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6 Things You Need To Know About Protein

6 Things You Need To Know About Protein

Those containers of whey protein you have stacked in your closet, are they helping or hurting you? While they definitely buy you a membership card into the Jersey Shore Club, they might be better used as bed risers. The average man believes that the more protein you eat, the more muscle you’ll gain, but this is not entirely true. Before you eat your pound of grilled chicken for lunch, read on:

1. Protein is essential for you to survive.

Protein is a component of every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. When we eat protein, it is digested into amino acids, which are considered the “building blocks” of life, as they are responsible for creating all the other proteins our body needs. This is a continuous cycle, and thus your body needs protein every day. If it’s been a while since high school biology, and this seems confusing, think of a big building made out of different Lego pieces. Once that building is broken apart, you can use the pieces to build new things, just as your body does with the amino acids found in the protein you digest.

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2. Not all proteins were created equal.

Different sources of protein provide different amino acids. Foods that provide all of the essential amino acids, or ones that cannot be made by our bodies, are called complete proteins and come from animal-based foods. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese are sources of complete proteins. Incomplete proteins are low in one or more of these essential amino acids, and include foods such as beans and rice. However, you can combine these incomplete protein sources to ensure you get all of the essential amino acids you need.

3. You do not need as much protein as you think you do.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 46 grams for women ages 19–70+ years of age and 56 grams from men 19–70+ years of age. This equates to 10–35% of your daily caloric intake. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, it is recommended that you consume 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should consume 58 grams of protein per day. The 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) found that men above the age of 20 years old were consuming 101.9 grams of protein and women of the same age were taking in 70.1 grams of protein. This means that most Americans are getting almost twice the amount of protein they need.

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4. You can get a sufficient amount of protein from plants.

For those who choose to not eat meat, there are still ample ways to get your recommended daily intake of protein. Non-animal sources of meat include beans, nuts, nut butters such as peanut butter, almond milk, seeds, whole grains, and soy protein such as tofu and veggie burgers. Contrary to popular belief as well, you can be an athlete and a vegetarian. Famous vegetarian athletes include Joe Namath, Prince Fielder, and Billie Jean King.

5. More protein does not always equal more muscles.
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    Eating large levels protein does not directly equate to more muscle mass. In fact, athletes only need slightly more protein than the average individual, which they are likely getting from the increased amount of food intake. A 2004 article in the Journal of Sports Sciences, by Kevin D. Tipton and Robert R. Wolfe, states that increased protein will provide a “minimal” advantage and that lean body mass can be maintained with a large variety of protein diets. They conclude that most athletes are already meeting this requirement, thus high protein diets are not necessary.

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    6. A high-protein diet can harm you.

    Often high-protein foods, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, contain high levels of saturated fat as well. These foods can increase the amount of bad cholesterol in your body and thus put you at a higher risk of heart disease. In people who suffer from kidney disease, high-protein diets put an extra strain on the kidneys as they attempt to eliminate the by-products of protein metabolism. Furthermore, some high-protein diets suggest limiting carbohydrate intake. This can result in a lack of other important nutrients, as well as fiber, which can cause constipation and diverticulitis.

    The information on the internet related to protein is largely dominated by websites promoting high-protein diets and supplements. The next time you read about how you should eat a bowl of whey a day with a side of bone marrow, take a look at how many supplement ads are also on the website. A balanced diet, as always, is best. Before starting any diet, though, you should talk to your healthcare professional. Now, enjoy your chicken and maybe throw in some veggies or some pasta. Your biceps will not disappear.

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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