Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't Forget The Protein

Every day we use our muscles. Right now all my muscles are firing but for some reason I can't move this boulder. Look below, see all those muscles you're using.

Regardless of how much exercise you do it's very important you get enough food including protein. If not, you're body uses it's own muscles to feed itself.
This past May I read a reinforcing article in Bicycling Magazine.
Skimp on protein, and your body borrows from muscle to meets its needs-undermining the fitness you've worked so hard to achieve. "Getting enough protein protects your lean mass, " says Roberta Anding, RD, a sports dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "And that's where the power in your ride (or any exercise) comes from."

Because protein slows digestion and lowers a food's rating on the glycemic index, it prevents high-energy cards from sending your blood sugar soaring, then crashing.

Here are some other interesting points of this article.

*The amino acids in protein act like recovery agents that refresh your body for the next go-round.

*Protein rebuilds tissues and prepares them for more.

*Roberta Anding, RD recommends consuming a daily dose of .5 to .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight-that's about 85 grams for a 170-pound exercisers.

*High quality protein offer more muscle-building amino acids than others. "Eggs and dairy products are incredibly high quality sources," says Anding. Such proteins are considered "complete" because they contain enough of all the essential amino acids needed to rebuild cells. Milk is particularly high in branched-chain amino acids, including leucine, which has bound to trigger muscle recovery."

*Proteins are absorbed at different rates (similar to fast-and slow-release carbs or simple vs. complex) Whey, a milk protein, is digested quickly-which is why it's preferred in recovery beverages. But other milk protein, casein, is slowly digested, so it's ideal for minimizing blood-sugar spikes throughout the day.

*Double Up Choose protein sources that are also high in other valuable nutrients. Lean beef and dark meat chicken contain high-quality protein and IRON, which helps deliver oxygen to working muscles. Cold water fish such as cod or salmon pair with omega-3 fatty acids-anti-inflammatory agents that ease acing joints and overworked muscles. Many low-fat dairy products pair with calcium, which stimulates muscle contraction and keeps muscles firing.

UMMMM, I think the three glass a day Milk campaign has some real validity.

So check out how much you should be eating and track it for a few days and see if you're getting enough. IF YOU'RE NOT, IT MAY BE THE REASON YOU'RE SO TIRED ALL THE TIME.


  1. Excellent post Audrey and one I needed. This past week I have not been eating enough protein....I'm on it now!

  2. I've been skimping on breakfast protein the last few days and I feel it too. That's the hardest time for me to get my protein in because I lean toward whole wheat toast and fruit for breakfast.

  3. Well yay, because all I feel like I've done this pregnancy is drink milk!

  4. You are so clever with all your pictures. You are always thinking ahead...that's good. That's my girl :) :)

  5. Oooh, good point. I'm going to go back at my food logs online, which track my protein, and check my protein intake. I bet that explains a lot!!!

  6. Yep, I just checked, and I am NOT getting enough most days. I'd say I currently get enough about 2 days a week. I must eat more protein!!

  7. I second this post! After barfing last week, I still haven't recovered my appetite and haven't been eating much, and I paid for it on the one run I took this week. I was exhausted!

  8. Fantastic post Audrey, thanks for the reminder. I am sure my intake has been low the last little while. I used to carry a bag of nuts in my purse as an emergency snack but haven't done that for a couple weeks. Time to hit Costco and stock up again.