It’s important to eat enough protein throughout the day as part of a well-balanced lifestyle. But how much protein you need, and the best times to eat it, definitely varies from person to person. Factors that influence how much you might need include how often you exercise, whether or not you have certain health conditions, and even how well you sleep.
Our bodies use protein to build muscles but also skin, hair and organs. Basically every cell in our body uses amino acids; the building blocks of protein. Many hormones are made of proteins and our immune system also depends on it to build up antibodies. While you should feel free to eat protein at any time, there are some moments when it might be extra helpful, as well as a few times you may want to think twice before eating it.
HAVE PROTEIN IN THE AFTERNOON
It may be nice to reach for a cup of coffee when your energy levels dip in the afternoon, but protein is a better option because it boosts the hormones that make us feel full. To balance your blood sugar, you might want to eat a protein and a carbohydrate when you feel this way. Pairing a protein with a carbohydrate will give you a long-lasting and satisfying snack.
DO EAT PROTEIN AFTER A WORKOUT
Protein is exactly what you need after a hard workout. It will not only give you more energy, but will help your body recover. After a good workout, the muscles in the body are broken down and need to be repaired. Protein can help repair torn muscle fibers and even help to build fibers, which is necessary when you’re looking to get stronger.
HAVE PROTEIN IF YOU ARE SICK
If you’re recovering from a cold, you may want to add a little extra protein to your diet.
Protein will help with the growth and repair of cells, after suffering a cold or the flu, expediting the recovery process. This might include eating a little more than the recommended intake of about 46 to 56 grams, until you feel better. There should be a 0.8-1g/kg body weight of protein intake daily. However Indian diets are predominantly poor in proteins across all socio-economic groups. Taking adequate proteins are essential and so is the correct time to ingest them, so that they are used properly by our body.
WHAT ARE COMPLETE PROTEIN FOODS?
Soy: Soy is perhaps one of the plant-based foods, filling the diets of vegetarians and vegans. Despite the nutritional differences between tofu and tempeh, each is a highly respected contender in the plant-based protein game. Edamame is also considered a complete protein, delivering nine grams of protein per half cup.
Quinoa: Supplying eight grams of protein per one cup serving, quinoa is not only considered a complete protein, but is also full of fiber, iron, and magnesium. However, quinoa is mostly used as a rice substitute.
Pumpkin Seeds: Supplying nine grams of protein per ¼ cup, it is considered a complete protein. Aside from the protein of pumpkin seeds, they are rich in healthy fats and supply advantageous fiber for digestive and heart health.
Rice and Beans: Rice and beans may just be one of the most budget-friendly complete protein duos. Along with packing protein, the combo is also a significant source of fiber.
Eggs: For omnivores, eggs are another great complete protein food to have on hand as each egg contains all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities.
WHAT ARE BAD PROTEIN COMBINATIONS?
Two high-protein foods: Eggs and bacon are popular breakfast food items but it is advisable to avoid this combination. These two foods are high in protein and sit heavy on your tummy. It will take a longer time to digest both. You should eat light protein first and then your meat.
Orange juice and milk: Milk takes longer to digest and when you have milk and lemon or any citrus fruit together, the milk coagulates. This can lead to gas and heat burns. Some people are also lactose intolerant, which means they are unable to digest the lactose present in the milk.
Milk and bananas: The combination of milk and banana is heavy and takes a long time to digest. While the food is being digested, you will experience fatigue. If you like drinking banana milk shakes, add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg powder to promote digestion.
WHAT THOSE WITH KIDNEY AILMENTS SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?
Although high protein diets may be safe for people with normal kidney function, people with decreased kidney function should avoid them. High dietary protein may accelerate the decline of kidney function in them. The kidneys filter and remove waste products of protein metabolism from the body. In those with decreased kidney function, a high protein diet may lead to kidney damage and the accumulation of toxic substances.