Men! Everything You Need to Know About Protein
Protein – what is it good for?
Protein’s getting big. Worldwide, the market for powder protein is on track to swell to $45 billion (USD), nearly doubling 2016 sales of $28 billion. (1) In 2014, Hormel bought the sports nutrition giant CytoSport (which owns Muscle Milk) for $450 million.(2) But what’s the skinny on protein, anyway? Is it a muscle-busting elixir, or a faddish supplement? Here’s our take on how it shakes out.
What is Protein?
Protein is a macronutrient, commonly found in animal products, that helps boost muscle mass.(3) In its natural form, protein-rich foods are some of the best dietary staples you can eat to torch fat – oats, salmon, avocados, sweet potatoes, among others. One misconception that people often have is that losing weight comes down to working out hard. But have you heard of the 80/20 rule?(4) It’s the idea that 20% of weight loss is working out while 80% is diet. So if your gym routine is plateauing, consider cutting out carb-heavy foods and treating yourself to that Paleo regimen above (nuts, fish, olive oil). There’s a reason personal trainers or health bloggers like Steph Elswood stress eating just as much as being active. To stay fit, what we do in the kitchen is just as important as what we do in the gym.
Men over 40 often find that shedding pounds can be difficult because their metabolism slows as they get older. If that’s the case, you can opt for a procedure like laser fat removal to target those stubborn love handles. But just sticking to fruits, veggies, and healthy fats should boost your energy, help you sleep, and may even shake it up in the bedroom.
Pros and Cons
That’s the run-down on consuming protein the natural way. But what about the powder supplement – the fitness craze that’s hit the market over the last decade? Well, all things in moderation. If you’re mindful of a healthy diet, you’re probably getting your fill of protein, anyway. Your body wasn’t meant to process more than 25-30 grams of protein per serving, so avoid indulging too many of those whey bars in one sitting. With that said, some of us do need to add extra protein into our diets. That would include elite athletes, people always on the road without much access to protein, and people who struggle with meeting their nutrition requirements.
There’s a sense in fitness culture that More Protein = Better Body. Alas, not true. Downing all that protein powder might even deliver a sucker-punch to your kidneys. So even if you don’t picture yourself going cold-turkey on the powder, do your research and find a variety of powder that’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
In the long run, you should probably view protein as an important component of a varied food intake regimen of lean meats, leafy greens, omega-3 fish, and plenty of water. Be smart about protein powder. (Moderation, people …) And, after that workout, carve out time to relax. If you’ve been trolling “protein” for tips on how to get sculpted, remember that a lot of being healthy comes down to your mental state rather than your body weight. Let’s say you’re feeling stressed and you’re in the LA area. Sure, hit the gym, but also check out a spot like Barber Surgeons Guild in Hollywood, where any guy can chill out with a signature hot towel straight razor shave. And with our blog and product and service page, you’ll have a ton of options at your fingertips on how to put in work at the gym, meet your body goals, and look sharp afterward.