How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day?
Why is protein so important?
Protein is used around our body to build and repair tissue like build muscles and lots of other bodily functions. It is absolutely essential for our structural framework and to keep our organs functioning. However, we are going to focus on the importance of its role in muscle mass and how much we need to eat to maintain our muscle mass.
Why is maintaining muscle mass so important?
One of the most important things we need to do as we age is to maintain our muscle mass.
Having enough muscle is essential for everyday strength, balance and mobility. It also reduces the risk of falls and fractures. Falls and fractures contribute to the most common cause of hospital admission for the elderly in Australia, and a lot of these people never regain their independence!
Having adequate amounts of muscle mass has also shown to help reduce the risk of some diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Unfortunately, with all the fun things that come along with ageing, loss of muscle mass is one of them. After the age of 40, you naturally lose 1% of your muscle mass per year.
Don’t worry, we’re not saying you need to have bulging biceps!
With regular exercise and the right nutrition, you can maintain enough muscle mass to have a high quality of life as you get older and lower your diseases risk. This means you will also reduce your risk of the depression which can accompany illness, hospitalisation and loss of independence as you age. Keep reading to see how you can maintain your muscle mass to help you live a happier and longer life!
Resistance exercise like Rada’s low impact HIIT session and Jacquline’s body weight-bearing session are perfect for building and strengthening your muscles. Alternatively you can lower intensity sessions like yoga for joints to strengthen the joints to complete your daily activities. Aim for these types of activities at least 3 times a week. Additional movements like walking and climbing up the stairs are also good for your muscles and cardiovascular system. Try to move your body every day. When stairs are available, take them!
Eating enough protein
Exercise needs to be accompanied with eating the right foods. Food high in protein is an essential requirement for building muscles mass.
How much protein do I need?
Men should be having 0.84g of protein per kg of their body weight and women, 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight, per day. See the table below to get an idea of approximately how much protein you need per day based on your gender and weight.
How do I know how much protein I’m eating?
See the next table below to get an idea of how much protein is in some regular foods. You will see it’s pretty easy to get enough protein if you’re eating a healthy balanced diet. Other foods like grains and vegetables have small amounts of protein in them too, so if you’re eating a variety of healthy foods every day, you should be covered.
login to download your personal nutrition plan to see how many serves of protein you need and our portion size guide or Download our family healthy eating plan to find a 7-day meal plan full of yummy healthy eating. This is FREE to all members.
Check out this week’s recipe full of chickpeas, a vegetarian source of protein, to help build and maintain those muscles!
Serves: 4 Time: 30 mins Cost: $11.50 approx. ($3 .80/serve)
- 2 Lare wholemeal pita breads
- 500g butternut pumpkin
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 100g feta
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp allspice
- handful fresh parsley
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 TBSP tahini (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 200oC and line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Chop pumpkin into SMALL 1.5cm x 1.5cm pieces (this is important so they cook quickly) and add to the baking tray.
- drain and rinse chickpeas, then add to the tray.
- Drizzle olive oil over pumpkin and chickpeas, add cumin, paprika, allspice and a pinch of salt & pepper, mix together with your hands.
- Bake in oven for 15 mins.
- Prep vege: thinly slice red onion and tomato, roughly chop parsley and feta.
- Yoghurt sauce: juice lemon, crush garlic clove, mix altogether with yoghurt, tahini and a pinch of salt & pepper. Put aside.
- Remove pumpkin and chickpeas from the oven
- Assemble Pita: Place pita breads on 2 oven trays, drizzle over olive oil, sprinkle salt & pepper, add tomatoes, red onion, spinach, pumpkin & chickpeas and feta. Bake for 5 mins
- Serve with fresh parsley and yoghurt sauce. – tip pour the sauce in a snaplock bag, snip off the tip of the corner and use as a pipe to drizzle sauce over pizza.
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