It's no secret that eating the right food, and the right amount of food, is essential to success when working out. One key macronutrient that stands out as an essential workout companion since the dawn of exercise is protein. Whether you're a seasoned athlete, just starting your fitness journey, or trying to be healthy, understanding the importance of protein can significantly enhance your workouts, overall progress, and general health. Let's explore the reasons why protein is a vital companion for your workouts!
Muscle Repair and Growth:
Protein is the building block of muscles, making it indispensable for muscle repair and growth. During intense workouts, your muscle tissues undergo micro-tears. Each lift has the potential to slowly tear away at your muscles. Protein consumption post-workout helps to initiate the process of muscle protein synthesis, where new proteins are created to repair and rebuild the damaged muscle fibers. Ideally, working out causes these muscle fibers to come back stronger, thus muscle gain and growth from exercise.
By providing the necessary amino acids, protein aids in optimizing this repair process and promotes muscle recovery. Furthermore, adequate protein intake supports muscle growth, allowing you to develop lean muscle mass and enhance your overall strength and performance. To increase the effectiveness of protein, make sure you're getting a complete amino acid profile by consuming protein from a variety of different sources, which is especially important for vegan diets!
Increased Strength and Endurance:
Protein plays a critical role in improving strength and endurance. When you engage in strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or resistance training, protein helps in the formation of contractile proteins in your muscles. These contractile proteins contribute to muscular contractions, which are essential for generating force and increasing strength.
Moreover, protein provides a sustained source of energy during workouts, preventing muscle fatigue and allowing you to maintain optimal performance for longer durations. Essentially: protein is both the fuel and the blocks used to build up those strong muscles you're working toward! Without your fuel, your workouts will be far from optimal, and the muscle growth you're looking for simply won't happen.
Protein is known for its satiating effect, which can assist in appetite regulation and weight management. Including protein in your meals helps promote a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating or reaching for unhealthy snacks. Moreover, some protein snacks are absolutely delicious, especially when made right!
When combined with regular exercise, protein aids in preserving and building lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism. A higher metabolic rate facilitates fat burning, making it easier to manage body weight and achieve a leaner physique. It seems kind of counter-intuitive, but eating more protein can make you lose weight, so get that protein into your system! It's also easier to lose weight when utilizing vegan diets over animal product-based ones.
In order to build muscle, you have to put stress on your muscles and joints to tear down muscle fiber. Protein plays a vital role in the recovery process and injury prevention by helping repair said damaged tissues. Additionally, the production of collagen supports the structure and integrity of tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues.
You're actively supporting the muscle reconstruction process by consuming sufficient protein. Additionally, protein strengthens your bones, which are the foundation of your body's structure, further reducing the likelihood of fractures and other bone-related injuries during exercise. Getting an injury during exercising is a massive setback that has the potential to completely derail you from your fitness journey. With that in mind, it's important to take every cautionary measure possible to stay safe while working out!
Sources of Protein:
To ensure you're receiving adequate protein intake, incorporate a variety of high-quality protein sources into your diet. If you're consuming animal products, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are some amazing sources of protein! With that being said, overconsumption of some animal products can lead to health complications. As such, we recommend some vegan proteins as well, including legumes, nuts, seeds, and plant-based protein powders, like EVR-Fit Edge!
You don't need to be an athlete to reap the benefits of a diet high in protein - as arguably the healthiest macronutrient, everyone should consume the recommended amount (0.8g per kilogram of body weight). If you're weight training, it's even MORE vital that you consume protein on a regular basis, purely due to the fact that your muscles will need fuel to rebuild after being torn down. Protein serves as an indispensable workout companion and offers numerous benefits for everyone who consumes it, so up that intake!