Anthony S Casey

Businessman, Triathlete, Dad

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Tag: nutrition

Making Protein Part of Your Fitness Routine

 

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What is protein? Why are so many fitness buffs obsessed with getting lots of protein?

When you eat foods that are rich in protein, digestive acids in your stomach break down the protein molecules into amino acids. The amino acids are restructured in unique sequences throughout the body to make the necessary proteins to keep you fighting fit.

There are 22 amino acids that scientists agree are essential to human health. Out of these 22, the human body produces 13 of them without the additional intake. We receive the other 9 essential amino acids by ingesting protein-rich foods.

Protein keeps your immune system healthy, repairs tissue, and contributes to the growth of nails and hair. It’s a “macronutrient” – this means is that humans need lots of it.

Proteins from animals; meats, cheese, and eggs, are considered “complete” because they contain all of the essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins miss a few.

According to active.com, the recommendation for normal protein intake for a healthy adult is 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight per day (so, just about 80 g of protein if you weigh 220-pounds).

But more protein is recommended if you’re highly active.

Additional protein promotes muscle adaptation during recovery from exercise in several ways. It aids in the repair of damage to muscle fibers, promotes the synthesis of new proteins, training-induced adaptations in muscle fibers, and encourages the replenishment of depleted energy resources.

This isn’t to say you should bulk up on your daily protein and expect to become superhuman. In fact, the best way to take in protein is through a normal diet regimen, not enhanced methods such as powders.

Individual protein requirements can be determined by the size of an athlete and the demands of the sport; whether the activity is more so “endurance” or “strength”-oriented determines the necessary protein intake. And understand that the amount of dietary protein required for muscle recovery is markedly small, requiring only 5 to 10 grams of amino acids. This is only 20 to 40 kcal of protein!

Foods such as fish, meat, eggs, and milk are great for finding essential amino acids. If you’re an athlete, learn what protein regimen works best for you. Remember, don’t overdo it!

 

More Butter Please!

healthy-fats

Not all fats are bad, and sometimes your meal needs that extra boost. Surprisingly, fats are starting to overcome their infamous reputation of being completely terrible, and instead, more people are opting to incorporate extra fat into their diets. Counting macronutrients can be a great way to achieve difficult or high level fitness goals. However, it is important to know when it makes sense to add extra fats to your diet and when it does not.

Most of us know that not all fats are made equal. States like New York have long since banned trans fats, and this June, the FDA issued a final statement determining that there is no safe level of industrially-produced trans fatty acids that are safe for human consumption. Trans fat must be removed from prepared foods by June 2018. That being said, many other fats have positive properties, actually producing tangible health benefits. Flax seed oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for healthy nail, hair, and skin.

In general, our bodies benefit from moderate consumptions of saturated fatty acids (butter, cream, lard, bacon), medium-chain fatty acids (coconut oil), monounsaturated fatty acids (avocado and olive oil) , and polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish, some nuts and seeds). But what’s important to remember is this: not all foods need additional fats. Be sure that the food you are consuming is truly in need of a supplement.

The truth is, fats helps you absorb vitamins. Vitamins have difficulty making it into our bloodstreams without the assistance of fat. If you typically have a healthy diet, you probably receive more than enough vitamins. However, if for whatever reason you’re participating in an extraordinarily low-fat diet, you may consider adding a goal appropriate fat that caters to your needs. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble. This does not apply to vitamin C or any of the B vitamins. Milkshakes don’t count either! After decades of bad advice, fad dieting, and lack of information, we became accustomed to believing that ultra low-fat or fat free diets were good things. This simply isn’t true! A balanced ratio of macronutrients creates the best dietary combination for our bodies.

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