Whether you hit the gym a few days a week, or are a daily workout enthusiast, protein plays an integral part in helping you meet your fitness goals.
We tend to think of carbohydrate being the staple of a sports diet; indeed it is the primary energy source for high intensity and endurance workouts, especially those requiring speed and/or stamina. Fueling the body for peak performance includes consuming some form of carbohydrate before exercise. This nutrient also aids in the body’s ability to recover after exercise. Stored energy in the form of glycogen in the muscle may be exhausted or “spent” during a workout. Therefore, carbohydrate should be consumed immediately following exercise to replenish the muscle. If exercise lasts more than 75 minutes, then you should probably also take in a convenient form of carbohydrate during this more intense workout.
Protein also has an important role in exercise. Even though protein is not the body’s preferred fuel source during exercise, it is vital for creating greater muscle mass. We tend to think that exercise is entirely “muscle-building,” but in order to gain muscle tissue, small tears and protein breakdown must occur first in order for the body to repair itself. Thus, these tiny muscle tears require protein for the body to repair these areas of injury—then the muscle gets stronger. More recent findings in the area of sports nutrition show that protein and carbohydrate together assist each other in repair and recovery when consumed within 30 minutes after exercise.
Some regular exercisers and athletes tend to overdo the protein, especially in the area of sports drinks and protein powders. Many protein powders on the market have just that—too much protein, especially when added to an already adequate diet. Food is the easiest, most cost-effective means of meeting protein needs. In addition, powdered supplements often do not address vitamin co-factors found in foods; these co-factors aid in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients found in the foods themselves, thus working synergistically.
Safest Choice eggs, with 6 grams of high-quality protein per egg, are a nutritious and safe way of adding dietary protein without the risk of over-nutrition. Smoothies are a great way of fueling post-exercise because of the protein-carbohydrate correlation. Check out the wide variety of smoothie recipes at www.safeeggs.com/land/smoothies. Or, try the newest addition to the Safest Choice product line; hard-boiled eggs are a simple and safe protein alternative post-exercise www.safeeggs.com/news/hard-boiled-eggs. A 4-ounce portion of orange juice coupled with a hard-cooked egg is a terrific way to refuel after exercise. Either way, Safest Choice offers superior nutrition, convenience, and unparalleled safety.