By Zoe Zax
As the most essential component to your health and physique, it is important to have a baseline understanding of how to keep our body running at optimal levels for whatever activity fuels you. More often than not, this is the biggest barrier people face with reaching for their goals.
Many of us struggle to get the main key nutrients into the body just from our day-to-day food intake. But that’s a blog for another time. Today, let’s dive into protein; what it does, why protein is important, and two of my favorite ways to integrate protein supplementation into your daily routine.
Protein is part of the three main macronutrient groups (carbs, fats, protein) in which a vast majority of food and drinks can be divided into. It is often referred to as the building block of muscle and has several benefits. It lives in every cell and is responsible for a variety of catalyzing reactions in the body such as protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and immune activity support.
The most commonly referred to protein benefit is the role it plays in protein synthesis as this is where the growth, maintenance and repairing of cells occur. This is also where protein is formed within the cells from amino acids (such as EAAs and BCAAs) broken down from protein ingestion. As muscle tissue is primarily made of protein and these amino acids; it’s important not to skimp out on your daily intake as It cannot be stored within the body. Meaning our bodies cannot produce it; we can only get it from the food we eat.
Protein Bioavailability and Supplementation
Have you ever heard the statement, “abs are made in the kitchen”? Well the truth is all gains are made in the kitchen. When choosing what food is best to reach your goals, consider the bioavailability of your protein to make sure it is doing the most for you. For example, whey isolate protein powder, meat and eggs have a higher protein bioavailability than that of peanuts, legumes or wheat.
In essence, this means your body is more receptive to some proteins vs others. (Extra note: It’s also important to consider the “extras”; i.e. what carbs and fats are tagging along, when tracking for your goals.)
The reality is sometimes, we can get “chicken’d” and “egg white’d” out. It happens to all of us; especially, if you have a high daily protein goal. Whey Isolate is a great “whey” (yay puns!) to easily supplement throughout your day. Though I will note a majority of your daily protein intake should be coming from nutrient dense food sources; it is still good to use protein powder as a quick and easy supplement once or twice a day.