Beginner’s Guide to Protein

When you’re new to exercising it feels as though people are throwing all sorts of powders, shakes, smoothies, and vitamins to help you lose weight and gain muscle. A common ingredient in most of these is protein. It comes in all shapes, but do you really need it? Well, depending on your goal, the answer is probably…yes.

To start, you need to know what protein is and how it works. Protein is an essential nutrient already found in your body. It plays a major role in the health of your skin, hair, bones, muscle, and tissue. When you’re exercising it helps boost your metabolism and protein synthesis – which nearly every cell in your body uses to rebuild and grow.

Although protein is essential to your body’s function, it comes in many forms and you need to know which one is right for you. A popular way gym enthusiasts consume additional protein is through powder. Common powders are whey, soy, pea, casein, and hemp. Your dietary restrictions and/or preferences will determine the form of protein you take. Either way, you’ll want to make these part of your diet in order to lose weight and gain muscle.

While powders are a great way to increase protein intake, consider making the following foods part of your everyday meals:

  • Seafood (salmon, tuna)
  • White meat poultry
  • Milk, cheese, yogurts
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Turkey
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • Tofu
  • Hummus
  • Peas

On average, you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your weight. However, your goals determine the suggested amount. It’s always great to consult with a professional because of your unique body and goals. Everyone is different and you may want/need to consume more or less protein compared to someone with a similar weight.

 

To learn more on this broad topic, reference the articles below:

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