by Megan Callahan, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian
Protein is critical to building and maintaining muscle mass. Despite what many think, athletes are not the only ones who need more protein. The elderly, those looking to lose fat mass, and the ill or injured have increased needs for protein too. There may be times you struggle with getting the protein you need in each day, which can happen to all of us.
Which is why your Hy-Vee dietitian recommends using whole foods in conjunction with protein supplements like our Dietitian Pick of the Month: Performance Inspired Whey Protein. One serving contains 25 grams of protein per scoop, plus it has probiotics and fiber to help with digestion and keep you from feeling bloated.
The current recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. However, there are many people who can benefit from adding more protein to their diet. A Hy-Vee dietitian is happy to help you determine how much protein per day is right for you.
3 Reasons to Consume Whey Protein:
Building blocks: Whey is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies cannot make on their own. These amino acids serve as the building blocks for new muscle.
Hormonal impact: Whey protein causes the release of insulin, a key muscle-building hormone that helps drive nutrients into our cells. This spike in insulin helps feed our muscle cells and fuel recovery after physical activity.
Leucine content: Whey is rich in this branched chain amino acid known to stimulate muscle protein synthesis or muscle building.
If you’ve been cutting your calories to lose weight, there is a good chance you are losing muscle along with fat. However, studies show that eating more protein, or at least 0.5 – 0.8 grams per pound of body weight per day, in conjunction with resistance exercise, reduces the amount of muscle lost during dieting. This is especially important since more muscle burns more calories at rest.
As we age there is a natural loss of muscle strength and function. Studies show that someone over the age of 65 needs more protein to maintain muscle and protein balance than someone who is younger.
This may be because we become more resistant to muscle building as we age. Therefore, it is important for the aging population to continue weight training and increase their protein intake to 0.45 – 0.60 grams per pound of body weight per day.
Performance Inspired Whey Protein powder isn’t just for a post-workout shake. This trustworthy protein product uses natural ingredients without any synthetic additives or fillers. The products are also gluten-free.
Try mixing it in oatmeal for a high-protein breakfast choice, blending it into pancake mix for high-protein pancakes, adding it into a fruit smoothie for an antioxidant- and protein-packed snack, or mixing it with yogurt for an evening treat to aid in muscle protein synthesis overnight. No matter how you use it, you can feel good about giving your body the quality protein it needs.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Megan Callahan is one of your Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitians. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full-time for 10 years. With a passion for nutrition and wellness, Megan is dedicated to educating customers and promoting healthy lifestyles to our Hy-Vee community. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband Matt, and their 2 children Kennedy (4) & Carsyn (2).