Protein is vital to our health. Muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, heart, brain and internal organs all use protein as their primary building material. Collagen, a special type of protein, is important for strong arteries, tendons, ligaments, teeth and connective tissues. A diet rich in protein can also help produce dopamine and norepinephrine, two powerful brain chemical neurotransmitters that keep you alert and mentally powerful.
According to the USDA, adult men and women should get at least .37 g of protein per lb of body weight per day (e.g., a 150 lb. person would need 55.5 g/day); more if you’re doing regular exercise.
Choosing your protein
In addition to protein from your meals, supplementary protein powders can be a good way to ensure your body is getting the fuel it needs. The following are the most commonly available types of protein powder.
Whey protein is best if you can tolerate dairy products, since it is the most bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body.
Try: Reserveage Organics Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Turn to egg protein if you’re allergic to milk or dairy products or are lactose intolerant.
Try: Jay Robb Egg White Protein
Vegan proteins, such as those from peas, hemp or chia, are a good alternative for those who prefer to avoid animal products. Vegan proteins are complete and bioavailable, and many are organically grown.
Try: Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake
Try these innovative ways to incorporate protein powder into your meals!
- Bake it into high-fiber muffins
- Combine it with plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit
- Mix into your morning oatmeal
- Blend with your favorite soups
What's your favorite way to get protein?