Shaun Stafford, an international cover-model, two-time WBFF World Fitness Model Champion and ON Global Spokesmodel. With over 10 years experience working with athletes and celebs, Shaun knows a thing or two about health and fitness and has written and featured in magazines such as Men's Health and Men's Fitness... and now, The Squeeze.
We asked Shaun to give us a little insight into the protein hype and why we HAVE to have it in our diets!
If you are reading about heath and fitness in today’s media, you will no doubt have seen reference to protein and how important it is. You’ll even go so far as to see it included in pretty much EVERYTHING… shampoo, skin-crème, toothpaste, even Mars Bars… as well as the obligatory post workout, sweat-session shake!
BUT WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?!?
Protein is integral to every cell in the human body and is crucial when it comes to building and repairing tissue. This is not only after you workout, but it is even important with recovering from the regular stresses of your day-to-day life.
Your body also needs sufficient protein to effectively make enzymes, hormones, bones, skin and blood… all things that are pretty important if you are to function as a fit and healthy human being!
In addition, protein is classed as a “macro-nutrient” (along with carbohydrates & fats) as your body requires them in relatively large quantities. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to go out and eat ALL the proteins… just that you need to include a healthy dose within your diet and try to get them from as varied sources as possible.
This can include the regular staples of meat, fish and dairy, as well as some great alternative options such as soya and pea. The latter choices also tick the vegan/vegetarian box too and are widely available in health food shops and outlets.
When it comes to how much and how often you should be consuming protein,
I WOULD RECOMMEND AIMING TO HAVE SOME PROTEIN IN EVERY MEAL,
Fish is also packed full of protein and if you go for the oily types of fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Kippers etc) you will also be getting the benefits from a good dose of healthy fats!
You can also take advantage of some sports-nutrition products that are widely available with protein bars and ready-to-drink shakes not only being a cost effective and delicious choice, but they are also very convenient as grab and go options too!
Finish up your workout with one of these, and you’ll be kick-starting your recovery right away: the protein found in a shake is usually very quickly utilised by your body and will get straight to work getting you ready for your next training session!
Thanks Shaun - maybe one day (in 10 years?) we'll become international cover-models too!
Shaun Stafford, two-time World Fitness Model Champion
Photo Credit: John Towner
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