Eat More Protein

proteinProteins are an essential nutrient and can be broken down into 20 building blocks known as ‘amino acids’.

Out of these 20 amino acids, nine are considered essential, as the body cannot synthesise its own, meaning we must obtain these from animal and plant sources.

The other 11 aminos are nonessential, as they can be synthesised by the body.

Within the 9 essential amino acids, there are three branch chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine. They do not require metabolising by the liver, and are therefore taken up directly by the body. These three aminos are the most important for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue.

Of the three, leucine has shown to be the most effective amino at stimulating protein synthesis (the process of building muscle protein and therefore growth), yet the three work better together to provide a host of benefits and even boost energy during workouts.

Studies show that BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acid) supplementation alone can blunt the catabolic hormone cortisol (think stress) and decrease delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Essentially, these amino acids alone will add lean muscle to your body and aid recovery from your daily tasks and workouts. But there are a ton of other reasons why protein is so important in our daily diets.

Let me give you the whole picture.

I’ve mentioned that tissue growth and maintenance are primary functions of protein, as they provide the building materials (amino acids) for growth and repair. That makes them vital for forming skin, nails, hair, bones, organs, tendons and of course muscles. But protein also plays a regulatory role in the body, managing enzymes, hormones, antibodies, fluid balance and nutrient transportation.

Lastly, if the body really needs to, it can use protein to provide the calories it needs to meet the body’s energy needs. It’s clear that protein has a ton of important functions outside of just making your muscles look good.

Note that you can also get quality protein from plant based foods too, so remember to include plenty of those too.

LEAN PROTEIN CHART

Meats:
Turkey breast
Chicken Breast
Ground beef (5% fat)
Pork chops (boneless)
Venison
Bison

Fish & Seafood :
Salmon
Tuna
Cod
Halibut

Dairy:

Greek yogurt
Cottage cheese
Swiss cheese
Eggs
Soy milk

Vegetarian:
Tofu
Soy
Tempeh
Edamame
Nuts
Peanut butter
Quinoa
Lentils
Navy beans
Quorn

Protein Powders too!