Whether you're a seefood (“I see food, I eat it”), vegetarian, keto or a paleo-diet devotee, protein is one of the most important parts of any healthy diet. The foundation for every single one of your cells and the basis of muscle tissue, hair and nails, protein is considered a macronutrient. This means your body requires greater amounts of proteins than other nutrients just to function normally.
If you're an athlete or even just an active woman, there's a good chance you're not getting quite as much as you need to rebuild stronger, leaner muscles or keep your body functioning and peak health.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
This is a tricky question, because it varies depending upon your body weight, activity level and other factors. As a general rule, you should consume at least 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight each day. Endurance athletes and very active women should aim for about twice that much. A 120lb woman should consume up to 96 grams of protein per day, ideally within 30 minutes of a workout.
Good Sources of Dietary Protein
Both animal proteins and plant-based proteins are important, though vegetarians can still get all of the essential amino acids they need without eating meat. Some of the best dietary sources of protein include:
Eggs –Each medium-sized egg contains about 6 grams of easily digestible and delicious protein.
Milk –Dairy products are almost universally high in protein and calcium, with milk providing about 8 grams per one cup.
Yogurt –Versatile and containing both casein and whey proteins, yogurt is also a great source of protein. Greek yogurt packs an especially big punch, with about double the amount of protein as regular varieties.
Fish and Seafood –Low in fat and high in protein, most seafood is rich in omega-3s, as well.
Poultry –Turkey and chicken are lean sources of protein with less fat than red meat, making them a favorite among athletes and fitness buffs.
Soy –A plant-based protein, soy isn't just a meat substitute. It provides all nine amino acids and can be prepared in an almost endless variety of ways for true versatility.
Seeds and Nuts –Perfect for portable snacking, nuts are rich in protein and nutrients like potassium and magnesium.
Pork –Particularly rich in leucine, which is crucial to the muscle-building process, pork also contains plenty of all the remaining eight essential amino acids.
Beans and Peas –While beans don't typically contain all nine amino acids in a single package, they are rich in protein while being affordable and versatile.
- Protein Powder –25 Grams of Protein per Serving. Perfect for post-workout recovery and on-the-go snacks to curb hunger, a high-quality whey protein isolate supplement like Pinup Girl Protein contains all nine amino acids, 0 grams of carbs or sugar and can even be integrated into many of your favorite recipes for extra protein.
While including protein-rich foods in your diet is incredibly important, dietary supplements can also be a valuable way to curb hunger, replace the occasional meal and to provide much-needed protein during post-workout recovery. With 25 Grams of Protein per serving, Low-carb, high-quality whey protein isolates like Pinup Girl Protein are vegetarian friendly and can usually even be consumed by those who are lactose intolerant due to the extensive filtering process.
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