Some people mistakenly think that protein and exercise are only for picture-perfect bodybuilders who live and breathe pumping the iron and going to the Rouse Hill gym. But protein is basically important for anyone who wants to make the most out of exercise routines, and is not in any way limited for the pros only.
When we exercise, our body effectively tears and breaks muscle fibres apart. Protein and their amino acids are essential for providing the building blocks to help build, repair and maintain the muscles that are affected during exercise. Protein also gives us the energy we need to execute the needed physical activities during routines.
But unlike carbohydrates and fat, our body doesn’t have a storage for protein, which means that it doesn’t have anywhere to draw on when it requires a new supply. So what our body does instead is it uses any available protein that our body has to help work on the muscles and also to replace glycogens.
That is why fitness specialists and personal trainers highly recommend anyone who is body building, strength training, or exercising in general to eat protein before or after a workout session. That is also the reason why we regularly see people at the Rouse Hill gym or 24 hour fitness centre who drink whey shakes or eat protein bars after their workout session.
But before you head out and buy special bars and shakes for your body’s required protein intake pre- or post-workout, keep in mind that you can also get protein from better food sources – which we will be discussing also.
Carbohydrates also play a vital role in helping our effectively body absorb protein as they are the ones that provide the energy our body needs to use the protein for its functional and structural properties, which in turn helps produce more muscle mass.
And because of the well-documented synergy between healthy protein and quality carbohydrates, the meals or snacks you eat before or after a routine should contain the right amount of each, which is high for protein and low for carbohydrates. Here’s a short list of foods that have just that:
- Fish – Certain types of fish, such as salmon, offer omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart, and contain less fat than meat.
- Nuts – Almonds, cashews, and peanuts offer a good amount of protein and heart-healthy fats per serving. And the fact that nuts are easy to carry around makes them a great snack when on-the-go.
- Eggs – Considered as the best source of protein, eggs are capable of providing all the amino acids you need on your diet. What’s even better about eggs is that there are a lot of different ways to cook or consume it, which makes eating eggs a fun, delicious and healthy experience.
- Chicken – Skinless chicken is known for being an excellent source of protein. Also, just like eggs, chicken is savoury and cooking it is an enjoyable experience.
- Whole Grains – Whole wheat bread is a great source of protein and fibre. Like protein, fibre is a dietary nutrient that helps with muscle building.
But protein does more than helping our muscles for exercise, because it is also a significant building block of blood, skin, cartilage, and bones. So whether you are a fitness buff or not, protein can benefit your body in more ways than one. There’s no denying, however, that its power is more beneficial for those who exercise.