Whenever possible you should get all of the protein that you need in whole foods.
While protein supplements can be a valuable tool, the body processes food proteins far better than synthetic proteins.
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Of course, many protein supplements are also made from whole foods, making this debate a moot point.
However, if you are choosing between food and something with fillers and/or chemicals, choose the food first every time!
What foods have the most protein value?
The food with the highest levels of protein is canned tuna fish. This protein powerhouse contains a shopping 40 grams of protein in a 6 oz can!
This is good news for vegetarians that eat fish because they can get their protein fairly quickly from tuna.
The food with the second highest level of protein is, you guessed it, chicken breast. A 3.5 ounce chicken breast contains 30 grams of protein.
Other foods that contain high levels of protein are:
- Pork loin – 29 grams
- Hamburger patty – 28 grams
- Fish steaks – 22 grams
- Pork chops – 22 grams
- Tofu – 20 grams
- Ham – 19 grams
- Cottage cheese – 15 grams
- Soy beans – 14 grams
There are tons of other sources for protein, but these are all of the ones that hit the double digits in number, providing you with the largest source of protein in one meal.
How do I know if I’m getting enough protein in my food?
The only way to know for sure whether or not you are getting your necessary protein is for you to keep track of the foods that you are eating and their protein content. Don’t forget to include any side items that you are eating, such as fruits and vegetables. There are dozens of foods that contain at least some protein.
You can find a comprehensive list of foods with protein online, on health websites and on the USDA website. It is best to get your information from a reputable source to ensure its accuracy.
What kind of protein supplements are best to use?
The best protein powder supplements are all natural powders that you can use to turn into a shake. The reason that these are the best option is because they are actually food products and the body absorbs the protein easily and quickly.
There are a variety of flavors that you can choose. However, you will have to determine for yourself what flavors are appealing.
One thing to remember when using protein supplements is that your body doesn’t take all of the protein that you use and store it. Instead, it absorbs what it can and eliminates what it can’t absorb. Then your body begins to use the protein.
For this reason, it is best to ensure that you get your protein throughout the day rather than trying to take your daily recommended dose in one sitting. This simply won’t benefit your body.
What happens if I don’t get enough protein?
There is no getting around the fact that the body needs protein in order to function properly. If you aren’t getting enough protein, your body will being to essentially leech the protein that remains in your muscles and distribute it for energy throughout the body.
What this will lead to is your body’s muscle will lose its mass and eventually become weak. While a protein deficiency won’t kill you, it will make your feel terrible and you will not have any energy.
What happens if I get too much protein?
For a very long time, supplement companies recommended the loading of protein for bodybuilders. Loading means taking more than the recommended dose of a product. However, studies began to show that the body wouldn’t absorb that excess protein.
It wasn’t until recently, however, that studies revealed that instead of the excess protein exiting quietly out of the body, it was actually having an effect on the liver, causing liver damage. This could equate to long term health problems for anyone affected.
Fortunately, for this type of damage to occur, you need to overdose on protein for years. This type of organ damage isn’t something that happens in days, weeks or months. Most people don’t use protein consistently for that long so, overall, not too many people have been affected by this problem.
Your body needs protein to function. If you don’t get it from foods then you need to consider supplement options.