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A Beginner's Guide to Protein

Finnegan Pierson Jan 17, 2020
Protein is an essential macronutrient. Find out more about one of the most talked-about supplements in the health and fitness industry and why so many people attribute it to achieving their body goals.
If you’re kick-starting a health regimen, you might have a gym routine all set, but what about diet? While exercise is important, what you put into your body plays a more vital role. Everyone’s diet is made up of three macronutrients: fats, protein and carbohydrates. A macronutrient is something your body needs a large amount of to function properly.
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. However, unlike fats and carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store protein, so you have to consume it regularly to keep your levels up. Find out more about one of the most talked-about supplements in the health and fitness industry and why so many people attribute it to achieving their body goals.

What is Protein?

Protein forms the building blocks of your body. It repairs cells and creates new ones. Protein itself is made up of 20 different amino acids. Your body makes non-essential amino acids, but you have to find essential amino acids from other sources, such as supplements.
They’re joined together in chains, and what protein they create depends on the amino makeup and chain length. Different types of proteins have different functions. For example, keratin supports hair and nails, while hemoglobin transports oxygen around the body.

Does Protein Help With Weight Loss?

Protein is excellent for weight loss. It produces more of satiation hormone and reduces hunger hormone ghrelin, which is why high-protein diets make you feel fuller for longer, reducing calorie intake.
Protein also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which prevents late-night snacking and afternoon sugar crashes, and its high thermic effect increases metabolism because the body has to use more calories to digest and absorb its nutrients.

Does Protein Help With Mental Health?

Some food and nutrients contribute to positive mental health. One protein, tryptophan, is used to create serotonin, also known as the “feel-good” hormone because it helps with feelings of happiness and well-being. You can boost tryptophan levels by eating more tuna, chickpeas and turkey.

Does Protein Make You Stronger?

Protein builds muscles, bones, skin and cartilage. You can significantly increase muscle growth by combining a weight-training exercise regimen with a high-protein diet. This also helps ensure muscle mass isn’t affected while burning calories – for best results, you should consume a protein source immediately after exercise.
Bones become stronger too because it helps bodies absorb more calcium and may even repair bone loss. Following a high-protein diet has proved to be particularly beneficial to seniors and women who are more at risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

How Can You Include More Protein in Your Diet?

Lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey, and lean beef are some of the more popular meal components. Dairy is an excellent all-rounder, and cottage cheese, milk and Greek yogurt are all low in carbohydrates and calories.
If you’re vegetarian, boost your diet with eggs and protein-rich nuts and vegetables, such as broccoli, peanuts, almonds and brussels sprouts. However, there are other ways to super-charge your protein intake. An isolate protein supplement is refined to remove excess gluten, calories, lactose and fat, which makes it easier for the body to process.
It significantly boosts levels without adding excess calories. Taking an amino acid supplement ensures you have a plentiful supply of essential amino acids to build proteins with.

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

Many people think that, because protein is so beneficial to your health and body makeup, they need to eat as much as they can. That’s not true. An adult man needs around 56 grams per day, and an average woman needs 46 grams.
However, these are the guideline amounts for someone living a sedentary lifestyle. The more you exercise, the more protein you should consume. A useful guide to follow is that protein should form at least 10% of your daily calories and not more than 35%. Add a high-quality protein source to your diet and become a stronger, healthier, leaner You.