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    Am I Eating Enough Protein?

    Am I Eating Enough Protein?

    Clean Eatz
    7 minute read

    Am I Eating Enough Protein?

    You've heard about protein before, but do you really know what protein is or if you're getting enough of it? Let’s take a deep dive into the world of protein to discover what this macronutrient is all about.

    What is protein?

    Protein is a macronutrient that is found in many different types of food. To get scientific, protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for our body. Amino acids play a role in our body's tissue and muscle growth. It is also a factor in our immunity levels, how our hormones function and helps our cells communicate with one another.

    While protein has so many essential functions, the one that people seem to be most concerned with is how protein can help us build muscle and get us in shape. You slowly damage and break down your existing muscles as you work out. With every weight you lift, tiny tears occur in the muscle fibers. To fix all the damage you've done, your body goes into overdrive. It uses all your stores of amino acids to repair and rebuild your muscles. These amino acids have come directly from the protein you have eaten. During this restoration process, your muscles get even bigger. 

    Am I getting enough protein?

    This is a great question, and the answer is probably no. Most people, especially those looking to lose weight and tone their body, aren't getting the protein that their body requires. If you are lifting weights and working out, your body needs an almost endless supply of protein and amino acids to adequately grow your muscle mass. If you are engaged in a regular fitness routine but don't consume enough protein, your body will suffer. Your muscles will begin to deplete, and it will take ages to recover from a challenging workout. You will be stiff and sore and won't have as much energy to power through your next workout.

    If you lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle and don't exercise much, studies have shown that you should get a minimum of 0.5g of protein per pound of body weight per day. This will protect your muscles from wasting away as you get older (a condition called sarcopenia) and give your body the amino acids required to maintain good health. However, if you frequently hit the gym or get in a sweat session at home, your body's protein requirements increase significantly.

    The amount of protein needed to meet your body's specific needs will depend on your age, sex, height, current weight, and fitness goals. It is usually recommended that an active individual gets between 1g and 1.8g of protein per pound of body weight per day. Try out a protein calculator like this one to check your unique protein requirements.

    What are the best sources of protein?

    Not all protein is created equal. Many foods contain some level of protein, but they may not have the amino acid profile required for optimal muscle growth. Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks your body needs to repair and create muscle. These amino acids are L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine.

    The best sources of BCAAs come from the following foods:

    Lean Meat and Poultry

         Chicken

         Lean beef

         Pork

         Turkey

     

    Fish and Seafood

         Salmon

         Tuna

         Shrimp

         Tilapia

     

    Dairy

         Low-fat cheese

         Cottage cheese

         Greek yogurt

     

    Eggs

     

    Nuts and Seeds

         Almonds

         Walnuts

         Cashews

         Sunflower seeds

     

    Grains

         Rice

         Quinoa

         Oats

         Buckwheat

         Couscous

     

    Beans and Legumes

         Black beans

         Kidney beans

         Lentils

         Lima beans

    How can I get more protein in my diet?

    Are you ready to up your protein intake? Increasing the protein in your diet will help you feel satiated longer. It will help you build muscle and keep your current muscle mass from depleting. It will also prevent you from filling up on excess fats and carbohydrates, which contain more calories and can cause you to put on extra, unwanted weight. Plus, it will help you recover from your workouts faster and get you back in the gym, ready to lift, even sooner.  

    After calculating your daily protein requirements, getting enough protein may seem like a daunting task, but I promise you it isn’t! Getting enough protein is easy if you know how. You just have to plan your meals accordingly and ensure that you fill up on protein every time you eat. 

    Every snack or meal should have approximately 20g to 40g of protein, depending on your specific requirements. Stock your fridge with lean meats and fish and prepare them ahead of time, so meals are easy to throw together. You can include protein shakes and bars into your day to up your intake. Plus, be sure to keep easy snacks on hand like trail mix and boiled eggs to grab when hunger strikes.

    The amount of protein needed to meet your body's specific needs will depend on your age, sex, height, current weight, and fitness goals. It is usually recommended that an active individual gets between 1g and 1.8g of protein per pound of body weight per day. Try out a protein calculator like this one to check your unique protein requirements.

    What are the best sources of protein?

    Not all protein is created equal. Many foods contain some level of protein, but they may not have the amino acid profile required for optimal muscle growth. Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks your body needs to repair and create muscle. These amino acids are L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine.

    The best sources of BCAAs come from the following foods:

    Lean Meat and Poultry

         Chicken

         Lean beef

         Pork

         Turkey

     

    Fish and Seafood

         Salmon

         Tuna

         Shrimp

         Tilapia

     

    Dairy

         Low-fat cheese

         Cottage cheese

         Greek yogurt

     

    Eggs

     

    Nuts and Seeds

         Almonds

    Still having trouble getting enough protein? Clean Eatz Kitchen can help. By providing our customers with a high-protein meal plan option, you can be confident you are always getting the protein your active body requires. These meal plans are created from the same delicious recipes as our regular meals, but we beef them up. This means that you get an extra two ounces of meat, equating to approximately 10g of extra protein per serving. By sticking to a daily plan like this one, you will slay your PR record at the gym and be ready to show off your beach bod by summer.

    Whatever your health and fitness goals, the Clean Eatz Kitchen community is here to help. We offer the support and guidance you need to become the best you can possibly be. Contact us today, and let's celebrate your success together!

     

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