What is protein?
Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat, milk, fish, and eggs, as well as beans, legumes, and nuts. When proteins are digested, they leave behind amino acids. Your body uses those amino acids to:
There are 20 different amino acids, and eight of them are essential – that means your body doesn’t make them, so you have to get them from food.
In general, you want to eat mostly complete proteins, which are proteins with meaningful amounts of all eight essential amino acids. Meat, fish, and eggs are all complete protein sources. Incomplete protein sources such as nuts, vegetables, and starches are helpful, but aren’t enough on their own. If you choose to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s important to know the amino acid content of your chosen protein sources and make sure to eat a variety every day.
Protein will be the first macronutrient we prioritize in regards to our training and recovery. Protein is the most important macro for building and maintaining muscle mass. Inadequate amounts of protein means your body is unable to repair and grow.
When combined with exercise, protein can help to improve muscle mass which in turn improves your metabolism. It can also increase your fat-burn rate by raising the body temperature through a process known as thermogenesis.
A recommended amount for CrossFit athletes starts around .7g per pound of bodyweight and can increase to 1g per pound of bodyweight if supplemental strength work is added in training.
If you are unsure of how much protein to consume, use our nutrition for lifestyle guide or reach out to a challenge leader for assistance.