When it comes to protein, I know it can be a touchy subject. It really shouldn't but I totally understand why people do not understand it's importance for your body. I am going to begin with explaining exactly why the word 'Protein' has been tarnished with the image of muscular body builders with lean muscle and large physiques. The term body builder does quite literally mean 'building a body' and that is what you want to do right?! Build a slender and toned womanly shape? It is unfortunate that the body building world has taken over this names and created something in which seems scary to the unknown. I hold my hat up to body builders because they are the most dedicated and driven people you will ever meet, having a passion and truly doing anything to achieve greatness. However, I do not believe that this is the healthy lifestyle one should aim for. A healthy lifestyle isn't about restricting yourself from your favourite foods, becoming regimental with eating patterns and dietary requirements and most of all killing yourself at the gym, day in and day out without living your life to the full. We want to build the healthiest happiest body so we are able to face the world with pride and confidence, go out with your friends feeling fantastic and appreciating what a wonderful life you have. So this is where the industry splits, those that fitness is their life and those who health and fitness is part of their life. I am very aware of the fact that the average girl like you (and me) are slipping through the cracks because they are not 'gym obsessed', but you don't have to be to live a healthy lifestyle! If you can find a balance then you are golden. If you can commit to eating right with a good workout schedule the majority of the time, you can succeed.
Ok, I have said my piece and now I would like to educate you on Protein, after all... that is what the blog post is all about. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are required to serve many functions within the body. There are 20 amino acids in total, however 9 are considered essential as they cannot produce them itself. Protein is a key component that has a huge effect on the body that most are unaware of. Protein is the keratin in your skin, protein is the collagen in you bones, protein helps regulate your blood sugar levels, keeping your cravings at bay. Protein repairs muscle and tissue, and the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you can burn as you are increasing your metabolism. Essentially you are turning your body into a fat burning machine. Protein is NOT just to build big muscles. Protein powders and supplements are used in 'muscle building' circumstances simply to replenish the muscle, repair and tissue damage and prevent muscle ache. This is why they are used with body builders, so the nutters can have a crazy workout, refuel their muscles and hit them hard again the next day. Just because you have protein, you are not automatically going not balloon up. Trust me when I say this, those body builders do not get large, defined muscles just by having a protein shake, they work SO hard for any gains.
You don't have to live off of protein shakes to consume your daily recommendation, quite the opposite! You should be consuming protein in as many meals as possible in the form of FOOD :) Now there is a misconception among what foods fall under this category. Most complete sources of protein come from animal sources which I have listed below, along with Quinoa and Buckwheat which are plant based. The reason why these sources are grouped together is because the contain ALL of the 9 essential amino acids. You can most definitely get protein from many vegetable and plant based sources, however they will be classed as incomplete. Now, there is a way around this for vegetarians, if grouping certain proteins together to form 'completes' The trouble with a lot of health food bloggers is that they are unaware of this, and support the plant based diet, which I am on the fence about. It can be done, as long as it is approach properly with the correct scientific facts to help produce the most nutritionally dense meals.
Sources of COMPLETE proteins Chicken Steak Fish Quinoa Buckwheat
The best protein powder in my opinion is Sun Warrior. It is a raw, organic, vegan gluten and dairy free powder with no added nasty sugars! I use vanilla in my NutriPaige Protein Pancakes and chocolate flavour for my shakes, because let's face it.. I am a chocoholic!!
Now you know a little bit more about protein, will you consider incorporating them into your diet more? Will you perhaps have (dare I say it) PROTEIN SHAKE after an intense workout? I surely hope so! It will not only help repair your muscles, it can define a lean figure and helps maintain the condition and health of your hair, skin and nails and immune system!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org