Nutrition made simple: Protein*

Wednesday, 1 February 2017, By Phil Lee

Nutrition made simple: Protein

Protein is one of the macronutrients found in many foods and drinks and is essential for tissue repair, building muscle and helps to prevent muscle loss. Proteins are comprised of a combination of different amino acids and are categorised by essential and non-essential. These amino acids link together and form unique combinations to make different types of protein sources. There are over 20 different amino acids that make up many different protein sources and there are 9 that are considered essential for our body. Essential amino acids are those that our body cannot create on its own, therefore they must be obtained from food.

You do not need to consume every amino acid with every meal, but getting a balance of them throughout the day is important as not all protein sources are created the same. The easiest way you can do this is by varying your protein and other macro choices.

But in case you want to be certain, the 9 essential amino acids are:

Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.

 

Protein is essential for:

  • Tissue repair and muscle growth
  • Hair and nail growth
  • Maintaining metabolism
  • Changing body composition and fat burn
  • Providing satiety: the feeling of fullness when consumed in a solid form

 

Protein is constantly being synthesised in our body meaning it's never actually stored, so it's important that you're replacing protein by eating adequate amounts to repair and build your muscles. Exercise such as weight training overloads and places stress on the muscles which create small tears. Adequate protein consumption and rest helps to repair those damaged muscles contributing to a change in body composition.

An increase in muscle is a result of a cycle of; overload > reaction > adaptation > change. We overload the muscles by lifting weights, the muscles react by tearing, then they repair, adapt and change by consuming adequate protein and getting adequate rest. We then overload our muscles again with either more weight or repetitions and the cycle continues. Without adequate protein, your muscles simply will not repair properly resulting in muscle deterioration, weakness, a lack of improved body composition and a slowed metabolism. If you are under consuming on protein, then you are at risk of NO RESULTS!

Protein is generally the most under consumed macronutrient, people don't eat enough because it can take time to prepare, they find that it's not as readably available as carbs or fats and they just don't know what to eat so they are limited to their own knowledge.

 

Food sources that are high protein

 

Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Meat: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Pork, Kangaroo
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy: Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese
  • Beans and legumes
  • Seitan
  • Protein powder: Whey, Soy, Pea, Egg white, Beef

There are many other nutritious foods that contain protein. They are generally lower in protein than those above but are other great sources for those that don't eat meat or dairy.

 

Some examples include but are not limited to:

  • Quinoa
  • Nuts
  • Tofu and Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Peas and broad beans

 

The take away

Protein is essential for tissue repair and muscle growth.

Under consuming on protein can lead to muscle deterioration, slowed metabolism and no results.

Eat a good amount of protein with every meal, it'll make it easier to achieve your daily requirements.

Increase protein in the afternoon and evening to help you feel fuller, minimise cravings and lower the risk of over eating.

Vary your protein sources to ensure consumption of essential amino acids.

Use Vision Virtual Training to plan your meals and ensure you hit your daily protein requirements.

 

Need help? At Vision Personal Training Camberwell we provide you with the support, education and tools to ensure your success. Our personalised nutrition plans are specific to you and we'll ensure that you have all the knowledge to achieve your desired body shape. Contact us today to start the beginning of your new life.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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