When and How to Take Protein for the Best Effects
One of the fundamental building blocks for muscle growth, metabolism and achieving the correct amount of nutrients in your body is protein. Though we understand that protein comes from meat, there can be a beneficial timing in your weight loss journey to incorporate protein at certain times and after specific activities. Let’s dive into what protein is and how you can utilize it effectively to achieve the body you want.
What is protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that pairs with fats and carbs, to be one of the most fundamental nutrients in your body. Protein builds muscle mass and is commonly found in meats, nuts and legumes.
Each gram of protein consists of four calories and protein makes up about 15 percent of your body weight. Proteins are composed of amino acids which are the building blocks of a strand of protein, there are supplements that solely replenish aminos to ensure your protein build up is correct.
“When protein is broken down in the body it helps to fuel muscle mass, which helps metabolism. It also helps the immune system stay strong. It helps you stay full. A lot of research has shown that protein has satiety effects,” said registered dietician, Jessica Crandall of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Protein is a valuable part of your diet and should be prioritized, so let’s jump into the when and why of protein.
When should you eat protein?
Protien is best incorporated in the mornings, after a workout and before bed. You want to make sure your muscles always have protein sources to feed off of so they continue to grow. Similarly, to ensuring you are hydrated throughout the day, it is necessary to have protein added in most meals.
After a workout may be the most beneficial time to eat protein, this is when your muscles are most depleted and need that extra boost for growth. Consuming protein post workout allows your muscles to heal quicker and grow faster. The more muscle you have the better your metabolism works and the leaner you will be.
Protein is valuable for your overall health and well-being. It builds and repairs tissue, helps regulate hormones and is one of the most valuable building blocks to you skin, muscles and bones.
If you are looking to lose weight, use protein as a weapon to help get the most out of your workouts. It may be beneficial to invest in a protein powder so you have easy access to a good source of this nutrient even when you are on the go.
How to incorporate protein in your diet
There are many food options to add to your diet to be sure you are receiving adequate amounts of protein. We have given you a list of our favorite sources, so you can be sure to build muscle and have the awareness around protein intake. Be sure to have atleast one of these sources at every meal.
Meat, as we discussed, has the most protein per gram, here are our top options to add to your diet:
· Lean ground beef
· chicken breast
· Turkey breast
· Sockeye salmon
· Yellowfin tuna
Listed below are the most high-protein dairy options:
· Greek yogurt
· Cottage cheese
· 2 percent milk
Here are our favorite plant based protein foods, if meat is not a favorite option for you or you prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet then add some of these:
· Beans (black, chick pea)
· Peanut butter
· Mixed nuts
· Soba noodles
Eat your Protein!
The Institute of Medicine recommends 10 to 35 percent of your diet come from protein, depending on your activity and your body type. Listen to your body to understand what protein source is most valuable for you and how you can incorporate it daily in your diet. Let us know how you best incorporate protein into your daily life.