Double Protein, Protect Muscle

Double your protein intake and you protect muscle loss when dieting or exercising.

But more is not necessarily better. Tripling the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein, failed to provide any additional benefits, according to a report in Science Daily.

The study challenges the long-held believe that significant muscle loss is inevitable when you are trying to lose weight.

More Protein When Training

Research conducted by the US Army’s Military Nutrition Division put young men and women on a 31 day controlled diet with protein

intake at three levels – at the recommended daily allowance, and at twice and three times the RDA.

The RDA for adult men is about 56 grams a day, and for adult women about 46 grams a day. If you are taking part in a heavy workout

program (exercising for 45 minutes to an hour five days or more a week) you may need more.

Highly trained athletes thrive on around 139 gms a day for 80 kg (180 lb) man.

What Protein Can I Eat?

And although retaining muscle is a big benefit, having a good amount of protein in your diet also dulls hunger pangs, and helps prevent

obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

So what should you be eating to get that protein intake?

Here are examples of amounts of protein in food:

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein

  • A 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein

  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein

  • An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein

Added together, just these four sources would meet the protein needs of an adult male (56 grams).  Of course if you are following the

recommendations of the study you might consider doubling that if you are trying to lose weight and are concerned about maintaining good muscle fibre.

Body Builders Views Confirmed

"This study essentially confirms what body builders have shown us for a long time - a high protein diet helps prevent muscle loss when

trying to lose fat," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, which published the study.
 
 "Although eating a well-balanced diet is still necessary for health and weight maintenance, upping one's protein intake when dieting

might be a useful tool in the short term."