Protein update – shakes are for everyone

Most of my adult clients would benefit from eating more than the recommended daily intake of 56 grams of protein daily. The benefit of eating more protein is that it dulls hunger and can help prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

How much do you need? Most of my male clients do well with 100-120 grams of protein daily. My female clients need approximately 100 grams daily. My highly trained athletes thrive on even greater amounts. Once I perform the body fat nalysis on you I can be very specific for your individual needs.

If you’re trying to lose weight, protein is crucial. The fewer calories you consume, the more calories should come from protein.

Is all protein the same? Many foods, including nuts and beans, can provide a good dose of protein. But the best sources are dairy products, eggs, meat, and fish. Animal protein is complete—it contains the right proportions of the essential amino acids your body can’t synthesize on its own.

It’s possible to build complete protein from plant-based foods by combining legumes, nuts, and grains at one meal or over the course of a day. But you’ll need to consume 20 to 25 percent more plant-based protein to reap the benefits that animal-derived sources provide. And beans and legumes have carbs that make it harder to lose weight.

Again, stick to lean protein: eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt, lean meat, and fish.

If you’re struggling with your weight, fat itself is not the culprit; carbs are the likely problem. Fat will help keep you full, while carbs can put you on a blood-sugar roller coaster that leaves you hungry later.

At any given moment, even at rest, your body is breaking down and building protein. Every time you eat at least 30 grams of protein, you trigger a burst of protein synthesis that lasts about 3 hours. Eat protein throughout the day so you fuel muscle growth. But our body can process only so much protein in a single sitting. A recent study from the University of Texas found that consuming 90 grams of protein at one meal provides the same benefit as eating 30 grams. It’s like a gas tank, there’s only so much you can put in to maximize performance; the rest is spillover.

Eating protein at all three meals—plus snacking two or three times a day on proteins such as cheese, jerky, and milk—will help you eat less overall. People who start the day with a protein-rich breakfast consume 200 fewer calories a day than those who chow down on a carb-heavy breakfast, like a jam-smeared bagel. 

Workouts and Protein:

When you work out, your muscles are primed to respond to protein, and you have a window of opportunity to promote muscle growth. Split your dose of protein, eating or drinking half 30 minutes before the workout and the other half 30 minutes after. A total of 10 to 20 grams of protein is ideal. 

One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, pinpointed 20 grams as the best amount of postworkout protein to maximize muscle growth.

Everyone can benefit from the quick hit of amino acids provided by a protein supplement, bar, or shake. Your best bet is a fast-absorbing, high-quality kind like whey protein powder (derived from milk): I recommend the UltraMeal protein shakes or the UltraMeal Bars from Metagenics. Order at

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