Written by: AnnieWall
What do you really know about protein? We often talk about protein and how it is good for us, but most athletes don’t know so much about its function in the body. Many athletes think that they only need protein to increase muscle mass, however, the body uses protein in many different ways.
What You Need to Know About the Way Protein Functions in the Body
Every cell in the body needs protein. It is needed for growth and repair of everything from muscles, bones, fingernails, and hair. Protein aids to create enzymes which digest food, produce antibodies and hormones.
The latest scientific information indicates that you need about 10 – 15% of your calories from protein. Fat is important as well, and you need to make sure you get about 35% of healthy fats in your diet every day. Your body also needs carbohydrates and 50% of your diet should be made out of carbohydrates.
What Is Protein?
Protein is made up out of amino acids which in turn consist of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Some amino acids may even contain sulfur. Most proteins are made up out of 20 amino acids and some may even be represented several times. One single protein molecule can consist of 500 amino acids or more arranged in a sequence.
The body contains many different types of protein molecules, and they all have their own areas of expertise. Keratin and collagen give strength to tendons, skin, and hair. Hemoglobin and myoglobin are oxygen-binding proteins supporting the blood and muscles. There is little wonder that athletes and bodybuilders need protein.
At the same time, excess protein can be harmful. When excess protein is not turned into energy it is stored as fat in the body, and this is why it is so important to get your pre work out nutritional needs right.
Top Tips for Improving Your Pre Workout Nutritional Needs
How do you get your nutritional needs for your work out right? A lot of it has to do with timing. You need to make sure that you eat the right kind of food and the optimum time for your body to both produce energy and make the best use out of protein.
High-quality proteins are what really matters and they can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs and, to a certain extent, soya which has not been genetically modified. Modern day lifestyles can make it hard for us to have a high-quality protein meal an hour before our work out. After all, you are not very likely to be able to cook the perfect pre workout meal in the office. This is why supplements and protein bars are crucial when it comes to meeting your pre workout nutritional needs.
What You Should Stock Up on To Maximize Your Workout
Carrying your entire larder around with you, or turning your office desk into a food storage cupboard, is not going to work. You are far better off focusing on buying quality products which are going to give you the right nutrition before your workout.
Healthy Protein Bars
As a busy mum to a daughter with Asperger’s syndrome, I know I am not always going to have access to getting that perfect workout meal. One minute I am picking my daughter up from school, and the next minute I am dropping her off for a violin practice with a local orchestra. Of course, I like to make the most out of my time while my daughter is rehearsing for her next concert. This means I sneak off to the gym or go for a run with our Doberman dog.
In my bag, you will find all sorts of things which are handy for the gym, and one of them is my beloved protein bars. One of these “bad boys”, as I like to call them, will help me to improve my workout or keep up running with our dog on the beach.
I believe in quality over quantity and my protein bars have to meet certain standards. First of all, I make sure they are gluten-free. I am not allergic to gluten, but as a biochemist, I know gluten can make it harder for the body to absorb protein. My favorite go-to snack is either a peanut or chocolate bar.
Caffeine Supplements – Are They Safe?
I had always been skeptical about caffeine supplements, but I have learned from my airline pilot husband that they can really help you out when you are feeling tired. Not only do they provide you with extra energy, but when I need mental clarity, they have become my favorite supplement. Running with our dog, I need both mental clarity and energy. First, we run along the beach and then we take the hilltop coastal path to get back to the car. Believe me, I don’t want to fall down a steep coastal cliff and end up with an injury before my next sporting event.
Oats – Can They Help Your Workout?
Mornings are a rather hectic time in our household and I try to get ready as quickly as I can to get my daughter to school. A couple of years back, I discovered oats overnight. Initially, I thought it was going to be a one-off thing, but before I knew it, I was addicted to them. Oats overnight as pre workout breakfast give me the kickstart I need in the morning. They are the perfect breakfast pre workout food before I go to the yoga studio for about one hour. What I love about oats is that they don’t make you feel bloated, and convert into slow release energy to keep me going in the morning. You don’t need to use dairy milk to make up your oats, I have found hazelnut milk works just as well.
These are my tips for improving your pre workout nutritional needs. I have been into sports for a long time, and I think I have finally figured out how to make the most out of my work out.