As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we thought of reflecting on women’s fitness and the role that protein plays in their fitness journey. Protein, and especially how much of it to eat is a topic of hot debate in fitness and nutrition circles. Unfortunately, most of the discussion is geared towards men. Women’s nutritional and fitness needs are different and they too need to focus on their protein intake.
Protein is a macronutrient. We need to eat protein to maintain the structure of cells, bones, hair and connective tissue, for enzymes that digest food, for antibodies that keep the immune system functioning, for muscle strength and mass, and for energy. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for the body. Certain amino acids are essential since the body cannot produce them and hence need to be consumed through our daily diet.
Now, the reality is that many a times; because of the busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, many women end up falling short of their ideal dietary needs and hence do not consume the required amount of protein. You do not need to count each gram of protein at every meal, but if you identify the following signs frequently, it would mean that you’re possibly not consuming enough protein:
- Feeling stressed or tired often.
- Feeling hungry more all the time.
- Having dry skin and hair.
- Having mood swings often.
Once you spot any one or more of these signs, there are 3 simple steps you can take in order to tackle the protein deficiency:
- Picking Foods with Protein
A slight adjustment to your regular diet can go a long way. Foods such as meats like chicken, fish and turkey are sources of good proteins. Soy nuts, yogurt, eggs, beans, lentils, peas and whole grains are also all great sources of protein. Make sure you include generous portions of protein-rich food in all of your daily meals.
- Protein Supplements
Eating a meal with a good mix of proteins and carbs a few hours prior to beginning your workout is always a great idea. Along with that, you could also have a protein-supplement shake before as well as after your workout. We’d recommend our GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein. You can pick between the strawberry, vanilla and the chocolate flavours. You could also pick our GNC Total Lean Shake 25. Protein from the supplement in addition to the protein intake from your diet will help with maintaining the optimum levels of protein your body requires.
- Step Up Your Workout Game
A high protein diet combined with a good mix of cardio, strength training and high intensity interval training will do wonders for you and get you back on track. You’ll instantly start feeling more energetic, you’ll be able to build muscle better and get back to achieving your fitness goals in no time!