Everybody knows that you need to consume protein in order to build muscles. But because of all the conflicting research, advice you get from your trainers, nutritionists, and other stuff you read on the internet, it’s hard to know what’s right. This is why we thought we could help you separate fact from fiction and help you understand all there is to protein.
Here are the most common FAQs about protein.
Proteins are made up of amino acids that are the basic building blocks of all proteins. Your stomach digests the proteins with hydrochloric acid that breaks them down into simpler forms that are easier to absorb in your intestines.
When proteins get absorbed into the bloodstream, they are sent to various parts of your body to perform various functions, including repairing muscle tissues, support your immune system, and transport oxygen in your red blood cells.
The best protein sources are called complete proteins. A complete protein is a protein source that contains all of the essential amino acids. These proteins are essential because your body can’t produce them on its own. The best complete proteins include read meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and dairy.
You might be asking now, how about vegetarians or vegans? What source of complete proteins is best for them? There are a few non-animal sources that offer complete sources such as: soybeans, hempseed, blue green algae, buckwheat and quinoa.
There is no strict number or quantity. Some nutritionists recommend eating roughly 30 grams of protein at every meal across multiple meals. This will help you boost protein synthesis multiple times throughout the day.
Protein should not take up more than one-third of your plate at meals, whether it’s drinkable or chewable. Nutritionists recommend including small amounts of protein foods at every meal to spread your intake evenly throughout the day.
Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat or train like an athlete, you should aim to consume daily roughly your bodyweight in grams of protein to cover all of your basis. There is no exact science.
The frequency of protein intake does not matter, as long as you hit your daily numbers. What does matter is having protein before and after working out, because it can help you build more muscles. Eating protein before bed is a good idea as well – it can aid in muscle repair.
Some research suggests that too much protein can leave you dehydrated and increase your risk for various diseases. But studies also show that too much of everything, from vitamins to water, can be bad for your health. It is generally recommended to be prudent and not to overreact with consuming protein.
If you aren’t getting the amount of protein your body requires based on your activity level, it is best to take a protein supplement.
Protein supplements allow you to increase your protein intake without vastly increasing your intake of other macronutrients. It can help to boost athletic performance, improve muscle tone and increase overall health.
Both food and protein powder have their place in your diet and we don’t encourage you to source all your protein from powder supplements. Whole foods will provide you additional nutrients and micronutrients such as magnesium, iron and zinc.
Anyone who is currently suffering from chronic kidney disease should stay away from protein diets. Everyone else should just keep the total daily protein consumption reasonable and make sure to consume enough water to counteract the water loss.
No, your muscles will not shrink or die. An occasional low-protein day will not affect your muscle growth. However, muscle shrinking is possible but only due to lack of use, injury or severe calorie restriction.
Hope this helps you get a better understanding about proteins and why you need them. If you know a friend that has questions about proteins and might be interested in this article, feel free to share it with him – sharing is caring!