want to consider when it comes to deciding whether or not you should be using a protein powder is whether you are a vegetarian or not.

If you are, then chances are high that you may not be getting enough complete protein throughout the daily period.

In this case, adding a protein powder would be a very wise move.  If you don’t get sufficient protein in your diet, you will be at risk for lean muscle mass loss and this can really put a dent in your overall rate of progress.

Are You Eating Enough Protein Daily?

The second thing that you’ll want to think about is whether or not you’re eating enough protein daily.  Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, many people often aren’t taking in enough protein on a regular basis and this can really come to hinder their results.

If you aren’t eating enough, a protein powder can quickly help you meet your needs since it’ll contain 20 grams or more per scoop. 

Are You Performing Intense Exercise?

The final thing that you’ll want to take into account when deciding whether or not you need to use a protein powder is if you’re performing intense physical activity. 

Those who are doing intense workouts on a regular basis will want to strongly consider adding a protein powder to the mix because this will help them recover faster than if they didn’t use one. 

Protein powder is specially formulated to be absorbed into the muscle tissues faster than say a chicken breast would be, so it does hold a slight advantage here. 

Since the primary goal immediately following an intense workout program is to get that protein into your body as quickly as possible, this will satisfy that goal easily.

Protein powders aren’t going to magically make you any leaner than real food would, but they can help make sure that you meet your nutritional requirements necessary for success.