Why is Protein Important?

3
Apr

Why is Protein Important?

In our CF7C 1-on-1 Nutrition coaching you will often hear us stress the important of getting enough protein in your diet. Often we hear “that’s too much food” or “I can’t eat that much”, but here’s why it is crucial to consume adequate amounts of protein every day.

What is Protein?

Protein is an ESSENTIAL macronutrient. Our body doesn’t make it which means we have to EAT it! Our body is constantly breaking down and building new proteins which means that protein is essential to our nutrition intake! 

Protein is made up of amino acids which help to synthesize new hormones and digestive enzymes. It is important to get a variety of quality protein sources to ensure we get a variety of amino acids. The reason we need a variety of sources is because our body cannot make 8 of the essential amino acids required from food (there are also 12 nonessential amino acids, but our body can make those).  

Protein also takes longer to digest which makes it a very satiating (meaning we feel full) macronutrient. This can help to curb hunger and cravings when on a diet. Protein has a high Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) so we do burn some calories in order to digest protein.

Why you should care about eating Protein?

Protein intake is essential for muscle recovery and tissue repair. The more active you are, the more protein you will need. Other things like illness, a physical job, recovering from surgery, or intense physical training can increase protein requirements.

The body doesn’t store protein like it does with carbs and fat which means we need to constantly be fueling our body with high quality protein sources. We want to preserve and maintain the muscle we have.

How we approach Coaching Nutrition

Typically we start with overall calorie intake first. From there, the first macronutrient calculated is protein. Typically, anywhere from 0.7-1.2 grams/pound of body weight (higher end for those individuals trying to build muscle). This varies from individual to individual based on age, body size, dietary preferences, and needs/goals.

Quality sources of protein include:

Lean cuts of beef, lean pork, wild game (venison, elk, bison)

Poultry: turkey, chicken, eggs, egg whites

Fish/seafood

Dairy: greek yogurt, cottage cheese

Whey protein, casein protein (to be used to SUPPLEMENT whole food protein sources)

Takeaways:

1. Adequate protein intake is necessary for muscle recovery and tissue repair.

2. Eating enough protein keeps us feeling full and can help to curb hunger and cravings.

3. Ensure you are eating a variety of high quality protein sources so that you’re taking in a variety of amino acids.

Need help with your nutrition? Did you know we offer 1-on-1 nutrition coaching for our CF7C members? We work with tons of clients just like you to help them get a better understanding of their Nutrition. We help them develop better eating habits and help them fuel their bodies to perform the best they can both inside and outside the gym.

Click HERE to get more information on this amazing Program. We currently only have a few spots available.

Written by:

Coach Megan Smith