Hey Fitstudios fam, Coach Shannon here to give you information on protein and why it is so important for the human body.
What are proteins?
Protein is an essential macronutrient, it is essential because we physically cannot live without it. Our body needs protein to function and to keep us alive. Its building blocks (or smallest levels) are amino acids. Our bodies are made up of thousands of different proteins, each with a specific function. They make up the structural components of our cells and tissues. These body proteins are continually being repaired and replaced (called protein synthesis). This process requires a continuous supply of amino acids which means we must eat dietary protein to keep up with our body’s amino acid demand.
What do proteins do for the body?
Protein intake is essential for cell and tissue growth, for moving essential molecules around the body, for supporting immune function, to support muscle contraction and movement, and so on. Because of this, it is particularly important to consume adequate protein during times of rapid growth or increased demands on the body such as weight training, childhood, adolescence, old age, and pregnancy. Protein helps preserve and build lean muscle mass.
Here is a list of foods that are a great source of protein:
- ⁃ Chicken
- ⁃ Turkey
- ⁃ Eggs
- ⁃ Low fat cottage cheese
- ⁃ Greek yogurt
- ⁃ Fish (white, salmon, shrimp, scallops)
- ⁃ Lean beef
- ⁃ Whole milk
- ⁃ Cheese
- ⁃ Beans and lentils
- ⁃ Tofu
- ⁃ Protein powder and bars
- ⁃ Cooked quinoa
How much protein should you eat?
Since protein is essential it is important to consume every day.
There are a lot of factors to consider such as:
- ⁃ Overall caloric intake
- ⁃ Whether or not you are resistance training
- ⁃ Body weight and composition
- ⁃ Biological age
However, the Dietary Reference Values for protein are 0.8-1g/lb of body weight. So, if you are 150lbs, you should be eating anywhere from 120-150g of protein per day. This number will vary depending on the above factors and your goals. The more physically active you are, the more protein you will need.
Tips for increased protein consumption:
- ⁃ Eat protein with EVERY meal
- ⁃ When eating a meal, eat your protein FIRST. Protein is very satiating, which means it will keep you full longer. This will help fill you up before you get to your carbs and fats.
- ⁃ Add a protein shake, this will guarantee you 20-30g of protein.
- ⁃ Meal prep your protein! This will ensure you have it ready for the week!
And that’s all from me, eat your protein and lift your weights!
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