Natural Protein vs Protein Supplements – Which One Is Better?

Natural Protein vs Protein Supplements – Which One Is Better?

Who doesn’t want to look healthy and fit? Well, nobody! And this is the reason why we need to concentrate on our diet as much as on exercise. In this situation, one question always arises, what kind of food help you to build muscles – natural proteins or protein supplements? So, let’s start to know some basics about protein –

What is protein?

Protein is an essential macronutrient for proper cell growth and to keep your body functioning well. It is composed of amino acids that break down in the body and fuel the muscles to build it up.


Why do we need proteins?

Whether you are a gym-freak or not, you need protein for regular body functioning. It’s a vital nutrient required for building, maintaining, and repairing tissues, cells, and organs throughout the body. They also produce hormones, enzymes, and hemoglobin. Protein helps to transport the substances throughout the body and also helps to fight against infections.

How much protein intake do we require daily?

The daily requirement of protein may vary according to the age, weight, gender, and level of physical activity. The daily requirement of protein ranges between 46-63 grams for adults and 65 grams for pregnant and lactating females.

Benefits of protein intake

  • Enhance your immune system
  • Helps in the growth of muscles and bones
  • Fight against various infections
  • Improve your mood
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Good natural sources of protein

There are various sources from which we get natural proteins. Mostly natural proteins are found in animal foods such as poultry food, and seafood and are also present in plant-based foods such as lentils, nuts, etc.

1: Poultry food

Boneless chicken and egg whites are the best sources of protein. Chicken breast is a common food in an athlete’s diet as it contains low fat and high proteins. Egg whites are an excellent source of essential amino acid as well as protein.

2: Seafood

Most type of seafood is high in proteins and low in saturated fat. Fishes such as salmon, trout are the best source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.

3: Dairy products

Milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurts are rich in proteins. It helps to get your bones, teeth, and muscles strong.

4: Nuts and seeds

Almost all nuts and seeds are rich in proteins as well as dietary fibers. They also contain good fat that helps to build your immunity strong.

5: Tofu and soy products

Tofu and soy products are great alternatives for meat as they are high in proteins and low in fats.

Good protein supplements

Protein supplements such as protein powders and bars provide you with instant protein. They are refined, processed forms of protein, just like vitamin supplements.

1: Whey powder

Whey protein powder is a high-quality dairy protein, known to be very effective for building muscle mass, and may help with regulating weight. When your oral intake is less, whey powder could help you to maintain the normal levels of protein.

2: Soy protein

Soybeans are an amazing plant-based source protein that provides all essential amino acids. This type of protein boosts your immune system and promotes bone health.

3: Pea protein

It is a popular source of protein for vegetarians and vegan people. It is made from a split, yellow pea that contains essential amino acids.

Which is the best option – natural proteins vs protein supplements?

Protein in any form – natural or artificial, is essential to carry out normal body functions. Natural source of proteins provides all required carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, but they may not provide all essential amino acids. Natural protein sources are mostly animal-based, and might not be a suitable option for vegetarian and vegan people. They contain no preservatives or artificial colours. Some natural protein sources are expensive and require time to prepare.

Protein powders or protein bars are the artificial sources of protein. They provide all essential amino acids in the required quantity. In liquid form such as juices, protein is easy to absorb and digest. These protein supplements are super-convenient and instant to consume. However, protein bars and powders contain artificial colours and preservatives, which can be harmful to the body.

Though there is more convenience in using protein supplementation like protein shakes or protein bars, it is always best to use natural sources. Consume natural food items as much as you can, however, you can also use supplements to fill in the gaps, only under the supervision of a nutritionist.


How To Determine Your Daily Calorie And Macronutrient Intake Levels

How To Determine Your Daily Calorie And Macronutrient Intake Levels

The goal of this article is to provide you with guidelines that will help you determine not only how much food to eat per day, but also how to portion your macronutrients (i.e. protein, carbohydrates, and fats).


We’ll take a look at general terms and their definitions, along with formulas that can help you get on the right path. Before we dive in, I want to advise taking a week or two to study your current eating habits. Write down everything you eat, and find out how many calories, and grams of protein, carbs and fats you are eating each day. Be honest with yourself and track everything you eat, even that handful of chips you grab as you walk past the pantry.


This will take some work but you must do it. If you don’t understand portions, calories and macronutrient compositions of the foods you are eating, the information in the rest of this article won’t matter or help.


Calorie Expenditure – From BMR to TDEE


BMR, or basal metabolic rate, is essentially the number of calories you would require on a daily basis if you didn’t move at all and expended a minimal amount of energy.

BMR is commonly mistaken for the number of calories you should eat each day. This is not the case unless you are bedridden. It is a base level if you have zero activity on a daily basis, and nothing more.


NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis (sometimes referred to as non-exercise associated thermogenesis), is the amount of calories you expend on a daily basis from non-planned movement or exercise. Non-activity calorie expenditure could include walking during work, talking, going to the store or doing household chores. Again, NEAT does NOT include planned gym cardio, conditioning, and weight training sessions.


You typically have control over the incidental expended calories that are excluded in NEAT. You can choose to not go to the store, or to not clean your house, etc.


EAT, or exercise associated thermogenesis, refers to daily expended calories that come from planned exercise sessions. So for EAT, incidental exercise, such as going to the store or walking during work, is not included. Only your cardio, resistance training, Zumba, p90x, etc. sessions are totaled.


TEF, or thermal effect of feeding, is the amount of energy burned directly related to food intake and digestion. TEF will vary based on a meal’s fiber and macronutrient composition.


TEF is measured as a percentage of a meal’s overall calories. A typical meal’s TEF is around 15%. An all-protein meal might have a TEF as high as 25%, while the TEF of fat is typically below 5%. Carbs fall somewhere in the middle and can land anywhere between 5 to 25% TEF. Fiber also has a high TEF.


TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure, is the combination of your BMR, NEAT, EAT and TEF. It is the complete amount of calories you burn on any given day.




Why Nutrition Is the Most Important Part of Fitness

Why Nutrition Is the Most Important Part of Fitness

The food we eat plays a vital role in how we look and feel. Regular exercise is important but according to research, nutrition has the largest impact on our fitness. Using food as our medicine has become a popular theme for health improvement.


The trend is now to focus on healthy food intake as a primary fitness goal. When healthy eating habits become a lifestyle, we are healthier and happier. ​Eating right can help us reduce body fat, lose a few pounds, feel more confident, and reduce our risk of illness.


Frequent studies are indicating healthy food intake as the most important part of our fitness programs. Some physicians are teaching healthy eating habits and lifestyles as a way to improve overall health by reducing obesity and related disease.

Food Is Our Medicine

Nutrient-dense foods, or “superfoods,” include lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and fats essential to our health. Superfoods are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants relative to the amount of calories that they contain.


Antioxidants are shown to reduce inflammation in our body helping us fight disease and illness. Inflammation is said to be the leading cause of many diseases. Powerful antioxidants in leafy greens and vegetables, for example, help protect out cells from potential free radical damage.


Some superfoods contain compounds that increase our metabolism for more efficient fat burning. Red peppers contain a molecule called capsaicin shown to enhance the rate we burn body fat.

How Do Quercetin Rich Foods Help?


Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant naturally occurring in a wide variety of plant foods. In fact, quercetin research indicates it to be one of the most potent antioxidants with numerous health benefits.


Many athletes supplement with quercetin to reduce muscle inflammation caused by intense workouts. According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, quercetin supplementation significantly improved athletic performance, increased metabolic rate and lean mass among athletes.


The following foods are a rich source of quercetin:

  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Berries

Increase Your Metabolism Naturally

Your best fat burner is not going to come in a bottle but by eating foods containing certain compounds. We can increase the rate we burn fat naturally according to nutrition research.


Eating foods that stimulate and enhance the fat burning process will help us reduce fat more effectively. Adding metabolism-boosting foods will be a great supplement to your existing workout and nutrition program.


The following foods may increase our metabolism:

  • Hot peppers (active component capsaicin)
  • Green tea (active component caffeine)
  • Black coffee (active component caffeine)
  • Cold water (500 ml of water daily increased metabolic rate by 30%)
  • Whole grains (aiding component fiber and iron)
  • Yogurt (aiding component calcium and probiotics)
  • Apples (aiding component fiber)
  • Nuts and seeds (aiding component essential fatty acids)
  • Fatty fish (aiding component Omega-3 fatty acids)

Peanut Butter Is a Superfood

Peanut butter just so happens to be the number one sports nutrition superfood. It contains healthy fat, is nutrient-dense and shown to provide long-lasting energy for optimal athletic performance.


Selecting natural or organic peanut butter is recommended to avoid added sugar and preservatives. Peanut butter contains quality nutrients and supplies lasting energy at 90 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. It also contains 7 grams of protein per ounce compared to other nuts only supplying 4 grams. Adequate protein intake is essential for muscle growth.


It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol making it a heart-healthy food. Research indicates consuming one tablespoon of peanut butter per week may reduce the risk of heart disease.

What Are Fitness Foods?

The term “fitness food” is often used interchangeably with “superfoods”. Eating a diet rich in fitness foods is essential to our health. Incorporating healthy nutrition and knowing what that means is vital to achieving a lean and healthy body.

The following is a list of foods favored by fitness enthusiasts:

  • Oats (high in fiber, improves digestion/increases metabolism)
  • Eggs (protein source, muscle building)
  • Greens (antioxidants, reduces inflammation)
  • Apples (antioxidants, reduces inflammation/increases metabolism)
  • Lean meats/fish (amino acids, protein source, muscle building)

Is Coffee Healthy or Not?

Should we drink coffee? This is a popular question and although not the best drink for some, overall studies show coffee as beneficial to our health and fitness.

Coffee contains antioxidants but also caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant shown to increase our metabolic rate. Many athletes are using coffee as a pre-workout drink to benefit from this effect. Low to moderate doses (1-2 cups) of coffee are shown to significantly improve athletic performance.


Drinking black coffee 30 minutes prior to exercise is said to have the best ergogenic results. It’s shown to improve our endurance and enable us to exercise longer.


Coffee is also indicated to improve our mental focus and increase energy levels. Clearer thinking promotes a more productive and effective workout. Coffee is also shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle pain.


Coffee also contains powerful antioxidants shown to reduce chronic disease and illness. Studies have shown it helps individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease and to reduce the incidence of gallstones.

Eat Superfoods Daily

Superfoods play an important part in achieving and maintaining a healthy body.


Nutritionists may vary in their lists of which foods are best but agree they’re all essential. Eating a wide variety of superfoods daily will satisfy nutrient requirements for optimal body functioning.


Start with the following top superfoods for improved health and fitness:

  • Oats (high in fiber, improved digestion, heart health)
  • Blueberries (antioxidants, reduces inflammation, cancer-fighting)
  • Apples (antioxidants, reduces inflammation, weight loss)
  • Green tea (antioxidants, increases metabolism, weight loss)
  • Flaxseed (essential fatty acids, increases metabolism, reduces inflammation)
  • Broccoli (antioxidants, cancer-fighting, detox)
  • Yogurt (calcium, probiotic, improved digestion, bone health)
  • Olive oil (monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)/heart health)
  • Beans (high in fiber, antioxidants, improved brain function)
  • Cinnamon (antioxidants, detox, healing spice)