Protein is an essential macronutrient for building muscle. It is most commonly found in animal products, but can also be found in other foods such as nuts, beans and lentils.
Protein can be found throughout our bodies in our muscle, bone, skin and hair as well as each body part and tissue. Protein makes us the enzymes which create chemical reactions. We have a recommended daily intake of protein.
As for finding protein in food, eggs are an extremely nutritious source of protein. They are low in calories and carbs. Below, we have outlined a breakdown on the protein that is in eggs.
Protein - 1 Egg
Aside from having a great protein count, there are other nutritional values that should be recorded. 1 boiled egg contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins: 6% of the recommended daily amount
- Folate: 5% of the recommended daily amount
- Vitamins B5: 7% of the recommended daily amount
- Vitamin B12: 9% of the recommended daily amount
- Vitamin B2: 15% of the recommended daily amount
- Phosphorus: 9% of the recommended daily amount
- Selenium: 22% of the recommended daily amount
They also contain vitamin D, E, K, B6, calcium and zinc.
In terms of calorie content, a single boiled egg is 77 calories. The protein count for 1 egg is 6g and 5g of healthy fats.
Protein - 4 Eggs
Whilst you should try and keep your intake of eggs to one, you might be wanting to batch cook your eggs, making the nutritional value of 4 eggs important. In terms of breaking down the nutritional value of 4 eggs, see the information below.
The protein content for 4 eggs is 24% with them containing around 312 calories.
With that being said, Healthline suggests that eating 1-2 eggs is safe, but ensure that you consider how much cholesterol is already implemented within your diet. It is worth noting that eating more than this puts you at risk if you already have heart disease, or high cholesterol. They suggest that you should not eat no more than 4-5 eggs per week.
Protein - 6 oz Chicken Breast
Another great source of protein is chicken. It has a very rich protein content, but it also has other nutritional properties. Chicken is very easily accessed and it is one of the most common types of poultry in the world.
In 6oz of chicken, which is around 170g of chicken, it contains around 46g of protein. This is also estimated to be around 407 calories.
Protein - 8oz Steak
Is it hard to give an exact calculation of steak, depending on the way in which you cook your steak, but on average, it contains the following:
- 300 - 362 calories
- 10g - 16g fat
- 40g - 45g of protein
- No carbohydrates
Steak is also naturally high in protein, but do not rely on it as your main source of protein.
How much protein needed per day?
How much protein you need varies, but it typically depends on your body weight. Healthline suggests that the DRI (the Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.36g of protein per pound of your body weight.
The average man, who partakes in little exercise, is thought to need around 56g of protein.
The average woman, who partakes in little exercise, is thought to need around 46g of protein.
The abovementioned figures relate to individuals who are of a healthy weight, do not partake in weight-lifting exercises and do not consider themselves to be overly active.
With that being said, this is a very basic guide and to really find how much you should be consuming, depends on how active you are on a regular basis, how old you are, if you have any physical goals, such as muscle gain, as well as the status of your overall health.
An example of how to personally calculate your own protein needs is the following:
Someone who is 132 pounds and has a limited exercise schedule, would need 48g of protein. The breakdown can be seen in the following. You need 0.8g of protein per 2.2 pounds of your body weight.
132 ÷ 2.2 = 60
60 x 0.8 = 48g (this is how much you would need daily)
This will also vary depending on the following factors:
- If you are pregnant
- If you have an ongoing illness
- If you are wanting to lose weight
- If you are a teenager
There is another way to calculate how much protein you need based upon your calorie intake. For example, it is thought that you should have 10 to 35 percent of your calories from protein.
Is protein good for weight loss?
In terms of weight loss, the key to losing weight comes from burning more calories than you consume. However, it is thought that eating protein can increase the amount of calories that you are burning due to their ability to increase your metabolic rates and also aiding to reduce your appetite.
It is thought that consuming between 25 and 30 percent of your total calories from high protein foods can increase your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories.
It is also good to consider that protein foods are known to decrease our appetite and make us feel fuller for longer. This can help to rule out snacking and other forms of binge eating.
On the other hand, it is also thought that protein can prevent weight gain and help to aid muscle gain and strength. In order to gain more muscle, your body must make more protein that it is breaking down. In this instance, if you are wanting to build muscle, you can benefit from eating more protein.
However, if you are wanting to maintain muscle, but lose body fat, then high protein diets can also prevent losing that muscle when you are working to lose weight.
If you are looking to increase the amount of protein you eat, try to include foods that contain all of the essential amino acids, such as fish, meat, dairy and eggs.
What are the uses of protein?
Protein is incredibly important for the body it is used to keep us healthy and keep our bodies in working order. They help to provide energy and carry oxygen throughout the body via your blood.
In addition, protein is important for helping our bodies to make antibodies that are required to help us overcome infections and other forms of illnesses. Not getting enough protein will cause health issues, but getting too much can consequently cause issues itself.
With that being said, there are some key functions of protein, as outlined below.
Protein is useful in the regulation of acids within the stomach to ensure that they are concentrated at the right levels and keep them within the normal PH range.
Strengthens Immune Health
Proteins within your body will help to protect you by forming antibodies. When you have produced these antibodies against a bacteria or a virus, your cells remember how to make them and so they recognise and are able to respond to them in order to develop immunity against the disease or fight it off.
Stores and Transports Nutrients
Transport proteins will carry nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and oxygen. Whilst these are responsible for transportation, others are responsible for storing them.
Whilst it is not the preferred method, protein is able to become an energy source, but only in certain situations, such as exercise, low calorie intake and fasting. Protein will take longer for the body to break down which means that it provides us with longer lasting energy.
In order to maintain and ensure the growth of tissue, protein is needed. Your body will break down the amount of protein that is uses to repair and build tissue.
Where is protein digested?
Digestion of protein begins when we start chewing from the enzymes that are in our saliva, called amylase and lipase, which breakdown carbohydrates and fats. Once the protein reaches your stomach, the enzymes and the hydrochloric acid will break down the protein into amino acids.
These then move into your small intestines and your pancreas will release an enzyme which reduces the acidity of food, which allows more enzymes to break down amino acid chains into individual amino acids.
In the small intestine protein is absorbed. After this, the amino acids are released into your bloodstream. This means they are take to cells in other parts of the body, allowing tissue to be repaired and muscle to be built.
What are protein gummies?
Protein gummies are a way to add extra protein into your diet. They are not extremely high in protein, but they do contain enough to give you an added boost. They almost act as a lower alternative to protein drinks, protein powder and protein bars.
They are great for people who struggle to eat foods that have a high protein count, as well as aiding those who may struggle to chew, ensuring that they are getting as much protein as they need.
You are actually able to make your own protein gummies, using the following recipes below.
Post-Workout Watermelon Lime Protein Gummies by Snacking in Sneakers
This is a great post workout snack. They are made with only four ingredients and can be made in just under half an hour. They are simple and the use of watermelon is great for its a source of antioxidants.
The four ingredients include:
- 3 tbsp of honey
- 3-4tbsp of unflavoured gelatine
- 2 cups fresh watermelon
- 1/2 cups lime juice
This recipe makes 45 large gummies and a fall list can be found on their website listed above.
Easy Zero-Carb Gummies by Keto Diet
Gelatine itself has got some great health benefits, such as improving skin health, being high in protein and aiding your digestive functions. The creator of this recipe notes that it is important you remember these gummies are 100% protein and therefore, you do not want to eat too many of them.
The ingredients include:
- Sugar - Free tea
- Gelatine Powder
Healthy Lemonade Protein Gummies by Simply Jillicious
These healthy lemon protein gummies are free of processed sugar and they are made with grass fed gelatine. The recipe states that 1 tablespoon of gelatine has 10g of protein, meaning that these gummies have the equivalent of 40g of protein which works out to be around 1g per gummy you make.
The ingredients are as followed:
- Lemon Juice
- Pure maple syrup
Protein Gummies: Only Three Ingredients by Half of Gabby
This method is a great recipe for gummy sweets that do not contain the same amount of chemicals, preservatives and artificial flavours. It contains real fruit and plenty of protein. Benefits of protein gummies that include gelatine are:
- Helps weight loss
- strengthen bones
- improves sleep
- boosts fat burning
- reduce appetite
The ingredients for this recipe is listed below.
- 2 cups purified fruit
- 5 tbsp of gelatine
- 6-8 stevia packets
A full step by step guide can be found on their website listed above.
What is 24 hour urine protein test?
A 24 hour protein urine test will measure how much albumin in is your urine over the course of a 24 hour period. Albumin is a protein that is produced by the liver. If there is an issue with your kidneys, this test might highlight that there is too much protein in your urine.
Essentially, the purposes of this test is to detect disease and other medical problems. You can either take it at home or at a hospital depending on your doctors recommendations. It will typically start in the morning and collect your urine over the course of 24 hours.
All the samples will be separated and kept cool. When you have collected all your samples, they will be taken to a lab for analysis. This analysis will then reflect what is going on with your protein levels and other issues.
In terms of normal values, you are looking at less than 10milligrams per one tenth a litre of urine. For more information on 24 hour urine protein tests, ensure that you are consulting your doctor.