Proteins are found in meat, fish, poultry, dairy foods, beans and grains. Proteins are used by the body to form muscle, hair, nails, and skin, to provide energy, to repair injuries, to carry nutrients throughout the body, and to contract muscle.

Energy from Proteins

1 gram of protein supplies 4 kcal (the same as CHO). Proteins should supply 10-15% of your total daily kcals.

Your protein needs are determined by your age, body weight, and activity level. Most people eat 100 to 200 g of proteins each day, which is more protein than is actually needed by the body. Many people eat high-protein foods because they think that proteins make them grow "bigger and stronger". Actually, these excess kcals from proteins can be converted to fat and stored. High-protein intakes also increase fluid needs and may be dehydrating if fluid needs are not met (see "Water" on page 14 and Chapter 12).

Table 2-1. Determining Your Protein Factor Grams of Proteins Per Pound of Body Weight

Activity Level

Low to Moderate

Endurance Training Strength Training

Protein Factor

0.5 grams

Your Protein Factor is

Calculate your daily protein requirements in Worksheet 2-2 using your protein factor from Table 2-1.

Worksheet 2-2. Calculate Your Protein Requirements x grams of proteins per day.

Body Weight (lbs.) Protein Factor

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