It’s time to become even healthier this year, and if you’re planning to get in shape, you need to start focusing on your diet! With a nutrient-rich diet, you have more energy to workout and continue with your day, looking and feeling amazing. Furthermore, it helps you lose and maintain weight for better health and muscle.
That’s where consuming protein comes along, which helps you build muscle mass and strength. But why exactly do you need protein and how much of it do you need? Read on as I talk about protein and its importance in ALL our diets!
How Does Protein Work and Why Do We Need It?
Do you need to have protein over fats and carbohydrates? NO, you don’t! However, protein is an extremely important part of our diet, which is made of amino acids. These are what help and cause reactions and process in our bodies.
When we exercise and weight train, you’ll be creating tiny micro-tears in the muscles. When you consume protein, the body breaks it down and uses these amino acids, repairing the tears. The amino acids will surround and fill the tear, making your muscles bigger and stronger.
But protein isn’t just for weightlifters, EVERYONE needs it! Protein is an essential component in all our body cells. Our nails and hair are made of protein, our entire body uses it for building and repairing tissues. We even use protein to create hormones, enzymes, among other body chemicals!
We need protein because this is THE building block for our bones, muscles, skin, blood, and cartilage. T can also help maintain fluid balanced build antibodies tonight against scar formation, infection, blood clotting, and more.
The reason why we need to consume more of this is because our bodies don’t store protein and has no reservoir a day, which is why proper protein consumption is important.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
Take note that while protein is crucial for our bodies, we shouldn’t over consume it. If you add too much protein, it can stress your bodily systems, especially if you don’t add in more calories or exercise to the diet. It can also increase the risk of kidney stones and gaining weight from more fat than muscle.
The right amount of protein for those who exercise regularly is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. Athletes and those who workout even more intensely require more protein. Furthermore, your protein intake should be about 15% of one’s total daily caloric intake.
The exact amount of protein required depends on more factors such as your age, gender, activity levels, among others. It’s best that you get yourself checked with a nutritionist for your necessary caloric and macro intake.
Make sure that you spread out your protein intake rather than taking it in all from one meal. Ideally, you’ll want to consume protein after a heavy workout to help repair your muscles.
Where Do I Get Protein?
You’re able to get protein from many sources, from protein shakes, Botanika Blends supplements, and the like. However, it’s best to take in whole foods with naturally-occurring nutrients, such as:
- Fish provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They also have less fat compared to other meats
- Poultry from chicken are healthier and lower in calories. You can remove saturated fat by consuming lean chicken rather than the skin. Eggs are also a great source of protein!
- Beans are a great source of vegetable protein if you’re unable to consume meat. They also have fiber to keep you satiated for longer
- Nuts such as almonds can provide up to six grams of protein per ounce. That’s as much protein as an ounce of steak!
- Whole grains such as a slice of whole wheat bread can provide fiber and up to three grams of protein
- Plant-based foods such as soy and legumes are also healthy protein sources
As for snacks, I recommend healthy pre-workout snacks such as a rice cake with peanut butter. You can also opt for greek yogurt and a banana!
Wrapping It Up
We see everyone bulking up on protein thinking that it can help bulk up the biceps. While it does build muscle and strength, it doesn’t do as much if you don’t pair it with proper diet and exercise! As long as you eat the adequate amount of protein, your body stays strong and healthy, from your hair down to your nails.
I hope that this article on the importance of protein helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and start incorporating the necessary amount of protein into your diet now!
If you have any questions or want to share more of how important protein is, do comment below, all your thoughts are much appreciated!