Power Up Your Workouts: Protein’s Role in Your Active Lifestyle

Let’s talk about the unsung hero of the fitness world – protein! It’s like the secret sauce that keeps us going strong, whether we’re hitting the gym, crushing it in a group fitness class, or just living our best active lives. But hey, who said nutrition had to be boring? Ditch the dull and join us as we dive into the delicious world of protein.


Protein is like the construction crew of your body, responsible for building and repairing everything from muscles to tissues and even hormones. So, when you’re out there breaking a sweat and giving it your all, protein swoops in like a superhero to save the day. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to feel like a superhero?


Now, I know what you’re thinking – how much of this magical stuff do I need? Well, it’s all about finding that sweet spot, and recommendations vary based on several factors including age, body composition, total calorie intake, and the amount you exercise. The current recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day, but that’s likely too little for the more active guys and gals. People who regularly exercise and lift weights have higher daily protein needs often ranging from 1.1 – 1.7 g/kg of body weight. Aiming for 10% – 35% of your daily calories to come from protein is generally a good goal. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, 200-700 calories (or 50-175 grams) should come from protein.


Let’s talk about timing, shall we? Pre-workout, post-workout, heck, even during your mid-workout dance break – protein’s got your back. Having some protein before you hit the gym gives your muscles the energy they need to crush those reps, while a post-workout protein fix helps them recover and rebuild stronger than ever. Spreading out your protein-packed meals throughout the day (roughly every three hours) has been shown to increase performance benefits, but if you’re going to go a little overboard on the protein in one sitting, we suggest doing so at breakfast. Recent studies show that this can help with weight management by reducing hunger and managing cravings during the day. Think of it as your body’s way of saying, “Hey, thanks for the fuel!” 


Alright, let’s get down to the good stuff – the snacks! The options are endless, and healthy eating definitely does NOT have to be a snooze-fest or overly complicated. Some of our favorite protein-packed snacks are the most simple:

  • Greek yogurt topped with granola and fresh berries
  • Hard-boiled eggs paired with whole-grain crackers
  • Protein smoothie made with protein powder, banana, spinach, and almond milk. (We especially love the Coconut Cream Protein Powder from our friends at Clean Simple Eats!)
  • Cottage cheese with sliced fruit and a drizzle of honey
  • Turkey or hummus wrap with whole-grain tortilla and veggies
  • Grilled chicken or tofu salad with mixed greens, avocado, and fava beans. (Jazz up your salad with your favorite fava bean flavor from Bada Bean Bada Boom! You can even use code SHINEDANCE for 15% off!)
  • Quinoa salad with black beans, corn, bell peppers, and cilantro dressing
  • Protein-packed overnight oats with chia seeds, almond butter, and sliced almonds
  • Protein-rich snack bars made with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. (Our Founder, Kendall, says her faves are G2G’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Coconut bars straight out of the freezer! BONUS: Purchase on the G2G website with code: KENDALL15 for 15% off!

By prioritizing protein-rich foods, distributing your intake throughout the day, and experimenting with easy snack and meal ideas, you can fuel your workouts, promote muscle recovery, and achieve your fitness goals more effectively. Remember, protein is your ally in the journey toward a stronger, healthier you. So next time you’re debating whether to reach for that protein-packed snack, don’t hesitate! It’s like giving your muscles a high-five and saying, “Nice work, team!” Who knew healthy eating could be so fun?!