We’ve all heard the word protein bounced around the place: even Subway are talking about it in their adverts. You get it in meat, milk and apparently submarine shaped sandwiches. We get told that it’s good for you. It makes you run faster. It makes women look like men. Bodybuilders have it in shakes. It’s a steroid. Most of these things are wrong… and some are right. Sound confusing? Well it shouldn’t be, so that’s why we’ve made it a little bit easier for you to digest.
What is protein?
- Protein is a source of energy. Just like carbohydrates, protein will provide 4 calories of energy per gram that you eat.
- Protein is one of the key building blocks for muscle. Without enough protein your body can no produce more muscle.
- It is necessary in order to have strong and healthy organs (remember they’re muscles too) as well as hair and skin.
Where do we find it?
We find protein from a whole host of different sources such as:
- Fish. Fish not only contains a high amount of protein, but it’s also high in healthy fats such as omega 3 & 9 that keep your joints supple and your brain functioning well.
- Meat. All meat has a good amount of protein as it is essentially the muscle of an animal (apologise if that puts you off your food…). Depending on the type of meat you eat, you will have varying amounts of fat that come along with it, but also a host of different nutrients. For example, eating red meat will not only have a healthy supply of protein will is also high in iron.
- Dairy. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the whole of your life, you’ll have heard the old story that bodybuilders drink raw eggs for breakfast as they need their proteins. This is a little bit extreme, and you’ll be glad to know it really isn’t that common – what with the salmonella and everything. Putting diseases aside, dairy is a fantastic source of protein as well as being absolutely loaded with calcium which ensures strong bones as well as muscles!
- Peas/Beans. If for some reason you cannot eat any of the above, you’re not all out of luck. Though not quite as biologically available to the body as animal proteins, peas and beans still supply plentiful amounts of protein, you just need to eat quite a lot of it.