Don’t Skimp on the Protein

Listen up, this is incredibly important and you need to get this straight: Protein is not just for those gym rats flexing in their muscle tees. It’s not just for the marathon runner who never seems to get tired. It’s an undeniable powerhouse for all of us. Why? Because without it, your body would be like a luxury car running on cheap gas – it’s just not going to perform at its peak level.

Protein is one of the most important nutrients for our bodies. It’s used to build and repair muscle, organs, skin and blood cells. Protein provides our bodies with amino acids—the building blocks of life. Even if you’re not an athlete or very active, getting enough protein is crucial for your health.

Think of it as the foreman and architect of your body, the one erasing the wear and tear of your daily grind and rebuilding you, better than ever.

You propbably are not an Olympic-level athlete, or maybe not even a weekend warrior, but not consuming enough protein for days/weeks/months/years on end is not an option, pal. Proteins form the lifeline of your health and decide how well you pull off your everyday tasks.

It helps us out with pretty much every aspect of our lives, and there is a dramatic difference in quality of life between consuming enough for your needs and being deficient. So, treat your protein intake as a non-negotiable.

Protein is The Building Block of Our Bodies

As Susan Kleiner, a renowned dietician and nutritionist, pointedly mentions, “Protein is the most important nutrient.” Keep that quote with you; it’ll make the unexciting act of calculating your protein intake a noble pursuit.

Protein is the building block of our bodies and muscle tissue. It has a profound impact on our overall quality of life. It’s what makes up hair and nails, as well as skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments — all the things that keep us moving smoothly through life and so much more.

Muscle building

If you’ve ever dreamed of showing off your muscles, proteins are your go-to guys. They are like architects who know just how to take your efforts with those weights and grow those muscles. The more protein you eat (within reason) consistently, the stronger your muscles can become!

Recovery

Ever had a wound? Or worse, a broken bone? Proteins are the there helping your body heal. They’re like your body’s repair team, patching everything up and getting you back on track.

Immune Function

Here is one that shocked me when I first learned about it years ago. Protein helps keep you from falling ill too often by boosting your immune system.

There are tons of other things as well that protein helps with. Cellular makeup and structure, bone growth, PH balance, hormones. It is all affected by protein.

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How Much Should You Consume?

So, how much do you need? The general recommendation is 0.8g of protein per kilogram (2lbs) body weight per day (so about 60 grams or more).

You can find the recommended daily intake for protein in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) guide. How much it recommends varies depending on your age and physical activity level. However, there’s no need to memorize it.

That is a rough estimate of our protein needs and the government organizations recommendations are based on bare minimum for survival. No one wants to just survive. We want to thrive.

Just like the BMI scale is aimed at providing generalities and doesn’t take into account lean vs fat mass, activity levels, and other things, government recommendations for protein intake are based on generalities. The protein guidelines they provide are aimed at making sure you aren’t in a deficiency and won’t die from malnourishment. That’s the only goal of those numbers.

Most bodybuilding and fitness research will tell you that you want to shoot for .8g per goal bodyweight pound. That is enough to cover all the necessary functions of survival AND building new muscle.

However, I personally recommend people consume 1g of protein per bodyweight pound per day up to a certain weight:

  • Example 1: A 140-pound person should eat 140 grams of protein each day (1g/lb × 140 lb).
  • Example 2: A 200-pound person should eat 200 grams of protein each day (1g/lb × 200 lb).

The reason I personally recommend 1g per pound is because it is a much simpler formula to do in your head. Just match your weight with your protein intake. Easy! Plus, if you shoot for 140g and only hit 110g for the day, you are still on par with the government recommendations and guidelines to build lean mass.

Once you reach above a certain weight or fat percentage, say about 250lbs or so, you should instead swap to 1g per GOAL bodyweight. Of course, if you have kidney issues you should obviously reduce your intake as well.

Ultimate Protein Equality

Whether you’re a fitness pro, a newbie, or just someone living a regular life, guess what? You ALL need protein. No exceptions! Let’s take a look at the misconceptions surrounding protein intake and unveil the truth behind the all-mighty protein.

Myth-Busting: Only Athletes Need Protein

Turns out, protein is essential for everyone regardless of exercise levels.

  • Keeps you strong and fit (not just muscles, but tendons and ligaments too!)
  • Supports a healthy immune system (bye-bye pesky colds)
  • Helps you recover from wounds or injuries (outrun those boo-boos)

Why Everybody Needs Protein

Your body needs protein in the same way a car needs fuel or a building needs a strong foundation.

Protein as Building Blocks:

  • Fun Fact: Your entire body is built from protein!
  • Protein strengthens and repairs your muscles
  • It also helps create hormones and enzymes (messengers and magic workers!)

Protein as Fuel:

  • Protein gives you energy to zip through your day
  • Keeps you feeling full and satisfied (no more mindless munching)
  • Helps boost metabolism and keeps your weight in check

Protein as Bodyguards:

  • Reinforces your immune system (germ-fighting ninja power!)
  • Keeps your skin, hair, and nails looking great (your outer armor)

So the burning question, “how much protein should I eat?” is relevant to us all. You need protein in your diet, no matter your lifestyle or fitness routine. Remember, at CONDITIONerd, we believe “fitness is personal.” It’s about being the best YOU and striving for personal excellence in every part of your life. That includes your overall quality of life, which protein plays a large role.

Good Sources of Protein

Lean meats like chicken and fish, nuts, beans, lentils and soy-based foods are all good sources of protein.

Some even contain more than one type of amino acid. Animal based proteins are all considered ‘complete’ proteins due to having all the essential amino acids our bodies need, while plant based protein is considered ‘incomplete’ proteins because they are always lacking in at least one essential amino acid.

Some sources have a combination of different kinds of proteins in them so they’re especially good at providing slow-digesting proteins that keep you feeling full for longer periods of time while others digest a bit faster. Of course, protein is the longest digesting of all macronutrients regardless.

Translating Fitness into Personal Excellencsy. Go eat your protein!

Protein is Essential for Life, Activity Levels Aside

Protein is essential for life. Without protein, you can’t build muscle, repair tissues, have a strong immune system, or keep your hormones in balance.

If you want to be healthy and active, it’s important that you consume enough protein each day. If you are trying to build muscle, you might need to go even higher than 1g/lb. According to all the research I have read, you can safely go all the way up to about 1.5-2g per bodyweight/goal bodyweight pound without issue (barring kidney or other medical issues, or course).

But, regardless. Whether you are a couch potato or an Olympic athlete you need protein.

Let Us help You Out

At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member

Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.

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