Why Eat Protein?
Why eat protein? Everyone thinks that protein build muscles; but what builds muscles is resistive training (weight lifting, calisthenics, SPTs); but protein is used everywhere in our bodies: muscles, teeth, bones, ligaments, tendons, skin, organs, nerves, hormones and all kinds of enzymes. Without protein we would literally fall apart.
But how much protein should we be eating? And what kinds of protein should we eat? Protein is found in all our foods, animal and vegetable. Meat, fish, eggs, diary, beans, rice, corn, peanut and other nuts are a few sources of protein. The type of protein you eat and the quantity is very important. Beef, pork, fish and chicken are good sources of protein; but beef and pork has a lot of cholesterol while chicken and fish have lower amount of cholesterol and there is no cholesterol in plant proteins. (You do need some cholesterol in your diet; your body can make cholesterol but it is easier for us to eat some; without cholesterol your nerves and hormones do not work well.)
Unfortunately, most people think protein only comes in meat. No true! There are many non-meat sources of protein. Beans, eggs, nuts, milk, are just a few. With a little Internet research you will find many good non-meat sources of protein. And this is good, since meat is so expensive, but beans and rice are not. Just beware of the fat with the protein, both in meat and in plant sources.
Sedentary healthy people, weighing about 120 pounds, need about 48 grams of protein a day; but it is much easier to eat the correct calories of protein rather than estimating the number of grams of protein in a food. So here is an easy to use chart:
Non-athletes (sedentary adults): 1.6 calories per pound of body weight
Athletes in Endurance Events (Archers): 2.2 – 2.6 calories per pound of body weight
Athletes in Resistive Training Programs: 2.9 – 3.1 calories per pound of body weight
Growing Teenage Athletes: 3.6 to 4.0 calories per pound of body weight
So how many protein calories do you need?
Suppose you are an active adult archery athlete, shooting and doing your resistive training, and you weigh 120 pounds. You would use 2.9 time 120 to get 348 calories of protein as the low end and 3.1 times 120 to get 372 calories of protein. So an active adult archery athlete needs between 348 calories to 372 calories of protein a day.
Suppose you are a teen age active archery athlete, shooting and doing your resistive training, and you weigh 150 pounds. You would use 3.6 times 150 to get 540 calories of protein as the low end and 4.0 times 150 to get 600 calories. So a teen age active archery athlete needs between 540 to 600 calories of protein a day. (No wonder our teenagers eat us out of house and home!)