Protein - it's a buzz word we hear all the time, but when I ask clients what it is and why it is important, most really don't know how to answer so I'm going to give you the quick and dirty on our good old friend.
To put it in simple terms, protein is one of the three macronutrients (the other two are carbs & fat) we, as humans, need in order to build/sustain our muscle. It is most commonly found in meat from animals (think: beef, chicken, fish to name a few examples), but can also be found in food like beans, legumes, and nuts.
So why do we need it and what does it do for us nutritionally speaking? Well, if we want to sustain and/or build our muscle, we need to consume adequate amounts of protein on a daily basis. If our muscles are weak, we are prone to injury and even premature death (healthy muscles=healthy body). A diet high in protein has also been shown to not only create lean muscle mass, but help us to maintain or even lose weight. This happens because 1) protein is digested slowly and, thus, burns more calories as a result and 2) because it is digested slowly, we stay fuller, longer as a result and less prone to reaching for food when we actually don't need it.
I advocate for getting protein from food sources such as the ones mentioned above (meat products, beans, legumes, nuts, etc.). However, if you have trouble getting all the protein you need from food sources, another option to look into is protein supplements, specifically protein shakes. Through all of my research on this subject, I've come to find Premier Protein is the best option over all. It carries 30 grams of protein per serving with very minimal sugar. It is also tasty (which not all protein shakes are). Premier Protein is what I personally drink, especially being currently pregnant and needing additional protein. This particular brand, as far as I know, only comes pre-mixed in bottles. If you're looking for another option that is dry that you can mix with juice, milk, or water, I would choose a brand by the name of Isolate which also carries 30 grams of protein per serving, again with minimal sugar.
And, as always, if you have any questions after reading through this, I'm here to help!