A balanced diet minus the protein is not a functional equation. Protein outweighs carbohydrates and fats in terms of importance. You need it for stronger muscles, better brain chemistry, and tissue repair. Because it’s so important, some people call it the ‘currency of life’.
When you’ve got enough protein in your system, expect an energetic and healthful life.
But chewing on a nut or two won’t make the cut. The body is a protein machine — dismantling, using and synthesizing protein 24 hours a day. As the ‘language’ of life, protein is necessary to keep the body running smoothly.
Which Protein is Which?
Musashi, a specialist in quality performance nutrition, breaks down protein into two types: animal and plant.
Animal protein falls under the high-energy food category. This includes meat, fish, dairy, poultry and eggs, which contain enough amounts of essential amino acids. Unlike plant-based protein, this type has approximately 75 per cent of average dry weight. It also contains glutathione, taurine, and essential B vitamins and minerals.
Plant-based proteins, on the other hand, include peas, soy, chia, rice and tofu. Plant proteins also contain amino acids such as tryptophan, lysine and methionine, which build up the body.
Doing Protein Right
Maximise the benefits of protein by eating it right. For example, every meal should include protein, especially breakfast. If you’re watching your diet, frequent, smaller meals throughout the day is your best bet.
Also, protein intake shouldn’t exceed 30 to 40 grams per meal. This rule, however, isn’t applicable with hydrolysed whey protein found in protein powders, ready-to-drink protein shakes, and nutrition bars.
Don’t eat protein two hours before working out. Protein digestion will use the energy your muscles, heart or lungs need. But feel free to disregard this rule with hydrolysed whey proteins, which you can consume 30 minutes before working out.
Every person’s protein plan is different. If you want to take it seriously, consult your trainer or dietician.