Many great journals and scientific papers bring out the importance of protein for women. But do we really follow them long enough to benefit from this great health beneficiary of ours. Reading popular diet books will bring us face to face with some ridiculous, some not so, diet plans that at times do not contain protein at all. While they guarantee weight loss according to the writer and propagator of the diet plan, do they give us the required proteins? Absolutely not!
Imagine a breakfast that contains cereal, coffee, yogurt and a glass of juice alone. Yogurt could have some protein in it. But if you are an active person, early in the morning, are you getting enough to sustain your energy, reach a level of satiation and also gain the necessary nutrition? The answer is no. Every woman spends a good amount of her time on her feet, be it a working professional, a housewife and mother or an athlete. It is about time we set things right and really cater to the requirements of our body and its well being rather than indulge in some fairy tale diets. We need protein as simple as that.
Jen Hendershott, who happens to be a two-time Fitness International Champion as Ms. Olympia lays serious emphasis on the importance of this nutrient in our body.
The Issue With Protein intake
When we look around us and within our own homes, it is not difficult to realize that protein is one of the nutrients that is greatly undermined. We do not feel that we need proteins in our diets. The fact is, we do and in a solid level each day. Protein is composed of amino acids which happen to form the base building blocks of our body’s many tissues, with the inclusion of muscles. There are amino acids that are also very essential to us. What that means is that our bodies cannot create them naturally and hence they have to be taken by the way of regular diet. Suppose we work out actively, we tend to breakdown or burn muscle tissue. If we are looking at not only gaining lean mass, but also repairing the muscle tissues that are used up, proteins are essential. They also help us become stronger. If our protein intake is not sufficient, the essential amino acids within our body will fall short.
The hard work we put in, in order to sustain weight, encourage lean mass and grow muscles will be wasted if we do not have a proper intake of proteins. Apart from just recovery post work outs, these two play a key role in several other processes and functions within our body. Namely :
- a) Support and promotion of a healthy immune system.
- b) Connective tissues, nails, hair and other tissues are made healthier.
- c) Energy levels are well supported.
Knowing the importance of proteins is not sufficient as we also need the knowledge of how much is good enough or required by us, being women. An over dose of proteins or lack of sufficient proteins is not advisable either.
If we lead a sedentary lifestyle, as adults, we require a daily allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram of our bodyweight. This translates to or 0.36 grams per pound of our bodyweight. it is important to note that women and men require the same protein ratio in their diet. Suppose we are really active, would it make a difference to how much protein we need on a regular, daily basis? The answer is ‘Absolutely YES!’
Some Important Protein Facts
- It has long been deliberated that people who are very active and regularly exercise or train, requires a lot more dietary protein than people who are sedentary. This has been proven as being true.
- If an individual is very active, an intake of 1.4 – 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight, per day is required. Not only is this safe for us, it also improves our adaption to our exercise and training routine.
- If our diet is balanced, dense in nutrients and proteins are taken at the prescribed levels, our bone metabolism and kidney functions will remain healthy.
- Protein can be included in our diet through a channelized and varied diet, when active. But supplemental protein in its various forms will ensure that we are employing a practical approach to taking in quality proteins and that in adequate levels. This is impertinent especially for athletes.
- There are varied protein types that also have varying qualities too. Both these factors have an affect on amino acid bio availability when followed through with protein supplementation. What needs to be demonstrated yet is how one protein type is more superior to the others and how this has an effect on optimum recovery as well as, or our training adaptations.
- If a protein intake is appropriately timed, this would prove to have a vital impact on the training program and exercise regime. It would be very essential also for proper recovery, betterment of our immune function, and the promotion and maintenance of our lean body mass.
- A study conducted by Campbell et al in 2007, supports the theory that there are amino acid supplements that are quite specific in nature, for example, branched-chain amino acids. There are certain circumstances in which these tend to improve not only our exercise related performance but our recovery from exercises as well.
All these points substantiate the need for us, as active women, to consume 2 grams of protein per kilogram of our bodyweight or 1 gram/ per pound of our bodyweight. say you weigh a 150 lb, then your protein consumption per day should be 150 grams. It is noteworthy that the intake should be spaced out evenly across the number of meals we employ each day. To illustrate with an example, if you have an intake of 5 meals a day, let us look at how we can action a simple diet to include the required content of proteins each day.
- 1st Meal: A cup of egg whites
- 2nd Meal: 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition, 100% Whey or any other protein supplement
- 3rd Meal: 4 ounces of Chicken
- 4th Meal (post your evening workout): 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition, 100% Whey or any other protein supplement
- 5th Meal 5: 4 ounces of fish like Salmon or Tilapia
Foods that are very rich in Protein
- Eggs and Eggs Whites
- Lean Beef
- Fish (for example: Tuna, Salmon, Tilapia, Halibut and Mahi Mahi)
- Protein supplements
There should be no excuse why and no reason why it would be impossible for you to meet your body’s protein requirements, every single day. If you supplement your regular, nutritious diet with low carb, quality and fat with protein powders like Optimum Nutrition, Gold Standard 100% Whey, you should be on the right track. Not only is this protein supplement delicious, it simplifies the process by enabling you to whip up a healthy protein shake real fast. That sweet tooth and need to ensure recovery of muscles, for example, are well satiated.
If you want to benefit from your fitness regimen and training, to get that slim and trim body that celebrities boast of, ensure that your protein levels are at an optimum level. Never let anyone dictate to you about not needing protein, because YOU DO!