I am not a registered dietitian but I have played around with my personal nutrition quite a bit over my 15 year fitness journey. If there is any information that I would give my younger self it would be to always hit my protein goal…here is a little insight about protein.
Protein is a crucial micronutrient that is essential for the body to function properly. It is responsible for building, repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting the immune system. Throughout this blog we will discuss the following topics:
- Importance of protein
- How much protein is necessary
- List a proteins that you can eat
- How protein supports muscle building, fat loss and overall performance
Why is protein important?
- Building and repairing tissues: Protein is the building blocks of our body. Protein is important for our body tissues, muscle, bones and hair. When protein is consumed it is broken down into amino acids which are then used to repair & rebuild our damaged tissues.
- Enzymes and hormones: Protein is responsible for producing both and regulating various bodily functions such as metabolism, digestion and immune system regulation.
- Immune system: Protein plays a crucial role in our immune system function specifically producing antibodies that help protect us against infections and disease.
How much protein is necessary?
The amount of protein required for each individual varies depending on age, gender, weight, goals and activity level. The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for protein in 0.8 gram/kg of body weight for adults. However, athletes, bodybuilders, and highly active individuals may require greater amounts of protein to support their lifestyle, muscle building and recovery.
List of proteins you can eat (not an exhaustive list)
- Meat: beef, chicken, pork
- Fish: Salmon, tuna
- Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese
- Seeds & Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, chia seeds
- Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach
- Muscle Building: Protein is essential for the rebuilding and recovery of damaged muscle after engaging in physical activity (sporting event, lifting, biking..etc). Consuming protein post workout can help speed up the recovery process to help support muscle growth.
- Fat Loss: Digesting protein requires more calories than other macros. You will burn extra calories when you digest your protein as compared to digesting your carbs. Protein curbs appetite and cravings. Including protein in every meal reduces cravings and hunger.
- Overall performance: Consuming protein can improve our energy levels, mood and cognitive function. As mentioned earlier in the article it is crucial for health because it helps repair tissues, supports muscle growth, and helps support the immune system.
Personally, I do not track my macros daily. What I have found works for me is tracking my
calories 2 per month (usually the 1st and 15th). I have my fitness pal downloaded and I will input my food for those days. This gives me a ballpark of where my calories and protein intake usually is. I generally eat the same foods, so performing this a few times a month helps hold myself in check. Like everyone I could be better, but this has worked for this thus far.
Let’s keep this wrap up simple. Protein is an essential macronutrient and you should be eating it.
Owner – CM1 Performance