5 Reasons Why Protein Is Needed When Working Out

When it comes to working out, one thing that's often on everyone's mind is protein. And rightfully so! Protein is a crucial macronutrient that plays a vital role in building and repairing muscles, tissues, and cells. But protein is not just essential for athletes and gym-goers; it is crucial for anyone looking to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Why Do You Need Protein When Working Out?

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. When you exercise, you cause tiny tears in your muscle fibres, and it's these tears that lead to muscle growth and strength. But in order to repair those tears, your body needs amino acids from protein to synthesise new muscle tissue.

Additionally, protein plays a role in many other bodily functions, including immune system health, hormone production, and enzyme activity. It also helps to regulate appetite and can aid in weight loss and maintenance.

But not all proteins are created equal. While protein is essential, the quality and quantity of the protein you consume matter just as much.

How Do Different Proteins Help?

Animal proteins, such as meat, fish, and dairy, are considered complete proteins because they contain all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Plant-based proteins, such as beans, legumes, and nuts, are considered incomplete proteins because they lack one or more of these essential amino acids.

However, by combining different plant-based proteins, such as beans and rice or hummus and pita, you can create a complete protein meal.

When it comes to the quantity of protein you need, it varies based on factors such as age, gender, weight, and activity level. But a general rule of thumb is to aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So, for example, a person who weighs 70 kilograms would need a minimum of 56 grams of protein per day.

But when you're working out, you may need more protein to support muscle growth and repair. Some studies suggest that consuming up to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight may be beneficial for athletes.

How Does Adding More Protein Affect The Body?

Improved performance: Protein also helps improve your athletic performance. Studies have shown that consuming protein before or after exercise can help increase muscle strength and endurance.

Increased metabolism: Eating protein can also help boost your metabolism. Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fats, which means that your body burns more calories digesting protein.

Decreased muscle soreness: If you've ever experienced muscle soreness after a workout, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Consuming protein after exercise can help reduce muscle soreness and aid in recovery.

Appetite control: Protein is also an essential nutrient for appetite control. It helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer and can reduce the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.

Bone health: Protein is not just important for muscle health but also for bone health. Adequate protein intake can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Immune system function: Lastly, protein plays a crucial role in immune system function. The amino acids found in protein are essential for producing white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.

Protein is essential when it comes to exercise. It provides the necessary nutrients for muscle growth and repair, improves performance, and aids in recovery. Incorporating healthy sources of protein into your diet can help promote a healthy and active lifestyle.