HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD YOU HAVE AT A TIME?

Balance and Time Your Protein for Optimal Results
PHOTO: CAMERON WHITMAN/STOCKSY
Protein is essential for the immune system, nervous function, and of course building and maintaining muscle. If you're training hard, it's especially important to ensure that protein needs are met in order to repair and build muscle. But just as it's important to get the right amount of protein, there's a maximum amount our muscles can absorb in one go. Like most things in nutrition, getting the best out of your food depends greatly on the amount you eat and when you eat it.

THE RIGHT AMOUNT
Typically the right serving of protein to ensure peak muscle synthesis is 20g-40g, which is quite a broad range to account for variability in size, weight and energetic needs (simply put, a big, 6 ft 4" man with high muscle mass could utilise more than a 5 ft 4" woman). While many people think it's more than this in a serving, research have shown that a 30g serving of protein post training had the same effect on muscle synthesis as a 90g serving of protein post training.

THE RIGHT TIME
Protein timing is also helpful when looking to optimise your training regime and build muscle. Within an hour of waking, it's important to get a dose of protein to help start your day. If you train first thing in the morning, ensure you get some protein in a post workout smoothie (our favourite is Just Ride from EK, with 23 grams of protein) or a protein rich breakfast. Eggs pack in about 6-8 grams of protein per egg (depending on the size) and jumbo oats have a whopping 17g per 100g (2/3 cup). Dinner time protein is also important if you're looking to maximise muscle growth and recovery. Around 0.3-0.5g/kg of bodyweight for your dinner is a good guideline to follow. It's also a good idea to get your protein in post workout, however this should be complimented with carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen. The recommended ratio is 3 or 4:1. carbs to protein.
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