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25 Days of Fitness Day 7: Why Protein is Important

December 9, 2016

So you’ve been getting after it this holiday season – and that is awesome! It does feel pretty amazing finishing up a sweat sesh especially when the chaos of the holiday season can easily creep into our day-to-day lives.

 

Last night I mentioned the importance of taking some notes on our workouts. And this is important because if we don’t know where we are starting and where we are going, we could end up in the same place in a few weeks, months, or a year from now.

 

Coupling this principle is nutrition, and today specifically I am going to talk about protein. Why protein? Protein is the source for amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. And muscle is the precious tissue that gives us strength, function, healthy bodies, improved metabolic rate, I could go on and on!

 

Ensuring we have enough protein in our diets will promote muscle protein synthesis, commonly known as muscle building. Why is this good? Because it will help us improve our body composition – meaning more lean tissue mass and less fat mass. Protein will not make us get BIG, but it will help us get lean when we are active in a fitness regimen.

 

Protein is also important to consume around a workout, especially after a strength training workout because it provides the body with the amino acids to rebuild the muscle fibers that were just broken down during the workout. Ideally, consuming protein and carbohydrate after a workout in a 1:3 ratio is best, the carbohydrates help shuttle the amino acids into the muscles. Whey protein is a great option to consume after a workout as it is absorbed quickly.

 

So just how much protein? This is going to vary a bit based on your goals. The RDA is 0.8 g/kg but I usually recommend for those training to go within a range 1.0-1.5g/kg and this is supported by the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

 

So what are some good sources of protein?

 

I like sticking to the basics:

- egg whites

- lean read meat

- fish

- chicken

- protein powder

 

I prefer whey protein after a workout and casein at night as it is slower to digest. So a typical day of protein might look like this in terms of protein:

 

Breakfast: Egg white omelette or protein powder mixed in oats or protein pancakes

 

Lunch: Chicken or Lunch Meat

 

Snack: Protein Pudding (made from protein powder, almond milk and sometimes nut butter) or Protein Bar (I love Quest, Oh Yeah, ThinkThin, Muscle Pharm and PureProtein – I don’t discriminate – if it tastes good and has a good profile I will eat it ;)

 

Dinner: ground turkey or fish

 

Bed Time Snack: Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese or Protein Pudding

 

Again this is just a snap shot – I change things up but aim to get protein in at every meal.

 

I hope you have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for Day 8!

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