The Importance of Protein
If you’ve ever been to the gym, you’ve probably heard it. People on their way out, rattling their shaker bottles and chugging the contents like they’re crawling in from the open desert. What’s in those noisy bottles? Protein shakes. But protein isn’t just for bodybuilders, athletes, and competition weightlifters. It’s for everyone, and you might not be getting enough.
You are what you eat.
Proteins are some of the many types of molecules that compose your body. They function on a cellular level, not only making up the structure of a cell, but also assisting metabolism, cell signaling, and even immune response.
Zoom in a bit more, and you’ll find they’re made of even smaller molecules called amino acids. Though you naturally produce some amino acids, others you need to take in through your diet. Plus, your body doesn’t hang onto proteins. It naturally cycles them out, like interns in the mail room. So you must replenish your protein when you eat. The good news is, you’re probably already eating some protein through meat, nuts, eggs, some dairy, and even a few vegetables, like broccoli. But is it enough?
Tracking your day-to-day protein intake is the first step. This used to involve pens and papers and squinting at labels. These days apps like MyFitnessPal can help you track the composition of what you’re eating.
Your body is unique, and your ideal protein intake will vary depending on your age, weight, habits, and fitness goals. The most common recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein is .36 grams per pound of body weight. For a 165 pound human, that’s 60 grams, the equivalent of three chicken breasts. But that’s just the bare minimum. It’s what you need to survive if you wash up on an island somewhere like Bear Grylls.
A healthy level of protein, most studies suggest, is much higher. Children, the elderly, and anyone trying to lose weight or build muscle mass may need as many as .8 grams per pound. That’s 135 grams a day for our 165 pound human.
Weight loss ally.
Losing weight can be complicated, but it starts with a matter of simple math. You need to burn out more calories than you take in. This is called a caloric deficit.
Each pound of fat accounts for about 3,500 calories. That’s a few too many to burn on the treadmill in one jog, so a wise goal is to shave off about 1-2 pounds per week. Divide 3,500 by 7, and you get 500 calories per day. Cut these while keeping up regular exercise, there’s your pound per week.
But then hunger comes along. Both cutting calories and increasing exercise can sharpen appetite. Your body thinks you’re running from a saber-toothed tiger or trying to survive a long winter in a cave, and demands more food. Then, just to spite you, it stores those calories as fat.
Except for the protein. If you lift weights or do any other kind of focused muscular workout, your body will first use that protein to repair and build your muscle, skipping the annoying fat storage step entirely.
Protein is also a natural suppressant of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. So when your body barges through your door, demanding food, protein acts as a molecular bouncer, slapping that ghrelin around and tossing it out onto the curb. Protein rich meals will make you feel more satisfied for longer.
Whether you’re training for sports, trying to look better on the beach, or simply want to feel stronger when you load your kids into the car, a muscle-focused workout plan is a smart move. But you can lift weights three times a week and you won’t see any results if you’re just eating cereal and rice all day.
You need protein. As the primary structure element of the cells, it’s essential for building muscle. Those shaker bottles are really starting to make sense now, aren’t they?
How to get it.
The majority of your protein should come from natural whole food sources, such as chicken, nuts, or eggs. But as we’ve seen above, that’s not always enough. Protein supplements are the perfect solution. Drop some into a shaker bottle with your liquid of choice, shake, and enjoy a delicious drink to help curb your appetite and build muscle mass.
SERV Nutrition’s industry-first ProDrop system makes this even easier, featuring a unique, naturally-derived film that dissolves in water, so you don’t have to scoop or spill. Just keep a few ProDrops in your gym bag, car, or purse, drop, and shake for a quick 20 grams of protein.
Check out ProDrops today and get the protein your body needs— fast and easy.