Implementing a high protein meal diet has always been a top priority for those looking to add a little lean to their muscle and burn some belly fat. While the daily recommendation for protein intake equates to 60 grams, determining how to spread out your protein consumption throughout the course of the day can get tricky. For those who often find themselves guessing on which meal to incorporate protein to, a recent study suggests how to properly distribute your intake so that you see the results you're looking for.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed how consuming the majority of your protein intake either at the beginning or end of your day may not be doing your body justice. The importance of protein ranges on a number of levels, such as promoting efficient weight control, strengthening bone density and, of course, adding a little mass to your muscle.
In order to find out how your protein intake should be distributed throughout the day, the researchers took two separate groups of healthy adults to settle this health inquiry once and for all. Two diets were established that featured different portion sizes of protein being provided with each meal. One of the groups was given a diet that consisted of 30 grams of protein at each meal, while the other subjects were administered a meal plan that pertained to 10 grams at breakfast, 15 grams at lunch and 65 grams at dinner.
Muscle protein synthesis rates were then measured for all the participants every 24 hours after their daily diets were completed. The researchers decided to give all of the volunteers a 90 grams a day, because a meal plan that is significantly higher in protein content can provide an actively healthy adult with better muscle metabolism. After analyzing the daily protein synthesis rates provided by the subjects, the colleagues determined that those who exercised an evenly distributed protein diet of 30 grams per meal were able to achieve 25 percent greater muscle protein synthesis rate than those who had their meals slowly progress in protein content throughout the course of the day.
The study was led by Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, a scientist whose expertise resides in muscle metabolism for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Paddon-Jones called out the typical protein diet that is commonly used by people today, explaining that equality is everything when it comes to dividing up your protein content for the day.
"Usually, we eat very little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch and then consume a large amount at night," Paddon-Jones said in a statement. "So we're not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we're often taking in more than we can use. We run the risk of having this excess oxidized and ending up as glucose or fat."
Alternative ways to get protein
While everyone can help pump up their muscle mass by increasing their protein intake, sometimes you don't have time to sit down and eat a hearty protein meal to get the daily recommendation that you need. That's why Naturade Pea Protein is a simple and effective method to consuming 40 percent your daily protein requirements, all in an 8 ounce glass of your favorite beverage. By adding two scoops to a glass of water, you will be packing a healthy plant-based protein that can offer your body all the essential qualities of protein, such as building muscle, maintaining proper metabolism and lowering blood pressure. If you need protein in a hurry, Naturade Pea Protein will have you covered.
While some people can never get enough of the health benefits of soy, others cannot physically experience the wonders of this bean because they are allergic to it. Soy allergy is one of the most common types of food allergens experienced in the world, with it being included as one of the eight foods that make up 90 percent of all nutritional allergies. While most children born with this condition eventually outgrow it, soy allergies continue to plague some people through adulthood, which is why there are plenty of quality options for finding a soy-free protein powder that will pack all the energy, nutrition and probiotics you need to keep your days fully vitalized. Here are a few options for soy-free protein sources currently available on the market.
VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake
Plenty of protein is just one of the essential qualities this powder will provide to your favorite beverage. By adding 2 scoops of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake to your glass, you're not only getting a quality protein booster that is entirely soy-free, but you are also replenishing your body with a wide variety of nutritional dynamics, including 22 essential vitamins and minerals, sufficient sources of dietary fiber and omega-3 blend as well as an invigorating digestive enzymes mixture that will assist your digestive system. On top of having no soy content, VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake is also dairy free, for those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to gluten.
Soy-Free Veg Protein Booster
The title of this protein powder says it all. One serving of Soy-Free Veg Protein Booster is loaded with 20 grams of protein, which is enough to accommodate to 40 percent of your daily recommended amount. Plus it is bursting with essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, which will allow your body to maximize its enhancement of immune function and antioxidant activity. Naturade Soy-Free Veg can be blended into your morning smoothie, afternoon juice or evening workout beverage, and can even be used as an ingredient to your favorite dish to increase your protein intake. Did we mention that it's also 100 percent soy-free?
Naturade Pea Protein
This perfectly accommodating vegan formula protein powder is another source for those allergic to soy who are still looking for an all natural way to receive their protein. One packet of Naturade Pea Protein will transform your beverage of choice into an easily digestible source of nine essential amino acids, that is based off of entirely non-GMO pea protein recipe that is 100% gluten-free, cholesterol-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
For those who are gluten intolerant, finding efficient ways to get the protein intake your body needs can prove difficult. Gluten intolerance is a condition that affects 18 million Americans, while 83 percent who have the condition are often undiagnosed or it is mistaken for other similar conditions. The disorder is brought on by the body's inability to process gluten, which is a protein commonly found in wheat, barley and rye products. General symptoms or signs of gluten intolerance include:
- Upset stomach or bloating
- Skin rash
- Joint pain
- Chronic fatigue
Thankfully, Naturade offers a variety of gluten-free protein powders that are also loaded with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals the body craves. These protein powders and shakes can help ensure that you are getting the necessary nutrients you need to keep going without having to sacrifice your dietary habits. Here are a few great Naturade products that are all gluten-free:
VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake
Just one serving of this delicious nutritional shake can boost your levels of protein and fiber without adding any gluten or dairy ingredients. Whether you are a devout vegan or more of a carnivore, a couple scoops of a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake will provide your body with the care it deserves. It's loaded with 22 vitamins and minerals, including 50 percent of your daily recommendations of vitamins A, C and B6, and the best part of it all is that there is no cholesterol or trans fat added. You can choose from vanilla, chocolate and chai, depending on your preferences and what type of smoothies you like to make.
Naturade Pea Protein
Another natural source of protein that is 100 percent gluten-, dairy- and cholesterol-free, is Naturade Pea Protein. Mix two scoops with your favorite beverage to supply your body with nine essential amino acids, plus 40 percent of your daily protein. The protein powder is derived from split peas and is a completely natural plant-based protein that will go down smooth for anyone with gluten intolerance. Naturade pea protein comes in chocolate or vanilla and is ideal for children, athletes or anyone looking to get a boost on their protein intake.
Naturade Total Soy Meal Replacement
It only takes eight ounces of a glass of water and Naturade Total Soy Meal Replacement to give your body more than half the amount of daily suggested soy protein, a vital source of more than 24 vitamins and minerals that can also help lower cholesterol. It's also completely gluten-free, and with just 130 calories per serving, this beverage is a great way to lose weight and get all the protein you need.
If you've just started using protein or are looking into your options, you might have some questions about which one to choose. After all, there are many types of protein powders and supplements. Two of the most popular types are whey powder and pea protein. Here are the benefits of using protein supplements as well as the differences between these two types to help you choose the best one for you:
Why protein supplements?
There are many benefits to supplementing your diet with protein shakes. For starters, bodybuilders, very active people and athletes need extra protein to keep their bodies going. Protein also helps build muscle. During strength training and other endurance workouts, muscle tissue is broken down, but ingesting protein no more than 30 minutes after working out is important in helping muscles to repair and recover. Many times, the easiest way to do that is to whip up a quick protein shake in the blender or just mix up a scoop or two of protein powder with any liquid of your choice.
For people who don't eat enough protein in their daily diets – such as vegans – protein supplements are a great way to ensure they get enough to keep their body energized and functioning properly. This is especially great on busy days when there isn't much time to cook.
There is also some evidence that certain protein supplements are good for overall immune health, and even weight loss by reducing hunger.
People who don't have milk allergies often choose whey protein powder like Naturade 100% Whey. These are good because they contain high levels of branched-chain amino acids, which, when combined with intense exercise, are exceptionally good at helping to prevent muscle breakdown and facilitate post-workout recovery. Whey powders often contain the milk-product casein – a slow-digesting form of protein – which provides your cells with a steady supply of energy, a boon during extended workouts.
With the development of pea protein, vegans, vegetarians and those with restricted diets due to allergies can experience the full benefits of a protein powder. Choose a supplement like Naturade Pea Protein, which is excellent because it offers nine essential amino acids. It's also dairy- and soy-free, easily digestible and highly soluble. It's also good for weight loss and muscle-building.
Protein is essential to your body's proper functioning and survival, which is the short reason for why you need it.
What is protein?
Protein is actually a very broad term for the chains of amino acids found in the foods that we eat and throughout our bodies. There are between 20 and 22 protein-building amino acids – our bodies make more than half of them through the breakdown of proteins or from other amino acids, but nine amino acids are called "essential," meaning we must ingest them because the body cannot produce them on its own.
Our bodies need proteins that vary in their breakdown of essential amino acids, and we need protein every day because, unlike things like glucose, fat and certain vitamins, our bodies have no way to store amino acids. Thus, if we fail to eat enough complete protein every day, our bodies "go catabolic," meaning they break down existing tissues – starting with the muscles – to get the necessary amino acids.
There's a reason that our bodies need protein everyday and will go to great lengths to get it. In fact, there are between 30,000 and 50,000 different proteins in the body. Protein is essential to a majority of the body's functioning, including:
- Immune response: Antibodies are proteins that attack a bacterium or virus that has entered the body. Antibodies work to neutralize the impact and prevent the foreign substance from causing infection or disease.
- Supporting the tissues: Collagen is the most widespread protein in the body, as it is a part of the tendons, ligaments and bones. Myosin and actin – both proteins – help the muscles function.
- Fluid balance: Proteins found in the blood help maintain the proper fluid levels in the body. They act as a buffer, remove excess hydrogen or add more when necessary to maintain the blood's pH levels. Blood proteins also protect against the accumulation of fluid in the tissues by pulling water into the capillaries.
- Growth and development: Proteins are especially important for fetuses, infants and children whose bodies are growing rapidly.
- Transporting oxygen around the body: The protein hemoglobin pairs with iron to move oxygen through the blood.
- Breaking down food: Enzyme proteins break down other proteins into amino acids and work to remove waste.
What to know about eating protein
Protein requirements vary with age, sex, health and level of physical activity, but people rarely need protein supplements unless they're working to build a lot of muscle quickly.
Hemp is a plant with many uses,and it is found in products such as diapers, canvas, biodegradable plastics, socks, fiberboard, soap and cosmetics. The seeds from the hemp plant – called cannabis sativa – are very nutritious. In fact, hemp seeds have one of the highest amount of proteins of any food – only soy has more.
Hemp is a complete protein, meaning it contains all eight essential amino acids that are sufficient to meet our bodies' protein needs. Additionally, hemp is easy to digest because it has the globular proteins albumin and edestin that dissolve easily. As if these reasons weren't enough to include hempseed proteins into your diet, they also are high in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids – fats that are important for heart and brain health. While red meat and dairy products are good sources of protein as well, they can be too high in saturated fat. In contrast, hemp has very low levels of saturated fat and is a great option for vegetarians and vegans to get sufficient protein and other nutrients in their diets.
Finally, hemp protein is sustainable. It grows easily in many environments, and it grows tall very quickly, choking out weeds. Thus, there is no need to use pesticides on hemp products. Compared to other sources of protein like animals, soy and other crops, hemp protein is less environmentally damaging and more cost-friendly.
If you're considering trying out hemp seed as a sustainable and highly nutritious protein source, one good way to start is buy trying Naturade's VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake, which contains hemp seed as just one non-GMO plant-based protein in its complete protein blend. VeganSmart is gluten-, cholesterol-, trans fat- and dairy-free and it contains probiotics and digestive enzymes for gastrointestinal health.
A food allergy is when the body's immune system is triggered to produce an abnormal response upon the ingestion of certain foods. These responses can range from the annoying, like an itchy mouth or hives, to the more troubling and sometimes life-threatening, like vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and tightening in the throat, and drop in blood pressure.
About 5 percent of the U.S. population has food allergies, and 90 percent of all food allergies are due to these eight foods:
- tree nuts
While children often grow out of their milk and egg allergies, these and other allergies can persist into adulthood. For adults engaged in fitness who require a lot of protein for muscle-building, this can be difficult to do with allergies to animal proteins like milk, eggs, shellfish and fish. For example, people with milk allergies cannot enjoy traditional protein shakes made with whey and casein, which are two proteins from milk. Soy is another very common cause of allergies that can make things difficult because soy is in so many of our foods today.
However, if you are allergic to one or more animal products or soy, this doesn't mean you can't enjoy a protein shake. Instead of whey or soy protein powders, choose one made of other vegetable proteins. Naturade offers two excellent dairy- and soy-free options, including VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake and Naturade Pea Protein.
VeganSmart is all-natural and gluten-free. It contains 20 grams of non-GMO protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber, probiotics, heart-healthy omega-3s and 22 vitamins and minerals.
Naturade's Pea Protein gets its protein boost from yellow split peas, which are also an excellent source of fiber. It is gluten-, cholesterol- and GMO-free and contains nothing artificial.
Very serious athletes and people looking to curb their cravings often consume high-fiber, high protein foods and supplements or meal replacements. While energy bars, protein powders and other supplements are often made from soy protein isolate, egg whites or the whey or casein from milk, people are becoming more interested in using pea protein. This is likely due to the rise of veganism and an increased demand in non-animal protein products. Also, many people have soy and dairy allergies, and pea protein generally has a low allergy profile so it's preferable to other protein sources.
The yellow split peas used in pea protein are sustainable, and many pea protein products do not use GMOs. Unlike fresh English peas, which are slightly sweet, yellow split peas are not eaten fresh but rather are dried and then split or ground.
One excellent option if you're considering adding a new protein source is Naturade Pea Protein. It is 100 percent gluten-, cholesterol-, soy- and dairy-free. Naturade's pea protein is made of yellow peas and is easily digestible. It is also made from non-GMO peas, is vegan and is suitable for both adults and children. It contains nine essential amino acids, which support the muscles, bones and connective tissues, and are important because the body is unable to make them on its own.
Aside from all of the above benefits, pea protein is also beneficial for athletes because the amino acids lysine, arginine, leucine, isoleucine, valine and glutamine can support sports performance recovery and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Mix two scoops of Naturade Pea Protein into cold water or any other beverage. You can also blend it into a post-workout or morning smoothie with fruit, yogurt, oatmeal and various other ingredients for a complete meal.
Athletes and everyone even marginally interested in fitness knows that it's important to consume protein after working out. Research by exercises scientists and others has shown that ingesting protein after a workout, in any form, is important for muscle synthesis and the prevention of muscle breakdown. In fact, some people believe that if you don't consume protein after your exercise, you're almost defeating the purpose. But how much protein is enough? And what is the optimal form of protein?
Most nutritionists and exercise scientists seem to agree that as long as you're consuming enough protein every day – which is up to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight for adults looking to maintain muscle, and up to 0.8 grams for hardcore athletes consistently involved in strength training to build muscle – the amount you consume post-workout isn't too important. Generally, between 20 to 40 grams of post-workout protein is enough.
You should consume protein within an hour after working out for maximum benefits. It's important to eat varied protein sources, but whey protein powders like Naturade 100% Whey are optimal for post-workout protein as they work more quickly than whole food sources.
When you're trying to build muscle, it's important to do it right so you'll see results and not get discouraged, especially if it's the first time you've set off on this type of fitness endeavor. The best foods are those high in protein and low in fat, because protein is the main macronutrient that builds muscle mass. Here are some of the top foods to include in your diet for building muscle:
- Eggs: These small but mighty spherical wonders are a powerhouse of nutrition. The whites are low in fat and very high in protein, which is why so many people are a fan of straight egg white omelets. But don't discount the yolks! They contain vitamins D, B6 and B12, E, folate, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin and zinc, and they also contain plenty of protein. Calorie for calorie, eggs have the highest biological value when it comes to protein intake, making them a true, underrated superfood.
- Salmon: Not only is this lean fish a great protein machine, it also improves heart health with omega-3 fatty acids. These are also important because they improve your recovery time after a major workout by decreasing the muscle-protein breakdown that occurs. Omega-3s have been shown to potentially reduce fat accumulation as well.
- Quinoa: This super grain has had a drastic rise in the popularity in the fitness community in the past few years, and for good reason. Quinoa contains essential amino acids and complex carbs, which give you sustainable energy to make it through an intense workout. The high fiber content in this nutritious grain is a great fat-buster.
- Yogurt: You'll find an excellent combination of protein and carbs here. It's not necessary to eat plain yogurt either. However, you also don't want to buy yogurt that has too much added sugar, but the types with fruit on the bottom provide a good boost of energy from insulin to keep a protein breakdown from occurring after you work out. Pack in the protein – nearly 20 grams – with Greek yogurt.
- Almonds: These crunchy nuts contain plenty of alpha-tocopherol, or vitamin E, which is an antioxidant believed to prevent free-radical damage and thus promote muscle healing. Grab a handful for an easy, high-protein snack.
- Water: Drinking enough water for muscle growth should be a no-brainer. Water keeps the entire body healthy and functioning properly.