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Protein 101: What is Protein and Why Does it Matter?

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Protein is everywhere. Protein powder, protein supplements, protein shakes—if you go to the gym, you’re sure to see people drinking protein shakes and hear them talking about the importance of protein. But what is protein, anyway? What are protein shakes for? What is protein powder good for? Why all the buzz about different sources of protein?

 

What is Protein?

Proteins are large, complex molecules comprised of amino acids. They’re known as macronutrients (aka “macros”)—the nutrients that our bodies need in large amounts to create energy and fuel the activities of every physiological system. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat are the primary macros. We need each of them in our diets in order for our bodies to function properly.

 

Why Protein Matters

The importance of protein to our bodies is critical. Our organs, muscles, skin, hair, nails, and bones all contain protein. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of tissue and cells, it helps support a healthy functioning immune system, and it plays a role in manufacturing hormones. Simply put, protein plays a part in nearly everything we do.

 

Sources of Protein

Protein is found naturally in many foods. Some of the best food sources of quality protein are lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, quinoa, and chia seeds. Protein intake can also be supplemented with protein powder, most often mixed into a protein shake using a shaker bottle. Protein powder benefits people who don’t get enough protein naturally from their diets, or people—such as athletes—who have higher protein requirements.

 

Importance of Protein for Athletes

For athletes, protein’s role in muscle growth and repair is perhaps its most important function. A protein-focused diet is key for anyone looking to bulk up. If your aim is to lose weight and you’re reducing your caloric intake, you still need to consume enough protein to prevent your body from turning to muscle tissue for energy, rather than burning unwanted fat. Even individuals who train purely for improved health and fitness (as opposed to targeted weight loss or muscle gain) should pay attention to protein intake, as it is critical in helping counteract the damage done to muscle fiber during strenuous workouts.

 

In addition to helping the body burn fat, rather than break down muscle tissue, protein benefits weight loss and weight maintenance efforts in a number of ways. Protein consumption increases the feeling of satiety (fullness), which helps reduce cravings and limit over-eating. Protein also has a higher thermic effect (the calories used to digest and metabolize food) than carbs and fat, which leads to a boost in metabolism. High-protein intake has been linked to reduced belly fat, as well as to long-term prevention of weight regain after weight loss.

 

How to Get More Protein

Now that you understand the importance of protein and protein powder benefits, you may be eager to try a protein shake. That’s where BlenderBottle® brand products come into play. Our best-selling shaker cups are perfect tools for mixing your protein drinks. BlenderBottle® brand shakers utilize our BlenderBall® wire whisk to mix the smoothest shakes imaginable, getting every last bit of protein powder to avoid gritty, lumpy shakes. The bottles’ screw-on lids and guaranteed leak-proof caps keep gym bags and car seats dry, making on-the-go protein intake easy and enjoyable. And with a wide range of designs and colors to choose from, you’re sure to find a BlenderBottle® protein shaker that fits your personal style while providing the functionality you need.

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