WHY PROTEIN IS ESSENTIAL FOR RECOVERY
Protein is the essential building block of the human body. It is essential for the repair of cells that have been damaged during intense training. The repair of these cells makes our muscles bigger and stronger. Most of us could benefit from increasing our intake of lean protein through the effective planning and preparation of our nutrition plans.
Protein consumed after exercise assists in the repair and synthesis of muscle proteins, and as such, is vital to the recovery process.
Heavy resistance exercise, such as WODs or strength training, increases the rates of both protein synthesis and breakdown in muscle for at least 24 hours after a workout. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is an infamous feeling I am sure that you are already familiar with). If an athlete’s nutrition plan has an inadequate level of protein then breakdown will exceed synthesis, resulting in the loss of muscle mass.
Protein is needed in order to promote muscle adaptation during recovery from exercise in several ways:
- Aiding in the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibres.
- Promoting training-induced adaptations in muscle fibres (e.g., synthesis of new proteins that are involved in energy production and/or force generation).
- Facilitating the replenishment of depleted energy stores.
HEALTHY SOURCES OF PROTEIN
Protein can be found in many different sources, and you can easily get sufficient amounts of this macronutrient whether you are vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian or you eat meat. Here are a few examples.
- Egg Sources (cooked, not raw)
- Meats (beef, pork)
- Poultry (chicken, turkey)
- Fish and Seafood
- Soy Protein and Quinoa
- Strategically Combined Plant Sources (beans and rice)
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Concentrate
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF PROTEIN BEYOND RECOVERY
The Amino acid tryptophan, included in the proteins from chicken or turkey meat, is important for production of serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter, and melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle.
Albumin is a reserve protein, which regulates distribution of nutrients and maintains the pressure in the blood capillaries. Low albumin levels can signal liver disease or problems with processing the nutrients. A high level of albumin is typical during dehydration.
Transferrin is a transport protein for iron. It is related to immunity-boosting lactoferrin, which can be found in whey protein supplements with lower degree of processing (concentrate).
A high protein diet can contribute towards fat loss, so whether you are wanting to lose weight or build muscle (or both), protein is absolutely essential.
When it comes to protein in relation to the other macronutrients, the following points are important to consider
- Protein is the most important macronutrient for muscle gain and retention
- About 1g of protein per pound of body weight is best for most people
- Healthy fats are needed for health and hormonal function
- Healthy fats are the main macro added during massing phases and removed during cutting (fat loss)
- Carbs are…