Almond milk is a highly versatile and nourishing alternative milk, rich in vitamin E and healthy fats. Picture from Pinterest

The right amount of protein intake always goes hand-in-hand with a strict fitness regime to remain hale and hearty, suggest experts.

Losing out on the required protein intake leads to a number of adverse effects, including muscle breakdown, weakness, fatigue and premature hair loss. In fact, the increasing incidence of many of the physical issues in our country, such as muscle loss, low immunity and body soreness can also be attributed to low protein intake.

Niti Desai, Consultant Nutritionist, says protein deficiency often leads to an early onslaught of sarcopenia, or more simply, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength due to ageing.

"Protein is the glue that holds our muscles and tissues together, and people who fail to take adequate protein, are bound to suffer from sarcopenia. The best way to combat sarcopenia is by making sure your body gets its ideal intake of protein," she said.

According to Desai, the recommended dietary intake (RDA) for protein for Indians is 1 gm per kg body weight.

"A person weighing 60 kg will require 60 gm of protein on a daily basis. Vegetarians, especially, have limited options for protein-rich food like soya, cereals and pulses. Since increased soy intake has poor acceptance in our country and has controversial health implications, milk protein can be an important source of first class protein, when one is trying to increase protein intake," she added.

Shivoham, Fitness Trainer and Brand Ambassador at Avvatar Whey Protein, a product of Parag Milk Foods, shared insights on how milk protein has two components: whey and casein.

"Whey protein has the benefit of being absorbed faster in the body, and can supplement and augment protein synthesis. The golden window where protein intake is most beneficial is 45 minutes after a workout, as that is when our bodies absorb protein the fastest. For that purpose, consuming easily digestible protein sources like whey would be ideal," Shivoham said.

Adding whey to daily meals can help. "It is easy to give a protein twist to your daily meal by replacing your morning cup of tea or coffee with a healthy smoothie or a milkshake containing fruits, yoghurt/milk and whey. Whey protein powder is great to mix into such shakes, or taken alongside your traditional breakfast of idlis or oats or for the really time strapped, to be carried in a shaker to consume on the way to work," he said.

IANS