this article we are going to discuss protein, how it benefits us, and good
sources. First, why is protein even important? How does protein intake affect
our performance and our recovery? And how are some sources different than
others in regard to complete & incomplete protein? Let's take a look.
First, protein is responsible for the building, maintaining,
and repairing of muscle tissue. When you work out, you are breaking down your
muscles and creating micro-tears within your muscles. For the muscles to
recover, you need sufficient rest and protein for the muscles to repair
themselves. Once the muscles have repaired themselves that's where the
adaptation for strength endurance and fitness come in.
In regard to sourcing protein, most optimal sources will have
better ratios of amino acids, and adequate amounts of branched chain amino
acids. If you are looking for fast, and easily absorbed protein, the best
source, and the golden standard, is whey protein isolate. I always recommend
to my clients ingesting whey protein isolate following a workout. Reason
being, it's very easily and readily absorbed by the muscles, whereas food
sources take a while to break down, liquefy, digest and absorb.
Optimal food sources of protein include eggs, chicken, fish,
beef, legumes, turkey, cottage cheese, just to name a few. Now what is highly
debated is how much protein is required. Depending on what you read, there are
varying opinions in regards to protein intake. However, using, common sense, I
believe it is valid to argue that athletes and people who train intensely
require a larger amount of protein intake than the average person. For
athletes, or fitness enthusiasts, I typically recommend one gram of protein
per pound body weight. I recommend dividing this amount of protein in small
meals throughout the day, roughly every 2 to 3 hours. That way you can be
certain that you are getting amino acids delivered to the recovering muscles
constantly throughout the day.
Finally, I always recommend keeping a food journal where you
document your protein intake and protein sources. That way you can get a good
idea of how you perform utilizing different type of protein sources. The more
detailed you can be the better.
I hope this information helps, and as always, I wish you the
best of luck in achieving your goals.