What is Protein?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients which also include Fats and Carbs. More specifically, protein is the macronutrient that is responsible for tissue repair, cell structure and function, and more. Protein can help transform your body with both muscle gain and weight loss. To dive a little bit deeper, protein is made up of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids that makeup protein found in the human body and of those 20 amino acids 9 are considered essential (can’t be made by your body so must be taken in via diet) and 11 nonessential (can be made in the body).
Protein for muscle gain.
Resistance training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and CrossFit all increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS). MPS is essentially your body providing protein to the muscles that were broken down during resistance training. Without MPS your body would never recover from training. In order to optimize your MPS, it’s important to ensure your body is regularly taking in protein. The recommended daily protein intake is around 1g per 1lb of body weight.
Protein for weight loss.
In order to lose weight, one must be in a caloric deficit. With that being said, the number of calories you burn throughout the day can help you achieve a caloric deficit. What makes up a majority of your calories burned throughout the day would be your BMR (basal metabolic rate), next is your NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis), followed by your TEF (Thermic Effect of food), and lastly your EAT (exercise activity thermogenesis). Having a larger intake of protein can help increase your TEF which in return will help your body burn more calories throughout the day (this will only equate to a small difference in calories). A higher protein diet can also help you feel full throughout the day.
Increasing your protein intake can help you recover from training, increase muscle mass via MPS, increase your TEF, and cause you to feel more satisfied and not overeat other macros. My favorite sources of protein are – Grilled Chicken, Lean beef, Tuna fish, Greek Yogurt, and Whey Protein. If you need help figuring out other healthy protein options, set up a free my healthy plate consultation for some assistance!
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