Sweat Mini-Series Part 2: Protein 101
Rocky II, The Dark Knight, Terminator 2, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey... everyone loves an awesome sequel. And while I can't compete with Bill, Ted, and the Grim Reaper playing electric guitar at Battle of the Bands, I promise that part 2 of our Sweat Mini-Series won't disappoint.
How can I be so sure? Because today we're talking about PROTEIN!
And when it comes to burning fat and gaining muscle, protein is the king of the food pyramid. But do you know how much you should be eating daily? Or the optimal time of day to eat it? What foods are high in protein? And which of these are the leanest? Vegetarian options? And what about protein powder?
SOURCES OF HIGH PROTEIN
Fish, poultry, beef, pork, eggs
Nuts, beans, legumes, seeds, tofu
Milk, cheese, yogurt
BENEFITS OF PROTEIN
Eating protein increases your metabolism and helps to maintain your muscle mass, all of which helps with fat-burning.
When you exercise, your body is breaking down muscles. When they recover, your muscles grow back stronger and bigger. Protein is what your body uses to rebuild those muscles.
Most importantly, this whole muscle rebuilding process burns body fat.
Protein also helps repair tissues in your hair, nails, cartilage, and skin.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DAILY?
Most dietitians set the daily protein requirement pretty low, at around 0.35 grams per pound of body weight.
However, if you are active and do some strength training, you should aim to get between 0.6-0.8 grams per pound of body weight daily.
For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, aim to get 90-120 g of protein daily.
Athletes and advanced-level exercisers will even aim to get closer to 1.0-1.4 grams per pound daily.
WHEN TO EAT PROTEIN
Your body has gone near 8-10 hours without any protein. It's time to get your metabolism going and feed your muscles!
Within 30 minutes after working out
This is the most important time to get your protein. Your muscles are fatigued and are immediately looking for some protein to start recovering and rebuilding. Whey protein shakes are perfect post-workout because it digests the fastest and gets to your muscles ASAP.
Like we talked about with breakfast, your body gets no protein between dinner and the next morning. So you need to make sure you get some with dinner. A glass of milk before bed is great!
All Day Long
It's great to have a little protein in you at all times. Find some high-protein snacks to fill the gaps between
When choosing meat, it's important to remember which are the leanest. A good way to remember is that the fewer legs it has, the leaner is usually is.
So fish is leaner than chicken which is leaner than beef/pork.
Chicken thighs have about 3x more fat than chicken breasts. Eat the white meat!
Choose beef cuts that are graded "Choice" or "Select" instead of "Prime," which usually has more fat.
DON'T EAT MEAT? TRY THESE
"Whey protein" is what you're looking for. Each scoop usually has 20-25 g of protein. There are all sorts of whey variations, but save yourself so money and just get the cheap, basic whey protein.
You can buy whey protein at any nutrition shop and most grocery stores. I like to go online to GNC and order it there.
If you want to go the extra mile, you could try buying some "Casein protein." Casein is slower-digesting and is awesome to have before going to bed so that it fuels your muscles throughout the night (between the long gap of dinner and breakfast).