Supplement 101: Why Protein Matters

Here is a scenerio I know you will relate too…

It’s 3:00 P.M. … you haven’t eaten since lunch at noon. You are starting to get hungry… tired… still have 2 more hours of work… and on the verge of being Hangry! Sound familiar?

Haha. Shoot, I am like the guys from the Snickers commercial, not myself when I am hungry. Not only can going long periods without foods affect your mood (and potentially the mood of those around you haha) but can also slow you down on your journey to your goals!

I am sure by this point you have heard “eat 6 times a day” or “eat every 3 to 4 hours.” That is because there is a good reason for that. Now to be clear, yes I understand there are multiple ways to do nutrition. Yes, I understand you can get results doing other nutrition plans. My goal is to briefly outline a scientifically proven, effective, widely applicable approach to nutrition that is most commonly used.

How Much Protein Do I Need To Build Muscle or Lose Fat?

In order to maintain an appropriate muscle protein synthesis to speed up your metabolism and retain/develop lean toned muscle and cut body fat, you’ll want to increase the number of meals you eat as well as the protein content of your diet. This means eating 5-6 meals or snacks a day. Each meal or snack will want to have 25 grams of protein.

The purpose of 20-25 grams of protein is because that is the rough number it takes to activate muscle protein synthesis. What this means is that your body will have the amino acids it needs to repair itself, and essentially saving muscle tissue from being burned as fuel. The sooner we can start our day with protein (20-25 grams) the better!

Once we have the protein intake at each meal satisfied, the other foods you choose to pair it with or not will determine if we gain body weight or lose body weight. So we want to make sure our food choices are reflective of our goals. Ideally, we’d eat all of those as whole food meals, but realistically that can be tough. The good news is, you can use a sustained assimilation protein shake to make sure your body has protein when you need it when you can’t do a meal. I usually recommend for people to do 3-4 meals and 2-3 protein shakes during the day. If you can, and choose to, you can do all 6 meals with food as well … I just opt for protein shakes 3x a day for convenience – I love to eat, but not so much to cook … nor do I have the time. 🙂

What Makes A Protein Sustained Assimilating?

 

The simple answer… if it is not an isolate, it falls into this category. If we can get a blended protein (a protein that uses a few high-quality protein sources), great! Since all proteins are not manufactured equally, to get the highest quality protein source we want to look for 2 things on the label.

  1. Cross Flow Micro Filtrated (use ceramic filters to filter protein out instead of chemicals)
  2. Low-Temperature Processed (because using excessive heat can denature your protein so it won’t be used by the body effectively for muscle building)

Scary thing is, most companies use chemicals to separate protein and use high heat… Why? Because it is cheaper for them when they are producing massive amounts of protein. Good news is companies that do low-temperature protein processing will put it on the ingredient label because it’s an expensive process that they use to make a higher quality protein and they want you to know about it. So once again… always check those ingredient labels.

Now that we have the basic needs covered, it’s time to explore dietary supplements that maximize your training, and your results! CLICK HERE to check out the next part in the Supplement 101 series, Maximizing your Resistance Training.

*This post was written by Will Grumke. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

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