Most people will generally tell you that you need to consume an adequate amount of protein to your diet, but do you really know why? Well to put it simply protein is required by the body to repair tissue, help to create enzymes & hormones and to build muscle. Basically proteins are the building blocks to what makes us, ‘us’. From your hair, skin and finger nails, proteins are used by the body to help create these. Therefore it’s fundamental that we eat good, quality, nutritious sources to make our bodies the best in which we can.
Aside from this, Protein can have many health benefits, we’re going to look a little closer into what these are:
Aid Weight Loss
Studies have shown that eating protein-rich foods can have a positive influence on body weight and fat loss. In fact a study conducted by Wirunsawana et al (2018), they found that adding an additional amount of Whey protein to the diet significantly improved body weight and fat mass in obese and overweight individuals.
Ever eaten a high Carbohydrate, low Protein meal and felt hungry again not much long after? Well there is some truth in that higher protein meals could help you feel fuller for longer. Studies have found that those who ate a higher protein meal compared to those who ate a low protein meal, tended to feel fuller and typically ate less calories throughout the day (Paddon-Jones etal., 2008).
Improve energy & Concentration Levels
A high-carbohydrate diet can leave many of us feel that ‘crash and burn’ feeling. You may have heard of the term the sugar rollercoaster. This is where we eat a high carb meal, our energy levels peak for a short period of time and then we have a dramatic drop in energy and productivity. Energy levels have been shown to be stabilised when adding protein to our meal which in turn leads us to become more productive.
Muscle Recovery & Growth
A tough workout can leave you achey for days, however having an adequate amount of protein in your diet can help reduce that painful feeling. As mentioned, protein are building blocks and helps structure many elements within the body, even our muscles. Protein can help to repair muscle damage and improve muscular performance through something called Muscle Protein Synthesis (Morton et al., 2018).
With growing evidence supporting positive health claims this has caused a rise in people seeking to add an additional amount of protein into their diets. But is this really necessary? Well in all honesty for some people no. For example those who are inactive and already consume plentiful amounts of high quality protein foods then protein supplementation more than likely isn’t necessary.
However there are certain groups of people in which protein supplements may be required i.e. vegans, vegetarians, those with an active lifestyle or people who consume an inadequate amount of protein daily etc.
Protein supplements can come in many forms such Whey protein powders, Pea Protein Powder, Hemp Protein Powder etc. Protein powders can be very convenient but it’s really important to know that supplements should never ever replace whole Foods in our diets. This is because we need to ensure we consume an array of nutrients within our diets to ensure our body is properly fuelled, fight off illnesses, sustain energy levels and feel mentally prepared in life.
Personally, I tend to add a scoop of Whey Protein Powder into whole foods such as porridge, smoothies, pancakes, muffins & more to help supplement my active lifestyle. I will now and again have a quick shake (All Natural Whey + Milk) when I’m short of time and looking to quickly refuel after a workout. Of course I use Buddha Fruit’s All Natural Whey 😉 .