Protein, like carbohydrates and fats, is a macronutrient. While each macronutrient has a specific purpose in a balanced diet, protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery. It also has many other benefits to overall health that are important to athletes and non-athletes alike.
Dietary guidelines suggest a daily intake of 56g for men and 46g for women. However, that amount is simply a guideline and does not take other factors into consideration – including activity level, age, muscles mass, current health, and body goals like weight loss, weight gain, or muscle building.
Let’s take a closer look at the purpose of protein and some food sources.
Purpose of protein
- Repair and maintenance of body tissue and muscles. Our hair, nail, eyes and organs are all made from protein so keeping them healthy requires sufficient protein.
- Energy. After using what is needed for repair and maintenance, your body uses the excess for energy.
- Hormones. This macronutrient is involved in the creation of some hormones, such as insulin. It also is used to aid in the production of digestive juices.
- Enzymes. Enzymes are necessary for the chemical reactions in our bodies.
- Antibodies. Antibodies are used to fight off illness, infection and disease.
Sources of protein
- Eggs – 6 grams of protein per egg
- Greek yogurt – 23 grams per 8 ounce serving
- Cottage cheese – 14 grams per 1/2 cup
- Steak – contains 23 grams per 3 ounce serving
- Pork chops – 26 grams per 3 ounce serving
- Chicken breast – 24 grams per 3 ounce serving
- Salmon – 23 grams per 3 ounce serving
- Lentils – 13 grams per 1/4 cup serving
- Peanut butter – 8 grams per 2 tablespoon serving
- Mixed nuts – 6 grams per 2 ounce serving
- Tofu – 12 grams per 3 ounce serving
- Edamame – 8 grams per 1/2 cup serving
- Quinoa – 8 grams per 1 cup serving
You may have noticed that mac and cheese is missing from the list of protein sources. No?
Actually, it’s probably not surprising that our beloved mac and cheese didn’t make the list. It’s not exactly a high protein source – until now! But you won’t want to reach for your standard box of macaroni and cheese. Muscle Mac™ is a healthier alternative that allows you to enjoy this comfort food while still getting plenty of protein!
Meet Muscle Mac™
Each serving of Muscle Mac contains 20 grams of protein, which is double any of the leading brands. And 10% of that protein is plant-based from pea powder.
Even if you aren’t an athlete concerned about muscle recovery, the additional protein can help curb your hunger and boost your immune system. And it’s good for hair, nails, bones, skin and blood too! Pretty cool, huh?
Now that I’ve made the case for eating more protein, you’re probably wondering about the taste. That’s a valid concern since food should taste good. Personally, I prefer homemade macaroni and cheese over boxed because good mac and cheese should be made with real cheese. Muscle Mac is made with real cheese that is free from synthetic dyes, colors and flavors so it rivals homemade. That means it’s rich and creamy, just the way it should be. And the pasta is GMO free!
If your family enjoys macaroni and cheese as much as mine does, I promise you’ll love Muscle Mac! And they offer 3 convenient sizes that are the perfect way to feed your family. If you are looking for an individual portion for a wholesome afternoon snack, the individual cups are perfect. The one step prep makes it an easy snack ready in a minute. And if you need to feed more, the larger boxes are perfect and come in shells and cheese or macaroni and cheese.
Does your family love macaroni and cheese? How do you make sure they get plenty of protein? Tell me in the comments below and be sure to check out Muscle Mac!