The Importance of Protein
At BB&R we often get asked the question "how much protein do I need to eat per day"? Everyone agrees that protein is important but there seems to be continuous confusion surrounding why and how much to eat.
Protein is important for so many reasons but first, let's get back to the basics. What is protein?
Protein, along with the other macronutrients, fats and carbohydrates, are essential for proper
functioning. Consuming too much of any nutrient can cause inefficiencies and leak breakdown.
Protein is made up of 20 different amino acids, 9 of which are essential, meaning they must be consumed from food. The individual sequence of amino acids in each food is what gives the protein their unique function. Proteins are essential for growth and maintenance and are critical for the body's structural support like skin, membranes, organs, muscles, tendons and bones. They also help to monitor and maintain the body's fluid volume by transporting substances like fat, vitamins, minerals and oxygen. Lastly, proteins will provide energy for the body when needed. Protein plays a critical role in reaching and maintaining optimal weight because it improves satiety and helps to maintain lean muscle mass, boosting your metabolism, and requires the most energy for your body to break down, increasing your total energy output.
The most important thing to remember about protein is not quantity but quality. Healthy sourcesof protein include grass-fed dairy like milk, cheese and yogurt, organic eggs, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, free-range skinless poultry, and grass-fed beef/bison. Splitting your protein between meals allows the body to maximally absorb and utilize it for development and maintenance. Overloading the system with too much protein at one meal can be unproductive because your body can only handle so much at once!