What foods have protein?
The highest concentration of protein is found in the actual muscle tissue of other animals. Then comes animal products — eggs and milk. After that, grains, legumes, and nuts also contain protein, but less of it. You owe it to yourself to get familiar with the nutrient content of food. Check out http://blog.myfitnesspal.omnutrition-101-proteins/ to learn a little more.
When should I eat protein?
Unless you eat a ton of food, you’re likely going to have to eat protein throughout the day to meet your requirements. “Some protein at every meal” is a common guideline.
Are protein powders OK?
See this article.
What about pre- and post-workout protein?
Research shows that you’ll recover faster and gain more muscle when you regularly consume protein:
- Before you train (pre-workout), and/or
- After you train (post-workout)
Results for muscle-mass gains are even better when carbohydrates are eaten along with the protein. This will be covered in another article.
Is protein bad for my kidneys?
If you have kidney disease, then you should not eat a high-protein diet. Consult your doctor and nutritionist with all questions regarding diseases.
If you do not have kidney disease, research does not suggest that protein is hard on them. Eating protein has not been shown to cause kidney disease.
Why do I need more protein if I’m trying to lose fat?
A few reasons:
- In a calorie-restricted state (i.e., when dieting), more protein is needed to protect muscle mass – so it isn’t consumed by your body for energy. If you want to lose weight, you need to focus on losing the fat and keeping the muscle.
- Protein builds muscle mass, which increases your metabolism, which makes it easier for you to lose fat.
- Between 20 and 30% of the protein calories you consume are needed to actually digest and assimilate the protein. This boosts your metabolism, which makes it easier for you to lose fat.
- Protein has an appetite-suppressing effect that carbohydrates and fats do not have. Because it takes longer to assimilate, you stay satisfied longer and potentially eat less.
I don’t want to “measure everything I eat”
My protein shakes have 30g of protein. My bread has 4g per slice. An egg has about 6g of protein. A 3-ounce service of most meats has 20g. A glass of milk has about 8g. A cup of cooked oats has 10g. Anything in a package has nutrition information on the label. Find out how much protein is in the foods you normally eat and memorize those numbers.
Things tend to improve when you start measuring them.
What is complete protein?
Complete protein has all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities to support human life. All animal sources are complete protein, as are quinoa and soy. Most plant sources are low in one or more amino acids and are therefore deemed “incomplete.”
Are plant sources inferior?
No. Although plant sources are not as protein-dense or as complete as animal sources, the amino acids they do contain are the same amino acids found in meat, dairy, and eggs. The human body doesn’t use protein per se, it uses the individual amino acids that comprise protein. So, even though most plant sources are short on some of the essential amino acids, you can get the full spectrum of amino acids by eating multiple plant sources — grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables — throughout the day.
What if I don’t get enough protein one day?
Try again the next day.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as dietary advice.