The Power of Protein - Our First Blog
**We are not doctors or medical practitioners. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist before starting and rigorous physical training or nutrition plan. This is for informational purposes only**
WHAT IS PROTEIN - IN SIMPLE TERMS?
Protein is a macronutrient containing 4 calories per gram that is responsible for building and repairing tissue and organs. Our body needs protein to function optimally. Protein is broken down into amino acids both essential (must come from food) and non essential amino acids (the body can synthesize them itself). Protein is abundant in animal products (meat, dairy, fish, eggs, whey, seafood) but can also be found in vegetarian sources as well (tofu, seitan, legumes). SCIENCE IS GREAT BUT LETS LOOK AT THE PRACTICAL REASONS WE PREACH A HIGH PROTEIN DIET!
SOME SIMPLE REASONS WHY PROTEIN IS IMPORTANT
1. PROTEIN IS FILLING AF
When we eat protein helps signal LEPTIN (aka the fullness hormone) to let the body know that is does not need more food. It is full, nourished, satisfied and satiated (fiber does this well also).
2. PROTEIN HAS A HIGH THERMAL EFFECT OF FEEDING (TEF)
While it seems complex, protein requires a lot of energy to process. What this means is your body actually burns calories processing the protein because it needs to be broken down before it can do it's job. Compared to fats and carbohydrates, protein uses 2-3x more energy to process.
3. PROTEIN REDUCES MUSCLE LOSS/WASTING & BONES
As we age our bodies naturally begin to lose muscle (think mid 30s and on). Getting adequate protein is essential to keep our hard earned muscle and to lower the risk of bone fractures & osteoporosis as we age.
4, PROTEIN IS THE NUTRITIONAL KEY TO MUSCLE GAIN & METABOLIC FUNCTION
The more muscle we have, the more energy our body requires to maintain that muscle. This means that our bodies will burn more calories at rest, making it easier to remain lean and muscular. In order to build that muscle we must train with resistance (weights) and ensure we get adequate protein in our diets to recover as quickly as possible so we can train again.
BUT HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?
This is a loaded question. The guidelines say about 45g for women and 55g for men a day. However, most sports nutrition experts will say it should be significantly higher...1g per pound of lean body mass for a more sedentary human (desk job & little exercise) and 1g per pound of body weight for someone who is active (e.g. 200g per day for a 200 lb person). In truth you should probably land somewhere in the middle of the equation. Ask a doctor or a certified coach/nutrition specialist.