Protein is among the essential macronutrients that our body requires on a daily basis. It is what our muscles and tissues consist of, and it has a great role in determining the overall health and the growth of our body. There is a significantly great difference in the recommendation for protein intake for different people. On average, we should receive about 0.9 grams of protein each day per kg of body weight.
The recommendation for the daily dietary limit of protein for the athletes and people involved in sports is different. For athletes, the daily intake ranges from 1.8 to 2 gram per day per kg of body weight.
Here are some of the foods rich in protein that should be consumed on a regular basis.
- Casein (slow absorption protein with high percentage)
- Dairy (mostly semi-skimmed, or for extreme diets the skimmed version)
- Eggs (white is only protein, and the yolk also includes fats and where the micronutrients are concentrated)
- Fish (white fish, and blue, which incorporates omega-3 polyunsaturated fats)
- Legumes, and if possible in combination with similar ones to complete aminograms, such as rice + peas)
- Nuts, almonds, peanuts (as a vegetable source, also provide polyunsaturated fats)
- Pea, Soy or Rice Protein (as a source of vegetable protein)
- Pork (lean part such as loin …)
- Veal (lean part)
- Whey or Whey Protein (high bioavailability protein)
When is the best time to eat protein?
Proteins help our body to build tissue which is essential for the proper functioning of our body. Among the people who train, protein is usually considered the best way to get a lot of muscle. This is because of the importance of protein as a building block In the growth of our body. Nonetheless, the role of protein is beyond the simple synthesis of muscle mass, and there is much more that proteins can do for us as long as we know when to consume them. Is there any time of the day especially good or bad to consume more protein? Well, there is, and it is not too complicated to understand how you can optimize it. The regenerative function of proteins makes them perfect to be consumed at night. Therefore, we should spare most of the carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch.
Post workout or sports
After you’ve been through a rigorous sports session or a heavy workout, you should consider it an ideal time to ingest proteins since our muscles need high doses of food to be able to recover from the stress that supposes for them the realization of that exercise. That is why during the period after exercise the body increases its protein demands, and it is one of the best times to eat foods that contain high quantities of protein.
When you wake up
As we said before, almost all main meals should include high-protein foods, such as meat or fish, as well as dairy or eggs. These foods can be consumed at any time, but since the body and metabolism work faster at certain times like the morning, we should combine protein with other nutrients such as carbohydrates to obtain muscle energy. That way we will be able to effectively cope with the daily routine and activities because the muscles also need glucose to function properly.
The night is one of the best times to consume only protein-rich foods with little mixing of carbohydrates. This is because the body works much slower during the night as compared to the morning. That is why it is unable to burn the calories. This causes excessive calories to end up accumulating in the form of fat. That’s why night will be a good time to eat protein-rich and low-fat foods.
Vegetable based Proteins and the ones we get from seafood can be considered as good alternatives for the night. These foods not only give us high doses of protein but also will be of great help when it comes to improving the muscular condition. This is due to the fact that during the night the growth hormones are released while we are sleeping. If the body has the necessary nutrients during this phase, we will be able to see more effective growth, and our body will ultimately get stronger and develop muscles quicker and better.
The explanation is very simple. Our body needs the strength and energy to spend it on everything we are going to do during the day. In this way, all the calories and fats that we consume will surely leave our body as they enter without having the need to store them. This will help us prevent the consequence of getting extra kilos that we all have.
On the other hand, the proteins work in a different way. Although we can consume them at any time of the day, their regenerative function makes them especially good at the end of the day during the last meal.
This way we can also recover from the workout that we have done, especially if we have done sports. Having proteins at the right time allows our body to metabolize these nutrients much better while we are resting at night. Many people do it inversely and take proteins at breakfast and carbohydrates at dinner. This leads to difficulty in metabolizing the nutrients by our body which can cause problems of digestion and adding extra pounds.
That is why it is so important not only to know what foods we should take to cover the daily needs of each element but also when to take them. In theory, if we stick to a balanced diet, it would not matter if we take them in one meal or another. However, our body has specific needs at each part of the day, and we must know how to satisfy these needs in the best possible way. That’s why at dinner we should take protein-rich foods such as chicken, turkey, salmon, trout, egg white, gouda, and Emmental cheeses. These foods are perfect for consuming at dinner time in balanced quantities.