Eat like a pro… tein : What is the importance of Protein?

Proteins are the building blocks of your cells. They are found everywhere in your body, and in
an average person can constitute up to 15% of your bodyweight. The enzymes in your body :
Protein. The hemoglobin that transports oxygen in your blood : protein. The actin and myosin
filament responsible for muscle contraction: protein.

As you can see proteins are completely essential for your body to function and not eating
enough of it could lead to health problems. Luckily the minimal amount you need to function is
pretty low at around 0.8g per kg of bodyweight. That means the minimal amount for somebody
weighing 70kg (155 pounds) would be only 55g of protein per day. It would actually be
challenging for someone living in Canada to eat less than that. Proteins are found in all whole
foods and to get less than 55g of protein you’d probably have to live on a diet of candies and
Diet Coke. So, if you’re eating at least 3 normal meals a day don’t worry you're fine. There’s one
catch here, minimal amount doesn’t mean optimal amount. Is there benefits to eating more than
0.8g/kg? Of course there is. You see protein is the main building block of your muscle, if you
want your body to be in a state where it can recover and grow from your training, you're going
to need to eat more than the minimal amount… and quite a bit more. There's no harm in eating
more protein. If your body doesn’t need it to build new cells, it will simply digest it and use as
energy. So why would you risk not getting the full results of your training by eating a lesser
amount? I personally recommend my clients eat 1,6 to 2,2g of protein/kg. Eating more than that
is totally fine but probably isn’t necessary unless you’re a professional bodybuilder.

Proteins have another benefit, they’re extremely satiating and low in calories. One gram of
protein has 4 calories, a gram of fat has 9. It means they will make you feel fuller and for longer
than the same amount of calories in fat. 100g of chicken breasts has as much calories as 20g of
butter. The simple fact of eating more high lean protein food sources is sometimes enough to
help you lose weight, simply because it would be almost impossible to eat the amount of food
you would need to be in calorie surplus. You’d have to eat 1kg of chicken breast to get the same
amount of calories there is in a Big Mac meal.

Proteins are therefore the best friend of anyone that is trying to improve its body composition or
that wants to improve their performance in the gym. They help you recover, are essential for
building muscle and will help you eat less calories without even trying. The best sources of
protein are lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, lean dairy products. As you can see those foods all
come from animals, it is therefore harder to eat a lot of protein when vegan, but it is not
impossible and vegan protein shakes could be an interesting option to add to your diet if that’s
your case. It would be sad to see the results of your hard workouts be hindered by the fact that
you didn’t eat enough proteins, so eat your proteins and get moving!

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