Protein plays a very pivotal role in our diet. Even if you do not go to the gym, you still need some protein to maintain your muscle mass. If you go to the gym, you need even more of it if you want to maintain, repair, and help your muscle mass grow.
Our daily needs in terms of protein intake can vary depending on weight and if we have a sedentary lifestyle or we work out.
If you work out, you need around 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. You can convert your body weight from pounds to kilograms to make an accurate estimation of how much protein you need. If you do not work out, you need around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to maintain your muscle mass.
The way our body works is that it first focuses on taking energy from the food we eat and then muscle building. When the body does that, it first uses carbs for energy, and the excess is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. If you give the body enough carbs for energy, it will use the protein for muscles.
On the other hand, if you do not provide it with enough energy in the form of carbs, it will use protein as energy. When a diet is completely lacking in carbs, the protein intake may not be sufficient which in turn will cause the body to cannibalize on its muscle fibers to create energy.
To ensure an optimal balance between carbs, fats, and proteins, active adults that go to the gym, will use protein supplements. Most of them are made out of whey from milk but there are vegan options as well. What matters the most is to get a high-quality supplement and avoid getting the cheapest.