The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Protein necessary in balanced diet

    Steve Nguyen
    Photo Illustration by Steve Nguyen/The Daily Wildcat Enjoying a protein shake can give you an energy boost and hlep to build lean muscle. Protein is also the foundation for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

    Protein isn’t just a powder for workout fanatics — it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone. Protein is one of the essential food groups in maintaining a healthy diet, and it’s important to recognize how much your body needs in order to have a healthy balance of nutrients.

    The amount of protein needed in a diet varies per person depending on age, caloric intake and the amount of activity completed each day. For students, it’s important to know the dynamics of protein to refrain from consuming too much or too little. Many don’t understand the real benefits of protein and are too afraid that they will end up gaining bulky mass instead of lean muscle, so they steer clear of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. However, protein is the foundation for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. It also helps hair and nails grow stronger and maintain strength under stress.

    It’s important to understand all of the benefits that protein has to offer. Besides working as a strong foundation for the body, it also builds necessary enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Protein-rich foods contain beneficial vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and iron. This helps to fight anemia, which can be caused by iron deficiencies.

    Perhaps the most valuable effect of protein for students is that it provides an energy boost. With a diet that includes the proper amount of protein, bodies turn into powerful, fat-burning, muscle-building machines during daily activity.

    The most common types of protein are meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds and dairy products, such as cheese.

    The recommended dietary amount of protein, as proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is roughly 46 grams daily for women ages 19 and up, and 56 grams daily for men ages 19 and up.

    Protein is one of the three nutrients that provide calories for the body, and the CDC recommends that 10-35 percent of our daily caloric intake come from protein. The more daily activity and exercise you are involved in, the more protein you need to incorporate into your diet.

    An easy way to control protein intake is through protein shakes, which can be found at most smoothie and juice bars near campus.

    Fuel, located in the Student Recreation Center, serves multiple types of protein shakes alongside salads, wraps and flatbreads.
    Another place to purchase protein-rich shakes is FAB-U-Life located on Speedway Boulevard. FAB-U-Life has dozens of shakes to choose from, including blueberry muffin and other dessert-inspired flavors.

    The CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture suggest using the “Choose My Plate Plan” on the website to track daily protein intake. Protein has beneficial value for almost all parts of the body and can help boost energy levels to keep you moving at full speed.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search