This post is sponsored by Premier Protein.
Protein is in high demand among consumers looking to harness its health benefits, which include satiety and increased muscle building. There are a wide variety of protein types and sources, and they aren’t all created equal. We interviewed Dr. Robert Wildman, Chief Protein Officer of Premier Protein, about the benefits of protein, how much the average person should consume and how different protein sources stack up against one another.
Protein beverages, bars and other convenience foods are all the rage with consumers. What are the functional benefits of these high-protein offerings?
Incorporating protein in your diet provides many benefits, including satiety, nutrition and muscle strength to give you good energy. One thing to keep in mind is that many sources of protein are also high in calories and contain a lot of fat and carbs. The best sources deliver a high volume of protein without the unwanted fat, carbs and sugar. Premier Protein Shakes are great options since they’re high in protein (30g) and low in sugar (1g) and calories (160 cal.). Plus, Premier Protein Shakes are easy to enjoy on-the-go and are a great way to help you meet your protein needs. Additionally, chicken breasts — although not necessarily a convenient on-the-go food source — are an excellent example of high protein food, delivering 27 grams of protein without the high fat and calories, as a serving has just 3 grams of fat and 142 calories.
What are some of the best sources of protein — both whole foods and ingredients used in packaged offerings such as powders and bars?
You can get protein from many foods, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, vegetables and, of course, protein shakes, bars and powders. Some of these are complete proteins while others are incomplete proteins. Complete proteins supply enough of the essential amino acids and can only be obtained through diet. Complete proteins, such as whey, soy, casein and milk, are some of the best sources, along with meat, fish and eggs.
While protein does give the body energy, each source provides benefits for the body in different ways. Whey protein, which comes from milk and can be found in protein powders, like Premier Protein Whey Powder, is absorbed the fastest and recommended for early morning and around a workout, especially during recovery. Casein protein, which also comes from milk, is digested the slowest, providing a more sustained delivery of amino acid to the body. Milk protein in a combination of both whey and casein in their naturally occurring ratio. Milk protein is ideal for satiety and extended muscle protein balance or building for exercisers.
Most vegetables sources, except for soy, are incomplete proteins and require either a higher protein intake or fortification or combinations of other complementary proteins to make them complete.
How much protein does the average person need in his or her diet?
Every person is different when it comes to protein needs and intake. It depends on age, size, activity level and fitness goals. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein for men and women is 56 and 46 grams per day, respectively. However, this is the minimum level needed to keep most, but not all, people from developing protein deficiency and is not enough for people who exercise or are trying to manage their weight. These people, as well as older individuals, should be targeting a higher protein intake.
When is the best time of day to consume protein (eg. at breakfast; pre- or post-workout)?
It’s beneficial to eat protein consistently throughout the day at each meal, as it keeps you feeling nourished and satisfied, giving your body the sustained supply of building blocks for a healthy body. Additionally, consuming protein pre- and post-workout helps in the building of lean muscle. And don’t forget that protein works the same in the body during sleep, so protein before bed can be helpful, too.
Dr. Robert Wildman is the Chief Protein Officer for Premier Nutrition Corporation. He has dedicated his life to helping people learn how to eat and to live their lives longer and healthier. Educated in some of the nation’s leading nutrition programs, Dr. Wildman has authored several nutrition books including “The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition and Optimal Health,” “Sport & Fitness Nutrition” and “The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods,” which are used by health professionals and students around the world.
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