Ever since this caveman chomped into his first mastodon steak, I realized the importance of protein in your diet. Protein is necessary for the building and repair of body tissues, it produces enzymes and hormones, it regulates body processes (like transporting nutrients and making muscles contract), and it prevents you from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.
So what foods contain protein? Obviously meats like chicken, fish, pork, etc. have a lot of protein. But let’s say that you’re a vegetarian (or as I used to call ’em, “herbivores”). How can you get your protein without eating meat? Foods like eggs and dairy also contain a lot of protein. If you’re a vegan, try eating foods like beans, soy, nuts, and whey are very high in protein so be sure to include more of ’em in your diet!
Okay, now that you know where to go to find protein, the question is how much protein do you need? The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) states that you should consume approximately .8 grams of protein for every 1 kilogram of body weight. So:
- Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
- Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary. Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, or you’re involved in a consistent and intense workout routine.
That equation had this caveman scratchin’ his head, so let’s see it with an example. Let’s say a 154 lb male is a regular exerciser and lifts weights and is trying to figure out how much protein he needs each day.
154 lbs/2.2 = 70kg
70kg x 1.5 = 105 gm protein/day
Now that you have a crash-course in protein and your body, the next question is – what exactly is a protein supplement? Protein supplements act in addition to your diet to help you reach your nutritional goals. Supplements are available in fluid, powder, and solid food formulations. There are also different types of protein supplements available on the market:
- Whey Protein – the most commonly used type of protein which is derived from Milk and absorbed quickly into the body
- Soy Protein – contains all essential amino acids and is a great alternative protein for vegetarians
- Egg White Protein – recognized by bodybuilders and nutritionists as the superior choice for protein supplements
So who should use protein supplements? Supplements are for people who need extra protein because their daily requirements aren’t met with their regular diets. This can apply to anyone from body builders to people who don’t eat well (live on junk food) to vegetarians and vegans.
Protein also gives you great workout and weight loss benefits. Protein plays an important role in muscle recovery and workout rebound. Extra protein means that you’ll have extra recovery and you’ll rebound extra quickly! Protein also helps with weight loss. Because protein foods are very thermogenic (meaning it takes more energy to digest protein) the human body has to work about 30% harder to digest protein foods than it does to digest carbohydrates and sugars. A diet high in protein will help boost your metabolism and aid in your fat loss.
So now that you know the benefits of protein and protein supplements, think about whether or not you could use a little extra protein in your diet and check out our supplement section over at Rock Bottom Fitness!