Maximizing Your Protein Intake

Protein, carbohydrates and fats, are the three primary macronutrients. Found in virtually every body part, proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters that serve as important functions for life. All these factors play an important role in the body, and getting a balance of each is important for optimum health, as well as results in the gym, says the Gainey Village Health Club and Spa Nutritionist, Kristina Hallberg.

Calorie needs vary per person, but it is recommended that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from protein sources. For example, if your needs are 2,000 calories a day, protein should account for between 200 and 700 of those calories. It’s best to spread your protein intake throughout the entire day. Protein should accompany other foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and should not account for the entire meal.

Quality is important when looking at protein. Here are some high-protein foods to include in your daily diet:

  • Eggs
  • Nuts like almonds and cashews
  • Chicken breast
  • Shrimp
  • Oats
  • Greek yogurt
  • Turkey
  • Lean beef
  • Tuna
  • Quinoa
  • Wild salmon
  • Lentils
  • Organic tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame

 

There is no “one size fits all” suggestion for including protein in your diet, as everyone has different lifestyles, activity levels and goals. For further information and to learn exactly what to eat pre- and post-workout according to your specific body type and lifestyle factors, Kristina Hallberg, Nutritionist at Gainey Village Health Club and Spa, can be reached at khallberg@dmbclubs.com .

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