Updated: Jun 17, 2021
It seems like we live our lives always on a diet. We try to watch what we eat and avoid “sweets” in hopes that those pounds will start to melt off. What most people forget to talk about is protein. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, protein is essential for keeping you full. It not only has a low caloric content of 4 calories per gram but is also important for the building of muscles. This is particularly important if you work out and lift weights. That soreness that you feel the day after working out is due to a buildup of lactic acid that is released when your muscles are torn apart. Sounds scary right? But this is just how our bodies work. This is basically what lifting weights does. Protein feeds the torn muscles so that they will get bigger and stronger.
What about BCAAS? Branched chain amino acids, better known as BCAAS, are the backbone of protein. I know BCAAs are all the rave in the fitness industry, but unfortunately there is no science to back up their effectiveness. There are claims that these supplements can reduce mental and physical fatigue prior to working out. If we get enough protein in our diets, it is not really necessary to buy expensive BCCA supplements.
So if we add enough protein into our diets, all these additional supplements are not necessary. If you are wondering how much protein you should be eating in a day, it is around 0.5 grams per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should try to eat at least 60 grams of protein a day. This changes if you workout and are active. In that case, the amount is increased to about 1 gram per pound of body weight. If you have renal disease, talk to your healthcare provider and try to maintain a low protein diet in the meantime.
So how can we incorporate more protein into our diets? Aside from trying to eat a balanced diet, there are protein supplements that are convenient for those of us that just don’t have the time to cook. I'll have another short post on the different protein supplements available.
If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you have a balanced diet, with enough protein to keep you full throughout the day. Sprinkle a little bit of carbs and fat into the mix to get that metabolism going.