Proteins are one of the three macro nutrients in the profile of what all foods break down into. Whether or not you're involved with crossfit, good nutrition is something that everyone may benefit from.With that being said let's talk a little about what this means and what our body's use proteins to accomplish.
Protein is a essential nutrient - especially when considering its role in crossfit nutrition. It is the largest component of the human body after water. It typically makes up about 15% of the body weight. Protein is found primarily in the musculoskeletal tissue of the body. Hence, it's of vital importance for not just athletes or crossfit training, but everyone.
What Do Proteins Do?
Proteins are transporters of nutrients and storing other nutrients. They provides immune system protection as well as support our body with structural integrity. There are several very solid reasons for the emphasis on proteins, and these are things everybody requires, not just athletes:
- TEF (Thermic Effect of Food): Protein is a very costly macronutrient (protein/carbohydrate/fat) to metabolize; we actually BURN calories digesting it. Therefore, from a "lean-out" perspective, it makes sense to include it at every meal.
- Repairing Skeletal Muscle + Tissues: This is an obvious one - the volume of your training creates consistent damage to your muscles and tendons.
- Addition of LBM: An obvious one -if we tear it down with resistance training, we need the materials to re-build.
- Satiety: Basically, how "satisfied" your brain is after ingesting it. Eating is completely hormonally driven. The consumption of fats, carbs, and proteins all affect hormonal secretion differently. As far as satiety goes, protein is king. A little goes a long way and it's actually physically impossible to overeat when it comes to protein.
- Fat Storage/Fat Release: I'm not going to go into great detail on this one, but I'm going to throw a couple of specific hormones your way that you already know about: Insulin and Glucagon. Animal-based sources of protein are very amino-acid dense (versus stuff like beans). Eating these proteins can cause a greater secretion of glucagon, the "release hormone." Insulin is the master "storage" hormone. We want release. Hence, we eat animal-based protein - and not because of any anti-vegan sentiment, but because it's the best source of complete protein we have available.
Just remember this is only the tip of the iceberg!! As we continue to release articles we can go down some rabbit holes as nutrition relates to many relevant topics.