Nov 11 2016
Protein it’s something our clients are probably fed up hearing about. It’s the building blocks for our bodies, from our hair, to our muscle, bones and internal organs every part of us is made from protein. But why do we love it so much here at Salecca? Well, having protein…
Protein it’s something our clients are probably fed up hearing about. It’s the building blocks for our bodies, from our hair, to our muscle, bones and internal organs every part of us is made from protein. But why do we love it so much here at Salecca? Well, having protein in your diet is one of the most important things you can do if you’re serious about changing your body. Whether you want to drop a dress size, build muscle for the beach or just want to feel fitter so you can keep up with your kids, protein is key.
But there are still so many misconceptions about eating lots of protein, I’ve been told so many times to watch how much protein I am eating and how bad it is for my kidneys. It is true that a high-protein diet can be harmful for people with pre-existing kidney damage or disease. They are advised to have moderate to low protein in their diet. This is because eating lots of protein increases how hard your kidneys have to work due to their role in the excretion of nitrogen from protein digestion, this would bad news for someone with pre-existing kidney disease. However, a review of the research (ref) found that this would not cause any damage to someone with healthy kidneys. So for most normal healthy people there is no issue with having a diet high in protein.
High consumption of animal proteins such as red meat has also been linked to heart disease. One study on this found that a diet high in animal protein was associated with a higher risk of death. But, only if you’re also doing something else that was a risk factor. So if you smoke, drink often, don’t exercise and are obese whilst eat excessive amounts of red meats then you’re increasing your risk. But if you lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise often, eating good quality animal proteins will not cause any problems for your heart or general health.
Another thing I’m often asked is, wont eating so much protein make you fat? Although, it’s biochemically possible for protein to turn to fat, it’s near impossible for that to actually happen to any normal person. The body does not store extra proteins. This because when you eat protein it’s digested and broken down into amino acids, these are then absorbed, mainly in the small intestines, and utilise. They’re needed to replace worn out cells, transport various substances around the body, repair and grow cells. Some of these can be turned into glucose (carbohydrates) if required for energy and a small amount will be excreted. So protein won’t make you fat but it will make you more muscular, healthy and look better naked.
If you’re training hard and you’re committed to changing your body and getting strong you must be eating enough protein. It will help you maximise the benefits of your training, helping you see the results of your hard work quickest. To get enough in you should be eating a source of protein, like eggs, fish, chicken or beans (not baked) with every meal. You should be munching on high protein snacks like Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, hummus or bounce balls instead of chocolate and crisps. There are also protein supplements which are an easy way to make sure you’re hitting your protein targets but these should be used in addition to and not instead of food.
But how much is enough? Well it varies, for younger people who weight train, you’re looking at around 1.5g of protein per kg bodyweight. But as you get older, you begin to lose muscle and bone mass, this can affect how easily you can do everyday things like climbing stairs and getting up from you desk. Then as you get even older this can lead to osteoporosis among other issues. So you need more protein, alongside strength training of course, to offset this bone density and muscle mass loss. With that in mind the intake should be somewhere closer to 1.8g of protein per kg bodyweight, otherwise you may find yourself wasting away.
All in all, we think protein great, it helps you feel full and satisfied after you’ve eaten it, it will keep you lean, it help you live a better life all round and its safe to eat plenty of it!
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