The Truth about Protein

The most frequently asked questions that I get from my clients are regarding Protein; should I take it, how much, what kind, when do I take it and how do I select a protein source? Protein, in a nutshell is in every part of our tissue, cells, and organs.  How much you need depends on your activity level and the direction you are taking your workouts. Below I will break down the main highlights of Protein and how to incorporate it into your life.
  1. Everyone whether their goal is weight loss or muscle building needs Protein in their diets. Protein helps curb hunger because it keeps you fuller longer and it helps aid in the synthesis and recovery of muscles.
  2. The average person needs approximately 1 gram of Protein per pound of bodyweight. If you are in a muscle building program then you can increase your intake to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight.
  3. There are many types of Protein that you can take to supplement your workout regimen and each can serve a different purpose.
    • Whey Concentrate- best taken as a meal replacement and the cheapest version of protein powders.
    • Casein Protein- slow digesting protein best taken before bed in the form of a shake as it fuels the muscles during long periods of rest.
    • Whey Isolates- fast digesting protein and best when taken pre or post workout as they help the muscles recover and grow. Also great because typically low in carbohydrates.
    • Soy Protein- great source of vegetarian protein. It is loaded with glutamine (to help with recovery), arginine (help dilate blood vessels to allow nutrition to get into the muscles quicker), and BCAA's (help with recovery).
  4. Selection of a protein also depends on your overall goal. Pay close attention to the labels because not all protein powders are created equal.   If your goal is to lose weight you will look for a powder with low carbs, sugar, and calories.  You may also want to look for one that includes a serving of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s).  This helps aid in recovery from tough workouts.
In conclusion, you may want to visit your nearest supplement store and ask for some samples. You can usually also request free samples on the major retailers website.  Sometimes it is just a trial and error method on what your body best responds to and also what your taste buds respond to as well.  Ask fellow fitness friends and the trainers at the gym what type they take and what they have found to be the best.  In addition, don't forget to consult your physician before starting any new workout and supplement regimen.    

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