Whenever the word “protein” is heard, muscled fitness geeks come to mind. Protein not only helps you develop and repair muscle, but it also helps in synthesis of enzymes and hormones needed for good health and vitality.

Protein keeps your blood and bones healthy, as well as your hair shiny, your fingernails strong, and your skin glowing. It is the essential component in every cell of your body thus cementing its position as the macronutrient that is non-negotiable to your wellbeing.

 To add to the long list of benefits reaped, protein also keeps you satiated between meals. So, if you've always groused about feeling peckish between meals, bump up the protein content in each bite.

Protein shakes are often spotted on athletes and professionals. Doesn’t the rest of the planet who don't go to the gym, need protein supplementation too? Do ladies not require protein supplements if they don't go to the gym?

Proteins are necessary for staying active and energetic. It isn't just for muscle development.

Many individuals believe that protein is only used to build up or treat strained muscles after a particularly gruelling workout.

We experience a condition known as ‘sarcopenia’ as we get older, which leads to a steady decline in muscle performance. Women who are older than 25 and are gradually losing muscle mass, would do well to remember this rule of thumb: as we become older, our protein intake needs to increase proportionally. In a single serve, you won’t be able to absorb more than 20-30g of protein. Women have an even lower rate of absorption.

Can you take protein supplements even if you aren't working out?

Protein isn't just for bodybuilders. And you do not need to grind at the gym for integrating protein into your diets. It actually is better for your body to avoid sugary foods and choose protein-rich alternatives instead.

We all love sugary donuts, but if given up for protein, you'll feel the difference in levels of energy and alertness . It also has the added benefit being healthier.

How do you avoid bloating from protein supplements?

Protein supplements are disliked universally by women as they cause bloating. Images of yourself looking swollen and distended before a party is not pretty. But why does this happen? When you're stressed, your digestive system receives less blood flow. Blood is drawn out from the gut after an exercise which can cause inflammation and bloating.

Bloating is also caused by slumping over when seated. Proteins with high fibre content can help with this dilemma. Despite what we know about the link between protein and muscle growth, scientists have only recently begun to determine how much protein should be consumed, what types (animal or plant), when (morning or evening), and how we should consume it.

How much protein should you consume for general health?

Women require approximately 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So, if you weigh 65 kilograms, you need to consume 45-50 grams of protein every day. Men require more protein (about 0.85 grams per kilogram of body weight) than women. If muscle gain is what you’re aiming for, choose 2 grams per kilogram.

Remember that you don't have to eat it all at once; in fact, it is advocated that you spread it over the course of the day. The downside of not having enough protein is that your muscles can degrade, you'll feel hungrier and your hair and nails will grow brittle. People with significant protein deficiency may face dire health problems. Consider consulting a licensed dietitian, naturopath, or nutritionist if you're concerned you're not getting enough protein.

With that, I wish you a healthy, vibrant day ahead!