When you start your journey to keeping fit you may just be concentrating on the way you work out your body. However, what you put into your body is just as important. 

You will have heard of protein and will have seen it on health foods and the back of your food packaging. But do you really know what it is, what it is for and how it can help you with your road to fitness? We have taken a little look at what protein can do for you.

What is protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are considered to be the building blocks of the body. They are used to repair and build bones and muscles in the body, as well as making enzymes and hormones. Our bodies also use them as an energy source, which is particularly important when we are exercising.

Why do we need protein in our diets?

Protein is essential if you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle or recover from a workout. It is used to repair and build tissues and to regulate the metabolism and growth, by making enzymes and hormones. This protein is then digested into amino acids, which is absorbed and distributed throughout the body.

How do I get enough protein into my diet?

Ensuring that you have a healthy and balanced diet will help you to get enough protein. Focusing on foods such as meat, fish and poultry, with eggs, nuts, seeds and soy are perfect for this. You may also try protein shakes, which are quick and easy ways of topping up your protein levels. 

How much protein is enough?

In order to stay healthy, most adults require 0.75g per kilo of weight per day - on average this is 45g for women and 55g for men. It is a good idea to spread your consumption of protein throughout the day with your carbohydrates, so that you benefit from the energy that will be released.