High protein in recovery? Is it really necessary? How much protein do you really need and why do you need protein at all? I’m not trying to tell you to stuff yourself with protein so that you can build muscle and soon be able to flex your biceps like Pamela Reif, but simply to create awareness of what a balanced and unrestricted meal can look like, so that you can feel satisfied and well fed. Does that sound good?
It’s important for me that we don’t open up any new nutritional hyper-fixations here. Therefore, very important: There are no bad and no “good” macronutrients. Your body needs carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They all have different, important functions in your body. Proteins should therefore not replace any of the other macro-nutrients. But it should simply be added to every meal if possible.
For example, you can eat crackers with hummus or cream cheese, some yoghurt or quark with cake, some chickpeas in the salad and tofu with rice. All without pressure.
Proteins are one of the main building blocks of our body. They are involved in building muscles and bones and transport certain enzymes and hormones through the bloodstream. In short: Without proteins, no survival would be possible.
Amino acids – that is what protein sources are broken down into by the digestive process – form new cell tissue and are therefore the basic building block of our body cells.
If we don’t eat enough proteins – which is often the case in eating disorders and malnutrition – then our body first draws to its own protein reserves and deprives the skin, hair, nails, muscles, etc. of the protein, since these systems do not acutely contribute to survival.
The DGE specifies a minimum of 0.8g protein/kg body weight/day in order to be able to optimally support the body in all its processes. But if you do sports and use your muscles, your requirement increases to 1.2-2g/kg/day.
And a little food for thought: 0.8g of protein ensures that your body does NOT have to fall back on its own reserves – but when you come out of malnutrition and your body needs to restore some functions (e.g., metabolism, endocrine system, muscles, tissues, … ), then your body needs more than “average”.
In conclusion, it is not yet clear why proteins contribute to an increased feeling of satiety, but theories relate to this:
These aspects can help you in recovery – especially when you are experiencing extreme hunger, so that you can provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to heal the damage of malnutrition, to feel healthy and lively and be able to send you fullness signals.
Proteins usually have a low glycemic index – this means that blood sugar does not rise as quickly and does not cause it to crash. If blood sugar drops quickly after a meal, this means that our body will tell us shortly after a meal that it has sugar capacities again. Long story short, protein can help us feel fuller longer and feel more energetic.
Instead of replacing carbs or fats with protein, think about where you can add a protein source every now and then. Very playful. Without pressure and without strict rules.
It’s about wanting to do something good for your body. If you develop any compulsions and are concerned about meals without a protein source, then that’s not doing you any good either. The point here is simply to eat consciously and to see nutrition as something that you can do for your body to feel good. So, in conclusion – no, you don´t need to go high protein in recovery. But adding proteins can help oyu to feel best. The goal of recovery is: Eating shouldn’t stress you out in any way ♥