Protein, protein, protein. For the every day casual exerciser and most of Mudder Nation the world’s obsession with all things protein can be confusing. What even is protein? How much of protein should we be eating? What does protein do? To help clear the muddy waters we asked our brand new Finisher Bar partner PhD Nutrition to give us the lowdown on everything you need to know about protein. Don’t worry you can thank us (and them) later.
What is Protein?
Protein is naturally occurring in the body. Your hair, skin, bone, tissue – it all contains proteins and these proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. Imagine a brick wall being the protein, the bricks are the amino acids and the concrete holding it all together are the peptide bonds. Just like brick walls come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and are used for different things, as with proteins. The amino acid chain can be arranged in millions of different ways and this will determine the function of a particular protein in the body. Okay that’s the heavy science bit over.
What Does Protein Do?
Basically, everything. Protein not only grows and repairs muscle (which is why most Mudders are interested in it) but it is also essential for most biological processes in the body. This includes anything that needs building, repairing or forming in the body. Because of the many different functions of protein, it is incredibly important that it is consumed in adequate amounts, not just for performance, but for optimal health and well-being.
How Much Protein Should you be Eating?
Sadly, there is no easy answer or quick number for the optimal amount of protein. The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is 0.8g per kilogram, this represents the minimum amount that should be consumed to avoid deficiency, however, this is generally considered too low. For optimal health we should be aiming to consume between 1.2g and 1.6g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For someone who is physically active and trains regularly, which is probably most Mudders, they should be aiming for the higher end of this scale towards 1.7g per kilogram per day.
Looking for more information on protein, or want to try some tasty PhD products? Head over to PhD.com for all of the protein you could ask for.