Good Sources Of Protein
Good sources of protein can help people lose weight, build muscle, and maintain high fitness levels for athletes. It’s important to know the difference between good and bad sources of protein. But don’t be fooled: Many foods are labeled as “High Protein” with dangerous amounts of sugar, fat, and chemical preservatives. Learn how to recognize good sources of protein to increase protein synthesis in athletes or lose unwanted weight.
The human body is composed of 16% protein; and almost half is muscle. Protein is constantly being broken down and rebuilt by your body by a process called protein synthesis. The more you use your muscles, the more you need to replace the protein that is being used. Your body needs all 20 amino acids to properly build muscle, and nine of these are considered “essential amino acids” because they must be supplied by food alone.
Animal proteins contain all nine essential amino acids but most plant-based foods lack one or more of these essential amino acids. Only soy contains all nine. Vegan diets must combine protein products to ensure they include all essential amino acids.
Protein is able to reduce fat while preserving muscle mass and also maintaining energy stores by increasing satiety (full feeling). Of all the macro-nutrients, protein increases hormones responsible for triggering your body’s satiety, making it easier to push away from the dinner table. Carbohydrates only perpetuate your hunger making it hard to diet. Adding good sources of protein to your diet makes losing weight more enjoyable, and without going hungry.
Digesting protein is more difficult than carbs. It actually takes 25% more energy to digest protein making your body work harder and in turn burning more calories just to aid in digestion. That’s a win/win.
The more protein you eat, the less carbs and fat you eat. It’s that simple. Making better choices in your proportions of protein can help you avoid those high glycemic carbs and dense fats.
It’s recommended to eat between .8g-1.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight. The more active you are, the more protein you need. A sedentary person needs only .8g/kg, and an active person needs closer to 1.2g/kg. Athletes need more depending on how much resistance training is involved. Most research agrees that even the most dedicated athletes need no more than 2g/kg. Any more than that is risking kidney damage and a myriad of other complications.
Protein needs to be consumed in regular intervals during the day. The most important time to eat protein is immediately after exercise. It’s recommended to eat 15-30 grams of good quality protein in the first hour after you finish a hard workout. Research has shown that protein synthesis raises considerably with a balanced meal after exercise.
Some examples of good sources of protein include: Milk, Lean Meat, Beans, Eggs, Nuts, and Yogurt. Protein powders can also be helpful but beware of excess sugar and chemical preservatives.