If you are currently working out and are not sure about the importance of protein this beginner’s guide will help you understand what protein is, why it is important to our diet and when you need to take it.
Protein is an important part of our diet due to the non-essential amino acids that are contained in it. These amino acids play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body and are seen as the stepping stone for cell development. Without proteins, our body’s structure, functions, cells, tissues, and organs cannot survive. Often associated with bodybuilding, protein can help build and repair muscle mass and also supports our immune system.
Why should I take it?
Protein plays an important role in building, strengthening and repairing the body, both in everyday life and when you exercise. Muscle fibres, cells, and tissues all thrive from the protein that we eat so it is an essential part of body maintenance. A crucial nutrient for the body, protein can help maintain a healthy weight by keeping us full for longer and plays an important part in reducing cholesterol, reducing blood pressure and can boost energy levels.
Popular forms of Protein
Whey protein is the most popular form of protein when it comes to exercise as it is easily absorbed by the body. As whey protein is quickly absorbed it can reach muscles quickly so that damage is limited and the body does not face too much strain. Whey protein is naturally occurring and contains amino acids that are essential for those leading an active lifestyle.
Protein supplements are popular among athletes, not just bodybuilders as they once were, and come in the form of shakes. A variety of protein shake bottles are available to help you make up your shake quickly and easily with a range of ingredients of your choice. If you want to consume protein in the form of food, the below foods are a great source:
- Lean Meat
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
When Should I have Protein?
Protein can be consumed at any time but it is particularly beneficial to supplement both before and after exercise. If you are exercising to lose weight then take a protein supplement around 45 minutes after a workout is recommended but if you are bulking up your muscle mass then protein should be taken around 15 minutes after a workout. While exercising, your muscles will begin to tear so they will need support to repair and grow, which is why protein shakes are great at getting extra protein in your body quickly.
How Much Protein do I need Per Day?
The average person needs 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight but this amount will increase if there is a larger muscle mass. Active individuals will need to look at increasing the amount of protein that is consumed each day, particularly before and after a workout. Extra protein can be eaten with a meal, mostly in the form of lean meat and eggs, but can also be consumed as a protein shake for those in a hurry.