Protein is one of the two essential macro nutrients.  Along with fats, you must have it to live.  All metabolic processes require it, or parts of it (amino acids).  Anyone who’s subjecting themselves to the rigors of daily training needs it to recover from the damage we do to our bodies while exercising intensely.  Most everyone knows that.  But what many people do not know is how important protein is in fat loss.  Fat loss candidates must still supply their body with nutrition needed while the body is placed under the stresses of losing fat.

For fat loss candidates, protein comes with a bonus…  it provides satiety will little concern of any of it being stored as body fat.  In other words, you can eat more of it, get full, and not worry.  It one of the reasons high protein diets work for fat loss.
How much protein we need is always in debate.  I recommend at least 1 gram per pound and up to 2 grams per pound of body weight for training athletes.  The amount indicated varies per athlete by their training volume, intensity, and type of training.  In fat loss candidates, 0.75 grams – 1 gram per pound of body weight will usually suffice.

I suggest obtaining your protein from meat.  All meats.  If you haven’t, introduce lamb, turkey, bison, fish, and if possible, wild stock and fowl into your diet.  Most of us get 90% of our protein from chicken and eggs.  If that is your case, forego both for a month and replace them with a rotation of the aforementioned critters.

So if by now you’ve done the math and figured out 6oz of meat is typically 20-30 grams of protein and you weigh 180lbs, you’ll need 8 or 9 pieces of meat per day to get the protein you need.  While I always promote getting as much of your nutrition from whole foods as possible, the reality is you may need to add a protein shake or two each day.

If you choose to include protein shakes, use the cleanest and highest quality proteins available.  Whey protein is known as the top choice, mostly for its recovery and immune system enhancement.  Just be careful, not all whey is equal.

Choose a whey source derived from organic milk harvested from grass fed and finished, hormone free cattle.  Also stay away from any with artificial flavoring and sweeteners.  IsoPure by Nature’s Best is good and I have also used About Time.  They are both clean.  My favorite is Poliquin’s Whey Stronger.  It is made from New Zealand dairy, a country with some of the strictest dairy regulations in the world.  It is the cleanest protein I know of and is what I use.  We began stocking it here at CFW last week.

Progenex, the company popular in the CrossFit community, is one of my least favorites.  The ingredients on label show its true quality… or lack thereof.  Many CrossFits promote it and link discounts to them.  If they knew anything about nutrition, they wouldn’t recommend it.  I mean, why would you take a protein that has ingredients known to promote inflammation and raise estrogen levels?

This article is a good read on Whey Protein…

What you should know about getting the quality protein you need.
If I want motor oil or the latest Bruce Springstein CD I have no problem going to Wal Mart.  And even though it is certainly possible Nordstrom sells a superior quality of boxer shorts, I don’t wear underwear on the outside of my pants, so I don’t have a problem buying boxers at Walmart.  As for protein powders – well, that’s a different story…  
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