The Importance Of Protein In Active Lifestyles
Most people are more aware than ever before of just what they are putting in their bodies. They recognize the importance of choosing healthy food options, which starts with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as healthy protein choices.
However, making healthy protein choices for an active, busy adult, teen or child doesn’t mean spending your life eating boneless, skinless chicken breast or fish. At Don’s Smokehouse we offer some amazing low sodium, no MSG, gluten or dextrose protein options that are perfect for a snack, a bite on the go, or for a nibble before or after a workout or a busy day.
Every cell in the human body contains protein. If you look at your fingernails, toenails and your hair you are looking at cells that are almost exclusively protein. However, it is also the material our systems use to build every component of the body from bones to skin and from muscles to blood.
In some ways, protein is like the gas in a vehicle. It is needed to keep your body running, and when you run low on protein you run low on energy.
Protein is formed by two different types of amino acids. Some the body can make and some are considered essential amino acids, which means you have to consume them in your diet.
Why it is Important
While the human body has the ability to store fat, it cannot store protein. When we eat protein-rich foods, they are digested, and the protein is absorbed into the blood and used in all systems of the body.
Inside the body, protein is used for building new cells, repairing damaged cells, building muscles, or even helping to maintain hormonal levels. Unused protein is filtered out by the kidneys and eliminated from the body, which is why we need to keep filling up the tank as we go through the day.
Eating protein rich foods has several benefits when consumed at each meal. It helps us to feel full and satiated, assisting with weight loss and weight maintenance. It also helps the body to recover after hard work and to have the energy available to continue with whatever you may need to do next. Protein is also critical for the immune system and is used in the development of antibodies to keep fighting off infections and diseases.
Ideal Protein Sources
Protein comes from nuts, legumes and fish as well as meat and dairy. Good sources of protein for active people are those you can eat on the go. Our jerky, including turkey, pork and beef jerky varieties are a great option, very low in fat, low in sodium and free from MSG, gluten and dextrose.
Cheese is another good source of protein, and one we think pairs very nicely with our jerky. You can also add a handful of nuts, but watch out for the fat and sodium, hard boiled eggs, or even a glass of milk. The key is to consume a variety of protein sources and to make sure you add it to every meal.