Your body craves protein: It needs it to help build muscle. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough, allowing your body to replenish and get stronger. Plus, it satisfies hunger and helps you stay full longer, which helps immensely as you get fit and lose weight.
LIVESTRONG has partnered with Katie Dunlop of Love Sweat Fitness to bring you her favorite protein smoothie that's super simple to throw together for a satisfying post-workout pick-me-up. According to Katie, "If you are doing any serious weightlifting or athletic training, you should be getting about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body weight." Check out more of her protein shake recipes.
What You Need to Know About Macros
As your physical activity increases, you need to focus on your macronutrients (or, if you want to sound really cool, refer to them as "macros") — carbohydrates, fat and protein. They're the building blocks that provide the calories your body needs for energy.
How to Know If You're Getting Enough Protein
The default caloric breakdown for the MyPlate app is 40/30/30, which translates to 40 percent from carbohydrates, 30 percent from fat and 30 percent from protein. That's the baseline formula.
Depending on your fitness activity and your body’s needs, you might need to make dietary adjustments to ensure you’re getting enough protein. Since the body doesn’t store protein like it does fat, you need to replenish it throughout the day. Make sure you’re opting for good sources of protein like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds.
A good rule of thumb is to have 10 grams of protein after a workout. So fuel up your body properly and track your macros so you can maximize your results.