Nutrition Challenge 9- All About Protein
If you have been following the shape up challenge then you know that we have already talked a little bit about protein in this post. But today, we are going talk more in depth about protein– what it does, the benefits of it, and what foods you should be eating to get the most protein.
A little background…
When you get in a good workout your muscles undergo quite the challenge. Whenever you do any type of resistance training, not just lifting weights, aerobic exercise too, your body begins to build muscles.
The first thing that happens is your muscle tears. Sounds terrible doesn’t it? But it’s true. Resistance workouts cause tiny microscopic tears on your muscle. The more resistance training you do the bigger the tear will be and as a result you will feel more sore after the workout..
So What does protein do?
After your resistance workout the repair process begins and continues for 1-3 days. Protein is the nutrient that repairs those torn muscles. Muscles are made up of proteins so when the muscle tears additional protein comes in and rebuilds it. As a result, not only is the tear in the muscle fixed but the muscle has now grown.
Protein does not only help in building and rebuilding muscles but, when needed, it helps rebuild any tissue in your body. So if you get a cut can you guess what is involved in helping the skin grow back together and heal that cut? You guessed it, protein.
The benefits don’t stop there!
In addition to what we talked about a second ago, protein also helps the immune system to function properly so that we can fight off sickness. So if you are finding yourself sick all the time, try up-ing your daily dosage of protein.
Not only that, protein also gives you stronger healthy looking hair, skin, and nails. And honestly, who doesn’t want that? Right?
Another awesome benefit of protein is that it takes more energy for the body to process protein than it does to process carbs so it is much less likely that protein will convert to fat when you consume it.
How many legs does it have?
There are a lot of foods that will give you a good source of protein. Some of these foods include eggs, nuts, beans, whole grains, and milk.
Most people know that meat is probably the best way to get protein. But how do you know which meats are the best source of protein? A fun rule to remember is that the fewer amount of legs the animal has, the better. So fish is the best source of protein (0 legs), chicken is next on the list (2 legs), and then come other meats like beef, pork, etc (all with 4 legs). Any meat will give you protein but this is a good way to remember how to get the healthiest protein that you can in your diet.
Hopefully reading this article has helped you to understand a little more about why protein is so important. This week I want to challenge you to focus on the amount of protein you are consuming and make a conscious effort to get enough of it in your everyday diet. Try it and let us know how it goes!