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Protein has become big business.

As more and more people become educated on the benefits of proper nutrition coupled with a well-managed and consistent workout routine, more and more products have begun to hit the shelves. A quick trip in to a health food shop or vitamin store will show you arrays of different ways to ingest more protein, be it in powder or shake form. There are businesses whose sole model is to cook protein-rich, healthy food portions and deliver them directly to your door.

You can even buy protein-enriched milk now from practically every corner shop in the country.

But if it is important to learn that there is a whole lot more to upping your protein levels than just arbitrarily consuming it whenever you can as much confusing still reigns when it comes to how much you need to add to your diet and the best sources with which to do so.

The amount of protein you need is directly linked to your weight

Weight, height, gender and your levels of physical activity are the variables you need to pay attention to when mapping out your protein intake. The general rule is to consume around 0.8 grammes per kilo of bodyweight to ensure that you’re not experiencing a protein deficiency.

There are different types of proteins

Proteins differ drastically when it comes to the benefits they have for you. Some are more enriched with amino acids. Meat is a fantastic source of protein as it covers all nine essential amino acids but can come loaded with saturated fat. Fish is high in amino acids but low in saturated fat, while the veggies among us can up their protein levels with lentils, quinoa and hemp seeds (among others).

You should have protein in every meal

In addition to its muscle-building qualities protein also has an impact on your energy levels, makes you feel fuller for longer and boosts your metabolism. The more protein in your diet, the less likely you are to have food cravings late in the day.

Don’t overdo it

They say that too much of anything is bad for you and this is certainly true when it comes to protein. If your diet is too protein-centric, particularly at the expense of a balanced diet, it can lead to health problems — some of them quite severe.