Most people associate proteins with bodybuilders, who eat more meat and drink protein shakes to improve their physique. However, protein is not only beneficial to them, but it is valuable to everyone, whether you are an athlete, runner, hiker, gym-goer, or simply enjoy playing or doing other forms of daily activities.
Aside from water and fat, almost every cell in the body is made up of protein. Proteins are large, complex molecules that play numerous roles in the human body. They are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, and they perform the majority of the work in cells. It is also a key macronutrient that the body uses as a building block.
So, yes, protein is necessary to include in your diet!
Where do we get proteins?
Meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans provide protein in our diet. Animal products, such as meat, eggs, and milk, are complete proteins. This means that they supply all of the amino acids that the body is unable to produce on its own, thus this provides the highest-quality protein sources.
On the other hand, most plant proteins are incomplete, which means they lack at least one essential amino acid. To get all of the amino acids your body requires, you should eat a variety of plant proteins every day if you are not going to eat animal products.
Why is it important?
If you exercise but have low energy or do not feel like you are building muscle, it could be due to a lack of protein in your diet.
Anyone who engages in any form of exercise will undoubtedly require more protein than anyone who does not. This is due to the fact that when you exercise, you are effectively tearing and breaking muscle fibers apart, which then requires repair by the body – necessarily involving the use of protein.
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, high-protein diets are commonly associated with muscle hypertrophy and strength, but they’ve also been recommended for weight loss and recovery from strenuous exercise or injuries.
Protein is the primary component of muscles, bones, organs, skin, and nails. And muscles are approximately 80% protein, excluding water, making this nutrient particularly important for athletes or people who exercise.
Consumption of high-protein foods has significant benefits, including lowering the risk of several diseases, building lean muscle,improving post-exercise recovery, weight control as well as suppressing hunger.
How much protein do I need?
The amount you require is determined by your age, gender, health, and level of physical activity. The average person needs about .7-1 grams of protein every day per pound of lean body weight (talk to one of our coaches if you want to know what this number is, specifically, for you!). Though protein is found in an abundance of foods, many people still fail to get enough.
Athletes who eat enough protein tend to supplement their nutrition with healthy protein shakes as a way of increasing the amount of high-quality complex protein that their body receives. They also try to ensure that every meal has a healthy serving of protein in it to help spread the daily needs out throughout the day.
Keep in mind that our body needs protein to stay healthy and work the way it should, so make sure to include protein in every meal. A healthy diet is essential for good health!
If you would like to learn more about individual nutrition coaching through Southpaw Nutrition Coaching, please contact us today and indicate your interest in learning about nutrition!