The Role of Protein in a Healthy Diet - Gym+Coffee

The Role of Protein in a Healthy Diet

Posted by Diarmuid McSweeney on

At this point, it’s safe to say everyone knows that we’re well into exercise and we’re well into coffees, and any chance we get to mix the two together makes us feel that extra special basket-full-of-puppies kind of happy. The good folks at The Grind Coffee House in Howth are that kind of mix: Darragh Hanaphy & John Fu are both personal trainers and run their own gym, FIT on top of being owner-operators at The Grind. Busy Lads!

We nabbed them for a few minutes to talk a bit about what life is like surrounded by glorious coffee all day, and a bunch about PROTEIN and the role it plays in a healthy, balanced diet.

FIT & On The Grind

Both Darragh & John are qualified personal trainers and opened their own workout space Fun Intense Training (FIT) in 2013. The gym quickly took off and, not ones to rest on their well-chiselled laurels, the lads decided their lives could do with being a wee bit busier. In 2015 and after realising there was a key gap in the brunch destination market in Howth, they opened The Grind Coffee House in late 2015.

The cafe has since been named 98FM’s Best Coffee in Dublin three years running (and gunning for 4 in a row this year) and their Protein Pancakes have become something of an attraction unto themselves with customers travelling from as far as Kildare to get their weekend brunch fix.Protein Pancakes and Coffee from The Grind Cafe in Howth, Dublin

The Lads

The lads themselves have known each other since they were in primary school together and it shows. The Grind as a cafe is basically a physical manifestation of their dynamic - fun, casual, straight to the point but with time for a light-hearted jab and despite all the kidding around, serious about what they’re doing - nothing by halves.

Both start their day at around 6 am with their first PT session and won't wrap up until 9.30pm. They each put in hours at the cafe on top of one-to-one coaching, training & group fitness classes. The two have a complementary style and emphasise the need to put personal care and attention into what they do, removing the intimidation factor of going to a gym. Added bonus: John’s also a qualified Pilates instructor!

The Protein

Given the success of The Grind’s Protein Pancakes and how much health & fitness knowledge these two have between them, we thought it apt to get a bit more info on the role of protein in your diet. Here’s what you need to know:

It’s difficult to overdose on protein.

Protein is a macronutrient meaning we need large amounts of it in our diet. There’s three total (fat and carbohydrates being the other two) and each day you should be looking to consume around 1 gram of protein for every pound that you weigh.

Protein helps with muscle maintenance, repair & recovery.

Protein builds and repairs cells in the body. Certain protein sources also contain amino acids and our bodies use these to help break down food and repair body tissue (plus they’re also a source of energy on their own!). Bottom line, we need this stuff and we need a lot of it.

Protein helps to boost your immune system.

We use antibodies to help fight off disease and, as it turns out, antibodies are made from protein. On top of that, lot’s of foods that are high in protein are also high in other nutrients that help to boost immunity.

We are basically all protein.

Well, other stuff too obviously but your hair, muscles, eyes and internal organs are mainly protein and these all need top-ups to keep functioning at optimal levels. Making sure there are good amounts of protein in your diet means your body has a better chance at maintaining health. Also definitely helpful if you’re on the road to gaining muscle mass.

Protein will keep you feeling fuller, for longer.

From a dietary perspective, this means you might be less likely to feel the need to reach out for that extra doughnut or bag of crisps. By topping up on protein, your body maintains a feeling of fullness for longer and your healthy eating habits are less likely to be marred by unhealthy afternoon snacking.

It’s good for your bones.

This is one for everyone but in particular women who are at higher risk of lower bone mass and developing osteoporosis as they get older. Proteins assist in the maintenance of healthy bones and good bone density.

So, there you have it no excuses now not to add 27 protein pancakes into your morning routine. Or, alternatively, just make sure you’re getting a good balance in all that you eat and every now and then pop out to Howth, say hi to John & Darragh, and get just the one serving of pancakes with a coconut flat white on the side.

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