Your team at Tapout Fitness New York City cares about your comprehensive health and fitness and wants to help you start thinking about the role protein plays in your nutrition plan.
Fitness matters. That’s why we’re so committed to our gym time and group classes at Tapout Fitness. You’re clear on the discipline and determination you need to put into your exercise, but you might be less clear on the fuel you should be putting into your body. You may be vaguely aware that protein packs power, but how much are you supposed to consume? Do you need protein before or after your workout? Is it the secret to getting ripped, or is it the answer to weight loss?
There’s a lot of information out there, but we’ve sifted through the research to help you start focusing on a better, stronger you. The advice here doesn’t replace guidance from a doctor or nutritionist—but we want to encourage you to give thought to your comprehensive health and fitness, which includes both exercise and nutrition.
What Is Protein?
Protein is a nutrient made of amino acids. The body produces and uses certain amino acids—but some of the amino acids it needs are not produced by the body and must be consumed through food. Different proteins you eat contain different combinations of amino acids.
What Does Protein Do?
Protein helps build and maintain tissue and is considered a major building block for your body. From fueling growth to repairing injuries, protein plays an important role in health. Our favorite feature of protein? It’s important fuel for our Tapout Fitness family as we push our limits and break down muscle during high-energy classes like boxing and martial arts—and during tough training on the equipment.
At Tapout Fitness in New York City, we value mental strength as well as physical strength—and here, protein comes in for the win once again. Not only is protein in your hair, nails, blood, bones, cartilage, muscles, and every cell of your body. It also helps your body produce hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that help you function to the full capacity of your mental and physical potential.
How much protein do you need?
Everyone’s body is different. Depending on your height and weight, how much you exercise, how strenuously you exercise, and other factors, your body requires different amounts of protein.
According to research cited in Men’s Fitness, recommended protein intake is between 0.5 and 0.7 grams per pound of body weight—but this number may be as low as 0.36 for someone who does not get any exercise and as high as 0.8 for athletes who engage in serious strength training.
While your body needs a minimum amount of protein to function and rebuild, there is also such a thing as too much. Your body will only be able to process a certain amount of protein, so any extra protein may lead to extra fat. And like anything else in excessively high quantities, extreme protein intake can lead to health complications.
When should you consume protein?
Protein intake should generally be spread throughout the day, as your body will not store a reserve of protein to use when needed.
Protein consumed within about 30 minutes after your workout at Tapout Fitness can give an extra boost to repairing muscle tears, which means you’ll be less sore for your next workout. This also helps you increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently both in and out of the gym.
Should you replace carbs with protein?
Different goals in weight loss or bulking may be hastened by changing the proportion of carbs and protein in your diet, but every body has different needs and endures different levels of daily exercise—so it may be helpful to consult with a certified nutritionist.
In general, everyone should eat both, as both protein and carbs play essential roles in your fitness. As just one example, carbs gives you energy that you’ll use in our calorie-blasting classes at Tapout Fitness. Carbohydrates can also help your body synthesize protein. According to research cited in Women’s Health Magazine, “While protein’s amino acids are critical to helping repair your muscles immediately following a tough workout, carbohydrates help transport those amino acids into your body’s cells to trigger muscle growth.”
Which sources of protein are the best?
The body needs a variety of different amino acids. Different proteins—like meat- or plant-based proteins—contain different amino acids. A varied diet can help you make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
Different protein bars and powders for shakes include these different types of protein as well and are an option when meal prep time is low or if meals aren’t meeting minimum protein requirements. Proteins in liquid form as opposed to bars tend to be more easily absorbed, typically making them the better choice post-workout.
So is it time to change your diet?
We’re your gym, not your nutritionists—but we’re a family. Our trainers and the other members in your classes are here to support you and be with you on this fitness journey as you work toward your goals.
Think about your goals, think about your exercise level, talk to a nutritionist, and let’s talk to each other. Show us how you’re getting protein after your workouts at Tapout Fitness City by tagging us on Instagram @Tapoutfitnessnyc32 in a picture of your fitness-focused meals or shakes.