Protein- why is this macronutrient so important?

Why do we need protein in our diets, especially when exercising – and what really is the correct amount? 

People are always asking me this so I’ve decided to write a post on it.

According to expert nutritionist Dominic Swift Some benefits of including protein in your diet:

It burns more calories: 
You body needs more energy to process protein than it does carbs, so you’ll burn more calories simply by eating. Result.
It keeps you fuller for longer:
Studies have shown protein is the most satisfying macronutrient, meaning it makes you feel fuller after eating, and less likely to fall prey to snack attacks later on.
-It preserves muscles: 
Your body needs protein to build and repair muscle cells after a workout so if you want a toned bod, you need to up your intake. Plus, the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. Win win!

So how much is enough

According to the Institute of Medicine you should aim for around 0.8 g of protein per kilo of bodyweight. So for a woman weighing 60kg, that’s about 48g of protein a day.

Where can I get protein?

Lean meat like chicken and turkey, fish like salmon and tuna or eggs, beans, legumes and quinoa if you’re veggie. You can also choose high-protein snacks, like cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, nuts and seeds. Avocado is also particularly high in protein, considering it’s a fruit and all.

Why is Protein important after exercise ?

After a workout is one of the best times to get protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles, to begin healing the “micro tears” (very small tears in the muscle tissue, caused by intense contraction of the muscle during workout) in the muscle.

And what about protein shakes? 

Because solid food takes more time to digest and to break down the protein and send it to the muscles, it can be best to take a protein shake immediately following a workout, since protein shakes only take about 30 minutes to reach the muscle after ingestion.
Definitely, we can see the advantage to taking a protein shake in this instance as it will give the body the fuel it needs to heal and grow.

The Power of Protein

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.



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