Spend any amount of time in fitness circles and you’ll be told how important it is to consume enough protein each day.
Despite these endless reminders, many individuals struggle to consume enough protein each day.
This is due to a few possibilities:
Eating a Lot of Protein Can Be a Challenge
Consuming enough protein from whole foods like chicken, beef, fish, etc. can be a challenge for individuals (especially those not used to consume a high protein diet and/or those with very high calorie requirements).
In situations such as these, it can be very helpful to have a protein powder, such as 1UP Whey Protein, 1UP ISO Protein, 1UP Egg White Protein, or 1UP Organic Vegan Protein, which delivers a high dose of protein, with very little calories. Liquid calories also tend to be less filling than their whole food alternatives (making protein shakes a great option for those suffering from low appetite).
These days, we’re busier than ever, with more demands placed on our time, resources, and attention than ever before.
As such, it can be challenging to find time to eat enough protein (between 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight) during the day to support your fitness goals, be they fat loss, muscle gain, or increased performance.
Forgetting the Basics
When individuals embark on a new fitness quest, whether it be a transformation challenge or other athletic endeavor, motivation is high, which typically means that a person is checking all the boxes with their diet, training, supplementation, and sleep protocol.
However, as the weeks go by, the novelty of the new venture wans, and with that so too does their adherence to even the most fundamental of things -- like consuming enough protein. In situations like this, it’s hard to avoid novelty wearing off. The more you do something the more accustomed you get to it, but it should (hopefully) work in your favor. After a few weeks of consuming a high-protein diet, it should become habitual.
But, even the most ardent fitness enthusiasts loosen the reins from time to time.
If you find that you’re not consuming enough protein or don’t understand why protein is important, here are three critical benefits of protein supplementation.
3 Reasons Protein is Important
#1 Fuels Muscle Growth & Recovery
Every tissue of your body -- including your muscles, bones, organs, hair, skin, & nails -- is made of protein.
There are thousands upon thousands of different proteins in the body, but they’re all made from a collection of ~20 amino acids.
Some of these amino acids the body can create on its own. However, there are a select group of nine amino acids, known as essential amino acids (EAAs), that the body cannot synthesize, which means they must be obtained from the diet, either through food or supplements, such as protein powder or amino acid supplements.
Failure to consume enough essential amino acids impairs your body’s ability to create proteins, which directly affects muscle growth and recovery -- not to mention other important functions such as hormone production, neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function!
Current recommendations for optimal protein intake for active individuals looking to optimize body composition (build muscle and lose fat) are between 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.[1,2]
Ideally, you’ll evenly divide your protein intake across 3-6 meals (depending on your calorie needs and daily schedule) to promote ‘round-the-clock muscle repair and growth.
#2 Reduce Appetite
Consuming enough protein isn’t just essential for building muscle, it’s also extremely beneficial for those looking to lose fat.
Protein is important for fat loss for two main reasons.
First, consuming enough protein helps combat muscle breakdown, which is a very real possibility when dieting. You see, muscle is very expensive from an energy standpoint for the body to maintain.
When you’re dieting, calories are at a premium, and the body will seek to break down those tissues not deemed “essential” -- (note: some muscle is essential, but those bulging biceps and bodacious buns aren’t essential from a survival standpoint).
By eating enough protein each day you help combat muscle breakdown and support muscle recovery, encouraging your body to retain its lean muscle and drop body fat.
Second (and equally important for fat loss), is that protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it helps keep you feeling fuller for longer compared to carbs or fat.[3,4]
So, if you’re used to consuming a high-carb and/or high-fat diet in combination with a lower protein intake, swapping some carb and fat macros for protein can help further reduce appetite, helping you stick to your diet a bit easier.
Note: if hunger is a real problem for you while dieting for fat loss, you can also look into a stimulant-based weight loss support aid, such as 1UP Pro Ripped Max or Make Her Lean Max, since stimulants can help suppress appetite. You can also try our non-stim Appetite Suppressant, which contains natural ingredients to help curb cravings.
#3 Total Body Health & Wellness
As we mentioned before, protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, but it’s also required for every other tissue in your body -- hair, skin, nails, organs, etc.
Protein is also needed for the creation of thousands of enzymes that play vital roles in metabolism (including the digestion of food), proper immune function, hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis, and optimal bone development.
Without adequate protein intake, not only do your workouts suffer, but your body’s overall integrity and function do, too.
Cognitive function is impaired (due to suboptimal neurotransmitter synthesis). Immune function is compromised (which opens up the possibility for increased infection. Bone health is put into question (opening up the possibility for increased bone breaks and fractures).
Basically, if you’re not consuming enough protein, you’re opening yourself up to a whole world of adverse outcomes.
As such, it’s imperative to consume enough protein each and every day.
Some of our favorite protein sources to eat are:
- Lean beef
- Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, flounder, redfish, etc.)
- Shellfish (shrimp, crawfish, lobster, etc.)
- Game meats (elk, bison, rabbit, etc.)
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
In addition to these whole foods, it can also be helpful to have a protein powder at the ready for those occasions when you don’t have time for a full meal, or just feel like having something sweet and indulgent, yet low in calories and high in protein.
Benefits of 1UP Nutrition 1UP Whey Protein
1UP Nutrition workout protein promotes lean muscle growth, supports optimal muscle recovery, and improves strength. This protein supplement is 100% pure whey protein and hydrolyzed whey isolate. Our workout protein is designed to help you get the nutrients you need to build the strongest, leanest body.
Protein is a macronutrient essential for post-workout recovery and muscle building. 1UP Protein Powder has the highest quality ingredients available on the market, at the best price. Not only are our shakes crammed full of the best ingredients, but they also taste amazing. 1UP workout protein comes in a variety of delicious flavors like Birthday Cake, Coconut Ice Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Blast, Seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte, and the new French Toast. Our protein is the fastest, most convenient way to get optimal nutrients following a workout, as a meal replacement, or as a quick daily pick-me-up.
The bottom line is that protein is an essential building block for excellent weight loss and muscle-building.
1UP Nutrition provides the best protein powders and bars equipped with the right ingredients to help you completely alter your physique and build the body you’ve always wanted.
1UP Nutrition Protein Products
Not only does 1UP Nutrition provide our customers with top-rated Whey Protein, but we also carry 1UP ISO Protein, Organic Began Protein, 1UP Protein Bars, and 100% Egg White Protein. No matter which product you select, you are guaranteed a protein product with the best ingredients to deliver fast, dramatic results.
- Schoenfeld, B.J., Aragon, A.A. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 10 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1
- Helms, E.R., Aragon, A.A. & Fitschen, P.J. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr11, 20 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-20
- Roberts J, Zinchenko A, Mahbubani KT, Johnstone J, Smith L, Merzbach V, Blacutt M, Banderas O, Villasenor L, Vårvik FT, Henselmans M. Satiating Effect of High Protein Diets on Resistance-Trained Individuals in Energy Deficit. Nutrients. 2019; 11(1):56. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010056
- Douglas Paddon-Jones, Eric Westman, Richard D Mattes, Robert R Wolfe, Arne Astrup, Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga, Protein, weight management, and satiety, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 87, Issue 5, May 2008, Pages 1558S–1561S, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1558S