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Why is protein important?

Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a "macronutrient," meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it.

When you are training on a regular basis, especially when incorporating strength training, protein will help in the recovery of muscles and encourage steady growth.

Protein is just as important in fat loss as it is in muscle building.

The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, the faster you burn fat.

What happens when I don’t get enough protein?

The culprit could not only be a lack of protein, but undereating across the board.

Your body is way smarter than you give it credit for.

Cut your calories and train like a beast? And miraculously lose weight? Um, I think not.

In fact, that will set you up for a vicious cycle of going nowhere fast.

When you are lacking protein and calories your body automatically assumes you are in starvation mode and will store as much body fat as it possibly can to survive until you start fueling it effectively again.

What happens when you are training regularly but are under fueled? Your body will look for the next best fuel source to use for energy and in a bid to conserve as much fat as possible.

That fuel source?? The protein in your muscles.

So you train. Your body attempts to build muscle. Can’t find any fuel sources because you aren’t eating enough. Depletes muscle of newly formed protein. You are back to square one.

How much protein should I be having?

As a general rule if you are training on a regular basis (3 or more times a week), protein should make up 40% of your daily intake of Macros. Carbs and fat and equal 30%.

Or, at least 2grams per kg of body weight.

Most of our clients come to us with a balance more like carbs 50-60%, fats 30%, and protein sometimes as low as 12%!!!!

Where do I find protein?

The most obvious answer is meat. But again, you have to be careful your choice of meat (sausages, bacon, mince patties probably not ideal).

Lean meats such as turkey, chicken without skin, and pork without fat are great.

Game meat is very high in protein – such as kangaroo and venison (but may not be to everyone’s taste!).

Fish and eggs are another great source, although be mindful of the fat content, even though its “good fats”.

You might be surprised to learn that the following veggies also contain protein –

Peas, kale, brussel sprouts, artichokes, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, asparagus, potatoes, beetroot, cabbage, eggplant, and carrots.

(be careful on the intake again of some of these veggies such as cauli, broccoli, and cabbage can cause bloating).

What if I use a supplement?

There’s alot of supplements out there!!! And as with everything, not all are created equal.

If you are going to buy a protein supplement, try to look for Whey protein powder than than RTD’s (ready to drink). RTD’s are notorious for being low in protein and high in sugar instead. And having to find time in a busy schedule to make a shake yourself is no excuse. You can make a shake the night before and take with you to drink the next day. They last even longer if you keep them in the fridge.

When looking for Whey powder, make sure the protein % is over 70%. Or at least 20grams per 25gram serve. Most “supermarket” brands of whey powder contain more sugar than protein so check the label and if the sugar content is more than 10grams per 100grams of powder. Drop it. And run. To a proper supplement store.

We stock the Reflex brand of supps. Our protein contains one of the highest percentages of protein in Australia coming in at 80% protein.

AND there's very few additives – with only 3.9g of sugar and 1.1g of fat per 100g.

And is incredibly affordable at $1.60 per serve.

When should I have my shake?

On conditioning training days, aim to have your shake within an hour AFTER your training.

On Strength training days aim to drink half your protein shake in the second half of your session, then the rest immediately after your session.  

I don’t recommend having a shake within 2 hours before your session as its density alone can make you feel quite sick.  

On non training days if your protein intake is low across the board – have your shake mid morning or mid afternoon to give you a boost through the periods of the day you are most likely to reach for chocolate, chips or “instant boosters”.

If you can manage to hit your protein % goal without the shake on non training days then it’s not necessary to consume one.

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