Protein is a topic that everyone should know about, whether you are working on your health and fitness or not, because it is vital to your overall health. I’m sure you know some information on protein, but there is so much to know. This can also greatly impact any health and fitness goals you might have.
Here is an overview of everything important you should know about protein and how it can affect your goals.
Why Is Protein Important
First off, protein is a macronutrient and is composed of amino acids. Your body uses protein in a variety of different ways. It is used to build and repair tissue and plays a part in your immune response, metabolism, and to form blood cells.
Protein is also a great source of energy for your body and can replace some carbs and fat, which can help you lose weight.
I’m sure you have heard this before, but it is also the building block of muscles. That means it helps to maintain your muscles mass and even help with muscle growth.
From this, it is easy to see why protein is important and how it can affect your goals.
Now, let’s talk about some of the benefits of protein. If you aren’t sold on making sure you have enough protein every day, this should gain your attention.
These benefits are:
- Helps Prevent Breakdown Of Muscles
- Helps Repair Your Body After An Injury
- Builds And Strengthens Muscles
- Suppresses Your Hunger Hormones
- Good For Your Bones
- Helps Maintain Weight
- Can Help You Lose Weight
- Reduces High Blood Pressure
- Boosts Metabolism
- Doesn’t Harm Good Kidneys
- Helps You Stay Fit As You Age
Take a look at that list again. If you took the time to read it, you can see that all of these benefits are going to help you now, and in the future.
It is important to take note of that because isn’t that what we all really want? A long, happy, and healthy future?
You can start that today by making sure you are nourishing your body right!
How Much Is Good
Now that you know protein is important for you and the benefits you can get from it, you need to know how much protein you should be consuming each day.
The average sedentary person should consume about .36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight, or .8 grams per kg.
For example, an average intake for 150 pound person would be 54 grams of protein.
Keep in mind, the amount you exercise impacts the amount of protein you should consume. If you work out a lot, you are going to want to eat more than an average person because your muscle will need it to repair and build.
You can use an online calculator, like calculator.net/protein-calculator to help you determine how much you should be eating.
If you think this is a lot to have in a day, or don’t feel like you would be able to fit it into your diet because the numbers are high, don’t worry. We will cover high protein foods and just how much protein they contain. You will realize it won’t be as hard as it sounds.
Types Of Protein
I want to take a moment and talk about the types of protein out there.
The two main types of protein are animal and plant based.
But, as you probably already know, protein powders have become huge in the fitness industry. So, I feel it is vital that we cover them as well, so you have some information to make an informed decision. This by no means is all there is to know. Keep in mind, it is always best to do your research and consult your doctor before using supplements.
This protein comes from milk and does contain lactose. This can help build and maintain muscle mass, as well as suppress appetite. Whey protein is quickly digested, which means it is absorbed by the body at a faster rate.
This is also found in milk but it is digested and absorbed much slower than whey protein. However, it forms a gel in the stomach that delays emptying. Casein protein is steadily released into the body that helps reduce muscle breakdown.
Eggs are a great source of protein and can make you feel fuller for longer. Not only can you simply make some eggs, but you can get it in a powder as well.
Egg protein powder is usually made from the egg whites, which can impact your feeling of being full because it doesn’t have the high-fat yolk. This is easily digested by the body.
This powder is popular among vegetarians and vegans. It is also a good option for those who are allergic or sensitive to dairy or eggs.
Pea protein is made from yellow split peas, which are high in fiber and have all but one of the 9 essential amino acids. Like animal-based proteins, this protein can also increase muscle growth.
To be honest, I had no idea you could get pea protein powder. I am curious as to how it tastes, but it is something I would prefer to just eat naturally.
This is another plant-based protein powder and it contains trace amounts of THC. Not much research has been done on hemp protein, but we do know that it is high in Omegs-3’s and seems to be easily digested.
Of course, these are not the only protein powders available, but they are the most popular. Again, do your research and talk to your doctor before you start using any supplements. And keep in mind that you can get enough protein from the foods you eat, so you don’t necessarily need to use protein powder.
High Protein Foods
Finally, we need to talk about where you can find all this great protein, especially if you aren’t into the protein powder.
Here is a list of some high protein foods to keep in mind. This list can help you make sure you are getting the proper amount of protein each day. And the best part is, this is not an all-inclusive list. There are plenty of other foods out there with protein.
These are just popular high protein foods, which cover every meal as well.
Chicken: 3oz = 28g of protein
Steak: 3oz = 26g
Roasted Turkey: 3oz = 25g
Pork: 3oz = 22g
Ham: 3oz = 14g
Egg: 1 Large = 6g
Tuna: 3oz = 22g
Shrimp: 3oz = 20g
Salmon: 3oz = 22g
Pinto Beans: ½ Cup = 11g
Lentils: ½ Cup = 9g
Black Bean: ½ Cup = 8g
Red Kidney Beans: ½ Cup = 8g
Quinoa: ½ Cup = 4g
Green Peas: ½ Cup = 4g
Spinach: ½ Cup = 3g
Asparagus: 1 Cup = 4.3g
Peanuts: 1oz = 7g
Peanut Butter: 1 Tbsp = 7g
Almonds: 1oz = 6g
Cashews: 1oz = 4g
Greek Yogurt: 6oz = 18g
1% Fat Cottage Cheese: 4oz = 14g
Skim Milk: 1 Cup = 8g
Mozzarella Cheese (Part Skim): 1oz = 7g
Avocado: 1 Cup = 4g
Blackberries: 1 Cup = 2g
Oranges: 1 Cup = 1.7g
My suggestion is to go through the list and make a note of the foods you typically eat or like. That way you can make sure to add them to your diet more often and easily ensure you are getting enough protein.
And, it there is a food you really like that isn’t on this list, look it up and see how much protein is in it. Like I said, this isn’t a complete list.
Power To The Protein
We covered a lot of protein packed awesomeness in this post. If you didn’t know much about protein before, you sure do now.
Protein is important for our bodies and getting the right amount every day is going to put you in a better position for a long healthy future.
Remember, you should be getting .36g of protein for every pound of body weight (or .8g per kg). Check out a protein calculator if you want to make it easy on yourself.
And if you decide to try one of the different types of protein available, make sure you do some additional research and consult your doctor.
You can always go old school and get all the protein you need from the foods you eat. We went through a big list of high protein foods, so be sure to make a list of the foods you eat and getting your protein won’t feel like a hassle.
And if you are just starting on your health and fitness journey, check out The Starter’s Guide To Health & Fitness for more helpful information so you can be successful!