Hello my fitness friends. I wanted to do a post on protein. As I stated in the metabolism post, I need to eat more protein than carbs due to having a fast oxidizing metabolism. Every time I go to the vitamin store there is some new protein on sale. There is soy protein, whey protein, pea protein, and the list could go on and on….so I decided to write a post on protein.
Why do we need protein?
Protein is essential for muscle growth, repair, and even our hair is composed of protein. If we do not eat enough protein our bodies begin to break down our muscles to meet the bodies needs. If we are training hard, we need protein. If we are not training hard, we need still need protein. Our bodies benefit from the amino acids that are contained in protein. “Protein is a macro nutrient composed of amino acids that is necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body. While the body can manufacture several amino acids required for protein production, a set of essential amino acids needs to be obtained from animal and/or vegetable protein sources…The current recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein is 46 grams for women aged 19-70 and 56 grams for men aged 19-70...,” Healthaliciousness.com.
Some benefits of protein?
Protein not only helps with muscle growth and repair, it helps you get more out of your workout. “Your muscles are like sponges for 30 to 45 minutes right after exercise, whether you’ve done cardio or strength training,” John Ivy, Ph D. “Consuming protein after a workout can help with muscle soreness and increase lean muscle mass,” Fitness Magazine.
Protein helps keep blood sugar stable. Protein does not cause spikes in blood sugar. Protein rich diets are successful because they help maintain stable blood sugar. They are also effective because the body likes carbs for fuel, see the notes below on weight loss.
Protein may help with weight loss. For those with fast oxidizing metabolisms, eating protein with every meal helps the body not to store the unused carbohydrates as fat. When carbs are depleted from the diet, the body begins to use stored fat for fuel. I don’t recommend protein only diets. There are many complications that can come from only eating protein. Carbs are not the enemy. The goal is to eat good carbs, low glycemic carbs, and healthy proteins.
Protein helps fight off the hunger. It takes the body longer to break down proteins than other food sources. I’d prefer people ate more fiber, but healthy protein choices are good.
Good Choices of Proteins:
- Lean Turkey
- Organic Chicken
- Organic/Free Range Eggs
- Lean Cuts of Beef (in moderation-Grass Fed the best)
- Wild Salmon
- Greek Yogurt
- Non-fat/low fat dairy (in moderation-hormone free the best)
- Peanut Butter
- Almonds and/or almond butter
- Other nuts: Pumpkin, Squash, and Watermelon Seeds, Peanuts
You notice I did not put protein shakes on the list. I have not done enough research on them to post about them. There are many options on the list I provided. Some of them have a higher fat content so don’t eat an entire jar of peanut butter or almond butter. Almonds are wonderful, yet we can’t eat them like candy. They are good for us in moderation. No matter the choice of protein, moderation is still key.