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Wellness: The Scoop on Protein

Protein, protein, protein! Getting enough protein has been a topic of discussion for many years among nutritionist and foodies alike. Athletes, in particular, seem to be obsessed with getting enough protein. And if you are a vegan or a vegetarian we are sure you have heard “how do you get enough protein?” So, MTD has decided to join the discussion on protein and answer some of your burning questions.

Why do we need protein?

Many people associate protein with only build muscles; however, protein does so much more than that for your body. When we consume proteins, our body breaks them down into amino acids. Amino-acids function as building blocks that your body uses to create other proteins and help cell functions.

How much protein do I need?

The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily consumption value of 0.8 to 2 grams of protein for every 2.2 lbs. that you weigh. Where 0.8 grams is directed toward an individual who supports a sedentary lifestyle and 2 grams is directed toward an Olympic caliber athlete. To calculate how much protein you need: (Your Weight/2.2)*0.8

Can I eat too much protein?

Like any food, whatever your body cannot use will either be excreted or stored as fat. So, eating an adequate amount of protein is important to maintain your health. Furthermore, research is still being conducted in order to understand if excessive levels of protein can potentially be harmful to the liver.

Where should I get my protein?

While some individuals choose to get their protein from protein shakes, most nutritionists suggest getting your food from whole sources. This is because many protein shakes have an abundance of protein that the body is unable to fully process, and they are often accompanied by large rates of carbs and sugars. So, when picking your protein source it is important to consider the quality of the source and not just the quantity. Some natural sources of protein include sunflower seeds, pine nuts, beans, legumes, fish, and eggs.

Would I ever need more or less protein?

How much protein you need can vary off of many things, but the main two things are if you are growing or change your workout. If you are growing or your workout schedule becomes more intense, up your protein intake slightly.

QTH