The Importance of Protein in Your Diet

There are lots of diets out there… cabbage diet, baby food diet, grapefruit diet, plant based diet, the no-diet diet… but nothing is better for your body than the healthy balanced diet that we are all familiar with.  Our body needs lots of different nutrients and a lack of one or some can cause health issues now and later on in life.  I am not a fan of cutting out any particular food group in order to lose weight, I personally feel that it does more harm than good.

20-Common-Amino-Acids-v3

One nutrient that we particularly need when exercising (other than water, of course) is protein.  Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids.  Check out the link to Compound Chemistry by clicking the pic above for more information.  Certain types of these amino acids, known as essential amino acids, cannot be made by the body and must be supplied from food.  (Medecine, n.d.)  The body uses the amino acids in the proteins for growth and repair.  Have you ever wondered why your muscles feel a little sore the day after a good workout?  Here’s why.  It’s called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS.  When you exercise, your muscles gain little tiny micro tears in them.  This is what causes the discomfort.  The body uses protein to repair these tears, and in doing do makes them firmer and more taught. (Carpenter, n.d.).  Yesss… that’s what we want.  Munching lots of protein after a class will help your body heal quicker and produce better results.  This could be from lean chicken, fish, beans or lots of yummy coconut water, which helps hydrate AND restock protein, so a double-whammy.  HOWEVER, you do not need to eat any more protein than you normally would if you have a healthy balanced diet.  It is all about the timing (Rennie, 2000:20).  So put down that second dinner and step away from the fridge.

There is, of course a big difference between the soreness you feel after a good workout and pain from over-exertion and it is important to tell the difference.  Your body is only capable of so much a once and if you feel any sharp, tearing, or ripping pains you should stop immediately.

Why not try out the recipe for satay chicken noodles in the blog?

References

Carpenter, L. (n.d.). How Muscles Get Big. Retrieved from Weight Watchers: http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=60361

Medecine, U. N. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002467.htm

Rennie, M. (2000:20). Protein and amino acid metabolism during and after exercise and the effects of nutrition. Annual Reviewof Nutrition, 457-483. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10940342

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