Protein is one of the 3 macronutrients the others being carbohydrates and fats. Whilst carbohydrates and fats are used as sources of energy, protein is an important component for every cell in the body.
Your hair and nails are most made up of protein, so is important for healthy hair and nails.
Protein is needed to make enzymes and hormones.
Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
How protein helps with recovery
Protein does not only help with recovery, but it helps you grow. After you train, you are actually tearing down your muscles, that's why you feel sore. Consuming protein helps rebuild your muscles back stronger.
How and when should you consume protein
You want to aim to have approximately 30% of you calorie intake from protein, you can use the app 'my fitness pal' to log your food and work out what you are getting. If you are not into numbers then just ensure you are getting a source of protein in each meal. The other 50% should come from carbohydrates and 20% from fats.
I'm not a believer in relying on supplements as I believe you get get everything you need from a healthy diet. However if you are struggling to get in enough protein for your daily calories allowance it can be a good option as it is easily to consume and just contains protein, not like an egg for example which has a high amount of fat.
You don't need to rush and each protein immediately after you exercise, but it's good to have within 2 hours after exercising. Having protein right before exercising can make you feel bloated and nauseous as your body digests it, so it should be avoided. Carbohydrates are a better source of energy.
Sources of protein
Yes, vegetarians and vegans can also manage to get adequate amounts of protein on their diets through:
Share in the comments, how do you get protein into your diet.
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