What About Protein?


So, what is all the hype about protein? It plays a significant role in many processes and structures in the body, and odds are you aren’t getting enough in your daily diet! 

We know that protein prevents muscle injury and improves muscle function, but did you also know that it is necessary for stabilizing blood sugar, immune system function, hormones, and nervous system maintenance? (YES, all of that!) 

 Even though it is extremely important, getting enough protein in on a daily basis can be difficult for some people. Our bodies do not store protein as easily as we store carbohydrates or fats so we need a steady supply throughout our day. We typically need around 1-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight, but athletes need more like 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram bodyweight! The need for protein can increase if you are performing regular strength training, too.  

When is it too much? 

Although it’s extremely important to get enough protein in, more is not always better. Too much protein won’t help us and can actually stress the gut and kidney. Compare different intakes with your energy levels, gut function, and recovery, to zero in on your specific needs.  

Getting it in 

So, how do we get enough protein daily to support our body in all that we do? Here’s one example: 

  • Breakfast: Three eggs with 5 slices of clean bacon 
  • Lunch: Salad with 6 ounces of protein on top (chicken, turkey, etc.) 
  • Dinner: 5 ounces of salmon for dinner 

That is easily more than 110 grams of protein!  

Eating real food is so much better than protein drinks or bars, too. Real food has protein in the form the way it was meant to be ingested. If this doesn’t work every day, then consider a protein drink. I never recommend doing them more than a couple of times a week, but if you’re going to do them, make sure they’re clean.  

What is “clean?” 

No aspartame or glutamate. Both of these ingredients are excitatory and are linked with all kinds of problems. Be careful though, they will be listed in various ways. You may need to look in the label for “aspartic acid” or look for “aspartate” where the minerals are listed I.e., “magnesium aspartate.” 

 Glutamate is a little different. The following always contain glutamate.  

  • MSG 
  • Monosodium glutamate 
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein 
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein 
  • Plant protein extract 
  • Sodium caseinate 
  • Calcium caseinate 
  • Yeast extract 
  • Textured protein 
  • Autolyzed protein 
  • Autolyzed yeast 
  • Hydrolyzed oat flour 
  • Hydrolyzed whey protein 
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein 

Whey protein that is undenatured and organic is the best. Never hydrolyzed. I would also avoid soy because of its estrogen mimicking effect.  

What about protein bars? 

 I keep the same rule, eat real food when possible. If you need them, again, make sure they have good ingredients. The bad ingredients are a little different than the protein powders; 

  • MSG 
  • Hydrogenated oils 
  • Canola oil 
  • Aspartame 
  • Sucralose 
  • High fructose corn syrup 
  • Maltodextrin 
  • Sugar 
  • Dextrose 
  • Barley malt 
  • Brown rice syrup 
  • Erythritol 
  • Xylitol 
  • Sorbitol 
  • Maltitol 
  • Agave 
  • Anything with the words soy, isolates, hydrolyzed

So, in conclusion, protein is a vital part of our diet, due to its importance in so many functions in the body! Most people are not getting enough protein every day, but that can be easily remedied. If a protein drink is needed to supplement though, make sure it is clean and watch out for those sneaky add-ins! 

P.S. A healthy stomach is needed for protein digestion. This requires adequate hydrochloric acid that is dependent on zinc.

For more information read here .

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