Serial Trainer

{August 10, 2008}   Protein: What’s It All About?

Protein Shakes, Protein Supplements, Protein Diets. We hear the word every day but do we really know anything about it?

What is Protein?
Protein is vital to life. That’s the first thing you need to know. Protein is found in your hair, your eyes, skin, muscles, blood, etc. It is second to water as being the most plentiful substance in your body.

Protein can be put together by our body, which I like to refer to as machines (yeah, I did watch a lot of Transformers as a child). Did you know there are about eight types of protein that we cannot produce? That means we must get them from the food we eat. It is harder to gain those essential amino acids from plant life and so the easiest and fastest way to getting them is through animal protein.

Before anyone starts finding out where I am and throwing buckets of blood on me — stop, breathe, and take the CARRIE DVD out of your player. I’m not encouraging anyone to eat meat, that’s a personal issue. I’m just stating the facts here. You can get protein from plants but it’s harder. It’s found more abundantly in animal protein and it is also a little harder to digest plant protein.

So how much protein do you need a day? Well that’s a great question! The answer is that it varies. Take into account a person’s sex and age and refer to the chart below.

[ the chart was borrowed, forgive me I lost my source! you can click on the image to enlarge it]

* Teenage boys and active men can get all the protein they need from three daily servingsfor a total of seven ounces.
* For children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people, the government recommends two daily servings for a total of five ounces.
* For older children, teen girls, active women, and most men, the guidelines give the nod to two daily servings for a total of six ounces.

Studies have shown that we take in much more protein than we need, which leads to what? Say it with me! More calories.

Benefits of Protein:

* protein aids in the repair and recovery from workouts
* protein strengthens your immune system
* protein increases your lean muscle mass
* protein aids in satiety
* protein make antibodies and hemoglobin (delivers oxygen to blood cells)

Those of you that are participating in a high protein diet or thinking about it should know that there are serious side affects. Please do not attempt any diet unless you’ve consulted with your doctor. Diets high in protein produce rapid weight loss by stimulating the loss of fluids from the body. That sounds great to people desperate to lose weight but this can be extremely detrimental to your health.


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