Macronutrient Breakdown: Protein

Macronutrient Breakdown: Protein

By Handstand Personal Trainer, Erik R.

Hopefully you read over the last two blog posts and learned that neither fats nor carbohydrates are the reason for the obesity crisis. They both have benefits and are needed in a healthy diet.

However, you must be weary of food products that are high in both fat and carbohydrates (i.e pizza, burgers, ice cream, etc). This combination of the two is what causes overconsumption and disease. Luckily for us, protein drives satiety (a feeling of of fullness) and helps us fight against the obesity crisis. Scroll down to learn how:

 

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Macronutrient Breakdown: Protein: 4 Calories Per Gram

  • Amino acids (protein) are the building blocks of muscle and needed for muscle growth.
  • Leucine is the most important amino acid for building muscle
  • An important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hormones and blood i.e you need protein to live!
  • If we don’t consume enough protein (amino acids) our body will take it from other muscles resulting in a lower TDEE
  • Current recommendations .5 grams - 1.0 grams per lb (protein intake should be based off activity level i.e the more active person needs more protein)  

 

Pros

  • Increases protein synthesis which aids muscle growth
  • Decreases hunger by increasing satiety (1)
  • Decreases calorie consumption (2)
  • Prevents bone loss in elderly men and women (3)
  • Increases thermogenesis i.e increased metabolism (4)
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Cons

  • Excessive amino acid intake (BCAAS: Branch Chain Amino Acids) can decrease serotonin and catecholamine levels which decreases performance (5)
  • Excessive protein intake increases IGF-1 (Insulin like Growth Factor) which has been shown to increase cancer risk (6)  (elderly are more at risk)

Key Points

  • Adequate protein intake (.5 grams - 1.0 grams per pound)  is essential for muscle growth
  • Leucine is the most important amino acid for building muscle
  • Consume more protein on the days you train and less on the days you don’t
  • Excessive amino acid intake (BCAAS: Branch Chain Amino Acids) can decrease serotonin and catecholamine levels which decreases performance (5)
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Top 10 Foods With High Protein

  1. Pasteurized Eggs

  2. Grass Fed Beef

  3. Free Range Chicken

  4. Seafood (Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Scallops)

  5. Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Etc)

  6. Cottage Cheese

  7. Lentils

  8. Turkey

  9. Beans

  10. Plain Greek Yogurt

 

If you missed Erik R.'s post about Fat or his post on Carbs click the links to check them out! 

 

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