Protein: Separating Fact from Fiction


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Maybe it’s time to reach your fitness goals once and for all, or perhaps you’re just trying to maintain a healthy body. If your wellness goals include losing weight, building lean muscle mass is the best way to keep a strong and healthy body that will be prepared for any and all of life’s challenges. Getting enough protein in your diet is an important first step.

What is protein?
There are 20 amino acids that are created by our bodies or ingested through the food we consume.  When the combination of all twenty essential, non-essential and semi-essential amino acids are consumed or created internally, a complete protein is produced which aids in the growth and repair of lean muscle. This process is also responsible for repairing tissue (or aiding in a quicker muscle recovery after it is torn down during a workout or injury), and building a strong whole-body capable of everything from daily activities to intense athletic performance.

On average, we require at least 40 – 60 grams of complete protein daily from food sources while our bodies make about 300 grams of protein every day naturally. Here is a general guideline by age group.

18 and under: Children and teenagers should consult a health care professional like a Dietitian or Medical Doctor to make this determination.

50+: This age group requires higher amounts of protein because people tend to lose muscle mass at a faster rate as they age. The minimum is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men. Active individuals should be sure to consume closer to 1 gram/lb of body weight per day.

Everyone in-between: Everybody else should aim for a minimum of 40-60 grams of protein per day. Those with ambitious fitness goals who wish to build lean muscle can consume close to 1-1.25 grams per pound of lean body mass per day. **

**Too much protein can be hard on your kidneys, so be sure to consume in moderation and always drink plenty of water to help your body process and digest.

Getting enough protein
The average person consumes 2-3 meals per day.  However, to consume the necessary amounts of nutrients to keep our bodies performing properly, eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day that contain a lean protein source can keep your body’s metabolism running efficiently and help prevent the body from burning muscle for fuel rather than fat.

What I recommend
I personally recommend that my clients consume any type of quality lean protein at regular meals. For example: skinless chicken breasts, lean white meat turkey, lean grass fed beef, and certain types of sustainable fish. Consuming these types of quality proteins also means you need less protein per serving than other types that may have more protein per serving, because you will not be able to break down and absorb all of it fully.

For meal replacements I use SunWarrior Vegan Protein which contains a balanced array of amino acids and when used to supplement an exercise program can aid in the building of lean muscle mass as well as recovery. Adding 1-2 servings of SunWarrior protein to your diet daily is a fast, easy, and delicious way to supplement your diet with protein and additional meals without blowing your calorie intake. It serves as a great option to complement meat and dairy based proteins in your diet.

Whatever you choose, be sure to know where your protein comes from, how it was raised and/or grown and always read labels for protein meal replacements!

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