Everything You Need To Know About Protein

Credit: FotoosVanRobin

Credit: FotoosVanRobin

If you are trying to figure out how to tone your arms, you might be a little confused about protein. I know I was when I first started my sexy arm journey.

There is simply way too much conflicting information on this macronutrient. So without further delay, here is everything you need to know about protein:

What does it do?

  1. Transmits signals in the body.
  2. Digests food.
  3. Metabolizes food.
  4. Produces force (muscle tissue).
  5. Forms structural material.
  6. Transports oxygen.
  7. Many other things!

As you can see, protein is much more than just a building block for toned arm muscle or a macronutrient (i.e., food).

Where is it located?

The greatest concentration of protein is found in skeletal muscle.

What is it made of?

20 amino acids.

Many vegetarian foods (i.e., lentils) do NOT contain all 20 amino acids. Animal sources of protein, on the other hand, do contain all the amino acids and are called highly “bio-available.”

How does a vegetarian optimize protein intake?

  1. Make sure at least 50% of your protein intake comes from soy sources (i.e., tofu).
  2. Combine grains and legumes in meals to correct for missing amino acids.

How often should you eat it?

Optimally, every couple of hours. Your body can not store amino acids (the digested form of protein) very well. So whenever you fast, you burn muscle protein for energy. This is not good if you want to get rid of flabby arms because it decreases your metabolism.

Never go more than 5 hours without protein, however. After this point, the rate of muscle burning increases a lot.

Common Misconceptions

  1. Protein powders and bars are better than whole food.
  2. Whey protein powder is the best source of protein.
  3. Fast digesting sources of protein are better than slow digesting sources.
  4. More is better.
  5. The amount of steroids found in animal products has a direct impact on human health.

Avoid the following:

  1. Farmed salmon (toxins).
  2. Fumes from frying (lung cancer).
  3. Darkening/charring meat surfaces (colon cancer).
  4. High fat red meat (colon cancer).
  5. Deli meat (colon cancer).

Dangers of having too little (less than 10% of calories):

  1. Reduced bone density.
  2. A reduction in glutathione (powerful antioxidant) which compromises the immune system.
  3. Reduced hemoglobin (responsible for carrying oxygen in blood).
  4. Reduced albumin which messes up the circulatory system.

Dangers of having too much (more than 35-45% of calories):

  1. Increased LDL cholesterol because of fat and cholesterol found in protein.
  2. High blood pressure because of the exclusion of grains and vegetables.
  3. Increased cancer risk because of cooking methods and the exclusion of certain foods.
  4. Malnutrition because of the exclusion of certain foods.
  5. Gout because of purines which are broken down into uric acid.
  6. Osteoporosis because of urinary calcium losses.
  7. Kidney dysfunction because kidneys excrete excess protein.
  8. Fatigue because high protein intake reduces glycogen (carbohydrate) stores.

What are the best sources?

Those with all the amino acids and the LOWEST amount of saturated fat.

Learning how to tone flabby arms should not give you a mental hernia! And although this article is not the end all be all guide to protein, it should definitely clear up some of the confusion. After all, protein is definitely a strong ally for getting rid of flabby arms. The bottom line is to have moderate portions of protein evenly spaced out during the day. Do this and you’ll be well on your way to sexy arm stardom!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

suzie

The book “China Syndrome” claims 5% protein is enough
I understand tofu can cause thyroid problems in some individuals
the body can’t process more than so many grams per hour so those who eat excessive amounts (if kidneys work) pee it out

Reply

Sleeveless in 7!

Hi Suzie,

5% protein is simply too low. At that level your amino acid pool would run out very quickly and you would begin to cannibalize body tissues.

Excess tofu consumption can be a concern for those with preexisting thyroid conditions and those that supplement heavily. However, the research here is weak at best. If you want to be on the safe side, consume tofu in moderation-no more than a couple servings per day.

Resistance training is the best tool for increasing protein absorption in active tissues. And despite its thermic effect, excess protein does get stored as fat.

Warmest Regards,
Katherine Crawford

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