There are three macro nutrients that we need to pay attention to when we eat. They are the sources of our calories, and the way we portion our food for caloric intake will determine whether we stay in ketosis.
The three macro nutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Today we will talk about protein.
Let’s get started.
The keto lifestyle eating plan has the macros divided 80% fats,15% proteins, 5% carbs.
We will discuss the “good” fats in an upcoming post, but today I wanted to talk about protein since it is an integral part of keto and exercise, especially those of us who are lifting weights. Our bodies will use the fat for energy, and the protein
to rebuild the muscle.
Here are the details.
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Parts of our bodies are made of mostly protein, for example our hair and our nails. Our bodies also use protein to build and repair tissue. We also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
Protein is the main building block of bones, cartilage, skin, blood, and muscles.
Another function of protein is to boost the immune system. Certain protein configurations provide defense against invaders such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Finally, protein can help us feel full. Including protein in our daily eating habits will provide four calories per gram of protein. This protein will be broken down into amino acids and can be used for energy. This is particularly important if we are reducing our carb intake. Also, keep in mind that our bodies cannot store protein, so we need to have protein every day.
It sounds like we should just eat more protein to build more muscle, if protein is the building block of muscle. Sounds good, but that is not how it works. If you want to build muscle, you need to exercise, in particular, you need to participate in resistance training. Then the muscles will be broken down, and your body can use the protein that you give it to rebuild these muscles.
But remember, you can have too much protein. A good rule of thumb, if you are lifting weights five or six times a week, is to have half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. That is just a guideline, and you need to figure out your own tolerance level of protein through trial and error.
Sources of Protein
I will list here some good sources of protein. I have created the list based on the above guideline. I am a man in my mid fifties, and my mass is 145 pounds. That would translate to a daily intake of about 72 grams of protein. I find that a little too high for me, so I try to have about three servings from the list. Each serving on this list is about 25 grams of protein.
- beef, lamb, veal, pork – about 65 grams
- turkey, chicken – about 80 grams
- fish – about 100 grams, or one can
- eggs – 2 large
- milk – about 1 cup
- cheese – about 40 grams (2 slices) of hard cheese
- yogurt – one small container or about 200 grams
- dried beans, lentil – about 150 grams
- nuts, seeds, peanut butter – about 30 grams
- protein bars – one bar
- protein shakes – one shake
On days when I do an extra long workout, or work a large muscle group (legs, chest), I have extra protein.
There are times, however, that you may need more protein, and a protein powder is an excellent source of easily digestible protein. Some of the times when you need more protein would be if you are starting a new weight lifting program, if you are amping up your workouts, or if you are recovering from an injury.
There are many brands of protein powder available. They come in a variety of flavours and a large range of prices.
I have found the best place to buy protein powder is Bodybuilding.com. I reviewed the site in another post, making the recommendation to go to the sale section for the best deals.
So there you have it. All there is to know about protein. Why our bodies need it, sources, and the importance of protein powder in a weight lifters life.
Thanks for listening. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
See you in the next post.
Have a great day!