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Protein


pro·tein

/ˈprōˌtēn/ noun

: any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds that consist of large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, collagen, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.


A lot of people tend to think protein isn't necessarily important if you are not an athlete. That couldn't be further from the truth. While athletes need to consume more protein than an average person, it is still an essential macronutrient everyone needs to be mindful of eating.



Why?


Protein is essential in building and repairing tissues. After a workout, after surgery, after an injury, protein is essential in building your body back to "normal" after all of these things. Without eating enough you will find yourself sore longer, injured longer, and possibly still recovering from surgery for much longer than necessary.


Protein is essential to make enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in your body. Protein can effect your thyroid, insulin, and hormone productions. Insulin and human growth hormone are two commonly known hormones that protein can effect.


Protein is essential in maintaining strong hair, nails, bones and muscles. Without consuming enough of this vital macronutrient, you are putting your entire body in a compromised position.




Quantity


Now you can see why it is important to be mindful of eating protein, how much?


On average, consuming 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is sufficient. Athletes or someone looking to increase muscle mass are recommended to consume closer to 1 - 1.1 grams per pound.


How


There is no complicated answer to this. Eat More. It's simple, but not always easy. Being mindful of what you eat and sneaking in protein sources in each meal is key. Also not waiting until late in the day to decide to up your intake. Here are a few sources of protein that are easy to add to your diet.


-Collagen coffee creamer can contain up to 10g of protein per serving


-Adding chia and flax seeds to salads or greek yogurt. Chia seeds are also a great source of Omega-3's.


-Greek yogurt


-Broccoli is a vegetable that has a significant amount of protein per calorie, and you can always afford to eat more vegetables.


-Additional servings per meal of things like chicken breast, egg whites and other lean proteins are always my favorite options.



As always, health, wellness and fitness are more than just the food you eat. However, you must being mindful of what you are eating to achieve your goals.


What are your favorite ways to sneak extra protein into your diet?

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