muscle

Why should I use protein?

Protein is the king of muscle building supplements. Protein is the building block of life. May things in our body are composed of protein such as hair, nails, cartilage and muscles. Protein is considered a “macronutrient” along with fat and carbohydrates. It is very important to a person’s diet. Especially one who is wishing to get in shape and build muscle.

What foods contain protein?

Protein comes in many different foods. Different meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, vegetables, and nuts as well as dairy, all contain protein. Some foods are higher in protein than others. A lot of people consider food to be the best source of protein. I have compiled a list of common foods and how much protein they contain:

Meat and Poultry:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesProtein
Chicken3 oz14128g
Steak3 oz15826g
Turkey3 oz13525g
Eggs1 egg716g

Seafood:

FoodServing SizeCaloriesProtein
Salmon3 oz15522g
Tuna3 oz9922g
Shrimp3 oz10120g
Lobster3 oz7616g

Vegetables, Grains, Legumes:

Name of foodServing SizeCaloriesProtein
Pinto Beans1/2 Cup19711
Lentils1/2 Cup1019
Black Beans1/2 Cup1148
Red Kidney Beans1/2 Cup1128
Quinoa1/2 Cup1114
Green Peas1/2 Cup594
Spinach1/2 Cup413

If food is the best source of protein, what are protein powders for?

Protein powders are a supplement and meant to supplement your daily intake. Protein powders make it easy for someone to manage their protein intake when they are on the go. Mixing some powder in a cup with a liquid is a great way to get in your protein on your way to work or business function. Protein powders are also good for a person who is having trouble hitting their daily protein goal.

How much protein do I need to build muscle?

This is a common question in the fitness world and the answer can vary depending on your weight, physical activity level, and fitness goals among other things. Let’s break it down:

  • If you are sedentary, you should aim for 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (1.2g/kg)
  • If you are a healthy weight, and active, and want to maintain your current weight, aim for 0.6-0.75 grams per pound of body weight. (1.4-1.6 g/kg)
  • If you are a healthy weight, active, and want to build more muscle, go for 0.6-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (1.4-2.4 g/kg)
  • If you are healthy weight, active and want to lose body fat, go for 0.8-1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (1.8-2.7 g/kg)
  • If you are obese or overweight, go for 0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (1.2-1.5 g/kg)

When do I need to take protein?

Protein can be taken any time during the day. Some people recommend consuming a protein shake right within 30 minutes of your workout. This 30 minute time frame is called the “anabolic window”. This is a period in which your body uses the nutrients it takes in to repair and build muscle. Personally, I would not pay a whole lot of attention to the “anabolic window”. If you can get a shake in after your workout, then great! If not, that is okay too. Just make sure you are consuming enough protein throughout your day and you will be on the right track to your fitness goal. Splitting your protein intake between your daily meals and a shake or 2 during the day is completely fine. What matters the most is that you have hit your protein goal for the day.

What are the different types of protein powders?

Protein powders come in many different types. Some types are better for certain situations than others. Another factor that may come into play when picking a protein powder is your diet. Lets break down the most common types of protein powder:

  • Whey protein: Whey protein is derived from milk. If you are familiar with the cheesemaking process, this is the liquid that separates from the curds. Whey is high in protein but also contains lactose. Some people are lactose intolerant and because of this, cannot consume whey. Whey has many benefits. It digests quicky and is very rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAA). When these amino acids are digested, they become available for protein synthesis , which allows new muscle to be made. This is an ideal protein for anyone looking to improve their physique, whether by building muscle or losing fat.
    Naked Whey Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder
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  • Casein protein: Casein protein is also a protein that is derived from milk. The difference between Casein and Whey is that Casein is digested and absorbed much slower than whey. Many people like to consume casein protein before bed as the protein can absorb into the body while asleep. Casein protein is a good protein to use to promote muscle growth and fat loss during a calorie deficit.
    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein Protein
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  • Egg Protein: Egg protein obviously comes from eggs and is usually made from egg whites rather than whole eggs. Eggs are a complete protein source meaning, they contain all essential amino acids (EAA) that your body cannot produce itself. This is a great protein choice for someone who is allergic to dairy or someone who prefers animal based protein.
    Naked Egg White Protein Powder
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  • Hemp Protein: Hemp protein is a plant based protein that has been gaining popularity. Hemp is related to marijuana but does not contain or contains very little THC. This product does contain several essential amino acids (EAA) but is not considered a complete protein because it does lack lysine and leucine which are amino acids. This is a good protein for someone who is trying to avoid dairy or someone on a vegan diet.
    Nutriva Organic Hemp Seed Protein
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  • Pea Protein: Pea protein is very popular among vegans and vegetarians. It is typically made from the yellow split pea and contains all essential amino acids (EAA) and also high in fiber. This protein is also rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAA). This is a great protein for someone who is on a vegan diet and/or trying to avoid dairy products.
    Now Sports Nutrition Pea Protein
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  • Brown Rice Protein: Most consider brown rice protein inferior to whey protein. It does contain all essential amino acids (EAA), but is too low to in lysine to be considered a complete protein. This is another good protein for someone trying to avoid dairy or stick to a vegan diet but I would probably avoid this one and try something else.
    Nutribiotic Rice Protein
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  • Mixed Plant Protein: Mixed plant protein contains protein from a variety of different plant sources. It has all of the essential amino acids (EAA). This protein has a high fiber content. Mixed plant protein is thought to digest slower than whey protein but faster than casein protein. This is an ideal protein for vegans or those wishing to avoid dairy. Mixed plant proteins usually contain two or more of the following:

So now you know more about protein. Check out our protein reviews to see which protein is best for you!