Protein: The simple and essential version
If you’ve ever googled protein, or overheard the gym convos of the mega fit, you’ll know it’s a complete mind-fuck of opinions and theories!
Clear your search history and refresh your mind with our guide to understanding protein.
Veggies and vegans - keep reading, we’ve got you covered too.
This is no bible on protein (that would be impossible) instead it’s a guide to the basics. From here you’ll have the starting point to research more, or even just start thinking cleverly about how protein fits into your daily meals.
WHY THE FK IS EVERYONE SO OBSESSED WITH PROTEIN?
It’s not a fad (looking at you weird juice cleanses), it’s actually one of the things that keeps us alive. Protein is an important building block of every cell in the body (bones, hormones, organs, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood). Without it, you wouldn’t even be skin and bones, you just wouldn’t exist.
When we exercise, muscles go through stress and micro tears. Protein aids the healing response, helping to create stronger fibres and dense muscles. Sure that sounds like we’re just damaging ourselves to get fit, but actually this process is what helps us to increase strength and our metabolic rate!
Protein is the powerhouse of progress! Each body has its own protein needs which is why its important to talk to your PT, a nutritionist or do some research on what will work best for you.
SOURCES OF PROTEIN
Now you know what it is and why you need it, the next question is where it comes from:
This is an obvious one, but if you need a refresher:
Red meats, poultry, white fish, fatty fish (eg. Salmon) and dairy are all common and popular sources of protein.
Legumes, nuts and seeds all have high amounts of protein proportionate to their weights. Of course you’ve got plenty of other excellent veggies out there, but these ones are the heavy hitters!
Edamame: 8.5g of protein per 1/2 cup
Lentils: 8.84g of protein per 1/2 cup.
Everyone has had a bad mushy lentil experience in their lives, but if you cook them right they can be put into pretty much any meal! P.S, our app has got a great nutrition section, including lentil recipes that will definitely change your mind (if you don’t already love them).
This is the most confusing one and the most heavily marketed one. Straight up, there’s a lot of bad shit out there filled with chemicals, fancy words and not much else.
Protein powders are a fantastic way to include more protein into your regular diet without having to eat 1kg of lentils or beef!
If you’re standing in the front of all the protein powders trying to choose keep this in mind:
• Look for the ones that have the most natural ingredients in it
• Has a shorter ingredients list
• Contains collagen, pea or rice protein
• If you have a sensitive stomach, vegan proteins are usually easier to digest and make a great starting point before experimenting with other choices.
• Start with a smaller size and see how your body reacts with it. Then you can experiment and see what works best for you.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSUME IT
Everyone has strong opinion on this and every body is unique. Our general advice is that you should take additional protein after a work out and never as a meal replacement. When it comes to meals try to incorporate into 2 out of your 3 main meals a day.
If you’re starting or currently completing our 8 week challenge guide, we give a more detailed breakdown about when and what you should be eating for every phase of your journey. This is a great starting point if you’re interested in the power of food on your results.