Protein Solutions – December 2014 Focus on Food

Picture of Miriam
Hey my Super SWEATY family!
MJ here. Whether it be meat, grilling techniques, or muscle building properties, most people understand that proteins are considered the “building blocks” of our body’s tissue.  Many people are interested in protein because our bodies need it to rebuild muscle tissue after exercise and we are looking for ways to maximize results from all of our sweaty work at Studio SWEAT. This month, we are looking at some common misconceptions about protein.
Picture of Different Protein Sources

Protein Ponderings

Eating more protein will help me lose weight.
Not necessarily. Protein can lead to feeling fuller for longer periods of time because it takes longer for our bodies to digest compared to carbohydrates. Satiety, or feeling satisfied after eating, can cause you to take in fewer calories, however protein has the same amount of calories per gram as carbohydrates (4 calories per gram). Many sources of protein also contain high amounts of fat, which can lead to excess calorie consumption.  The best protein strategy for weight loss is to look for lean protein sources and spread those out evenly among your meals and snacks. For many people, aiming to eat more protein means they are making more food at home and cutting out refined and highly processed foods which may in turn, lead to some weight loss.

The more I work out, the more protein I need.
While protein is needed in order to build tissue after exercise, most Americans are already getting enough protein in their diet to meet this need and physical fitness actually increases the body’s efficiency of using protein. Neat little factoid yes?! Additionally, the human body can only use so much protein at once; another reason why it is important to evenly distribute protein consumption throughout the day. While consuming some protein after a strength workout can provide benefits, large amounts will be of little benefit and may inhibit some workout goals from being achieved.  Eating too much protein (>35% of total calories or >2g/kg of body weight) can actually be harmful to your kidneys over time, making it difficult for your body to filter out toxins. Do you KNOW the pain of a kidney or bladder stone?  It’s not cute.

I can only get high quality protein from meat.
There are many plant based sources of quality proteins (check out ideas below!) that contain all the amino acids which are essential for humans (those that cannot by synthesized by our own bodies).  Interestingly, there are many combinations of partial proteins from plants that together make up complete proteins.  A very common example of this is rice and beans.  Eaten around the world, the combination of rice and beans provides the full range of essential amino acids as well as fiber and carbohydrate.  In fact, even if you were to eat rice at one part of the day and beans at another, your body’s need for amino acids would still be satisfied.  Other plant-based protein sources include nuts, nut butters, seeds, quinoa, tofu, and other soy products.

List of 12 Vegetarian Proteins


The information contained in this material is for informational and educational purposes only, is meant to complement the advice and guidance of your qualified healthcare provider.