Protein For Pole

The other day I met with a lady to discuss program design. We got speaking about the ins, outs & difficulties involved in building and maintaining lean mass and obviously the topic of protein came up. Protein is probably one of the nutrients I get asked most about, so I thought I’d reveal why I’m so passionate about it.

Most people know- and believe- that protein helps build muscle mass. If you want to “bulk up” just lift a lot and eat as much protein as humanly possible, right?

protein for pole

But protein does a lot more than help rebuild muscle mass- here are a few bodily functions dependent on proteins:

  • Proteins help produce:
    • Enzymes
      • Without enzymes, nutrients would not be absorbed into the body, chemical reactions could not occur and our body would not be able to digest food.
  • Hormones
    • Hormones regulate every reaction that occurs through digestion- the release of acids, the emptying of the stomach etc. Without proteins, hormones would not be released to control the process that is our metabolism
  • Neurotransmitters
    • These are chemicals that communicate information throughout our body. Without proteins, communication couldn’t occur and our ability to function (even to keep our heart pumping) would fail.
  • Antibodies
    • Antibodies are part of our bodies immune system. Without proteins to build them our defenses shut down and we’re prone to illness & weakness.
    • Proteins help replace worn cells
    • Proteins help transports substances
    • Proteins aid in growth and repair
    • Proteins help free fatty acids from adipose tissue

In summary, protein is a key ingredient in the functionality of your body.

The amount we need varies from person to person is based mostly on activity. On average, we need 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight to prevent decifiency. Not to improve our system, not to have our system running optimally, not to maintain a healthy body weight & a great immune system,  simply to prevent our bodily functions from failing.

how much pro

Most athletes, and those who exercise frequently, should consume 0.64-0.9g/lb of bodyweight. I personally aim for 1g/lb every day.  I can hear the gasps of horror now: That’s too much! Your kidney’s will fail! You eat that much chicken each day- I could never do that!

Let’s start with the kidneys issue: since protein takes energy to be broken down, consuming massive amounts of protein at once sitting is absurd. The body needs continuous replenishment, so breaking up the protein intake throughout the day is a better plan.

In healthy people (people with properly functioning kidneys), over consumption of protein poses little risk. Like other macronutrients, it is simply broken down, stored or excreted. Given, protein must be broken down in a different manner (carbon skeleton removed, amonia excreted etc), but that is what the body is built to do.

types of pro

Now about those chicken breasts.. it still blows my mind that people do not know what proper protein sources look like! Proteins are unique in the sense that they contain essential amino acids. These are aminos that the body is unable to produce and therefore must be taken in through diet. Since these amino acids are made from living things, the majority of complete proteins (containing all amino acids you need in one serving) are animal based: chicken, fish, beef etc.

That being said, other high proteins exist as well and can be easily implemented into the diet: egg whites, protein powders, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, quinoa etc.

Veggies, nuts & legumes (for those vegetarians out there!) are also great sources of proteins but must be consumed in combination as they are not complete (almonds, chia seeds, black beans etc).

KYN-SurvivalProtein-690x200

The bottom line is that higher intakes of protein are essential to our bodies for optimal functioning. Not only are they responsible for all the roles listed above, but protein keeps us full longer, helps maintain our lean mass and thus helps us look like amazing athletes and perform like them too.

Too many people I know skimp on their daily protein due to fear, lack of knowledge or simply lack of thought. Since we cannot make all of our amino acids, dietary intervention is necessary. For myself personally, something so vital to my well being cannot be over looked.

For pole dancing, protein has allowed me to build and condition my muscles to perform the way I need them too. It has helped me lean out,  maintain abdominal definition and stay full longer (no crazy low calorie crap year round for me!).

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So put down the bagel, grab some greek yogurt (none of that flavored, sugar loaded crap!) and get to work. Overlooking something so vital to your health & well being can only cause problems down the road.

Happy eating 🙂