Each body cell of any organism contains protein molecules. Therefore, in almost every article about a healthy diet, we mentioned the importance of eating protein in normal amounts. The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 grams per 3 pounds of body weight, but if you exercise regularly, then the protein will be completely different.
Your body needs more protein to support, repair and build muscle. For a long time, active women had to guess how much protein they needed in order to create and maintain a strong and slim body.
A few years ago, an experiment was conducted with two groups of women. Let’s have a look at the results.
Experiment in detail
Two groups of women adhered to a training plan – a strength training program with the periodization of 8 weeks. The program consisted of two workouts for the upper and two for the lower body per week. One group adhered to a high-protein diet, the second to a low-protein diet.
Girls from the high protein group received 2.45 grams of protein per 3 pounds of body weight per day, including 25 grams of Dymatize ISO-100 whey protein before and after each training session. The low-protein group received the following instructions: 1.2 g of protein for the same body weight per day, including 5 grams of Dymatize ISO-100 whey protein before and immediately after training.
All participants received clear instructions regarding protein, but there were no restrictions on carbohydrates and fats. By the end of the study, girls who had a high-protein diet gained significantly more dry weight (almost 5 pounds) compared with participants in the low-protein group (less than 3 pounds). Girls from the first group also managed to remove more fat, but the differences did not reach the threshold of statistical significance.
How does protein affect muscles?
If women adhere to a high-protein diet, then they build more muscle than women on a low-protein diet.
You must have heard the phrase “Do not worry about what you see on the scales” many times. Now you can heed this advice. All participants gained more than 3 pounds, but the ratio of fat to muscle in the body was different.
It turned out that the high-protein group grew more muscle and burned more fat than the low-protein group – a result that you can’t get if you look only at the scales.
Instead of focusing on one digit, watch for changes in the percentage of fat and muscle tissue. If you notice that the weight has slightly increased, and the percentage of fat has decreased, you are on the right track!
To sum up
If your goal is to gain lean mass and get rid of excess fat, the benefits of a high-protein diet in combination with strength training are perfect. Normalize your daily protein intake and consume it in accordance with your goal.