How much do you know about protein?
The top three benefits of protein – revealed
Protein is a macronutrient, with each gram of protein containing around four calories.
It’s made up of amino acids and helps, among many things:
- Repairs and build new cells and tissues
- Protects the body from viruses and bacteria
- Aids physical development
Overall, protein makes up approximately 15% of a person’s body weight and can be found in lean meat, poultry and fish, dairy products, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes and soy products.
There are numerous benefits to consuming protein. Here, we’ve focused on the top three:
BENEFIT #1: Muscle growth
Protein and creatine are widely-renowned for their muscle-building properties.
Last year, data from 1,863 people who had taken part in resistance training for at least six weeks was analysed as part of a British Journal of Sports Medicine study. And the researchers found strong evidence that dietary protein supplements do go hand-in-hand with increased muscle strength size.
What’s more, there’s much speculation over whether taking protein before or after workouts has the greater impact. There are arguments for both options, but while we’re on the subject, it’s important to note that if you take it post-workout, make sure you combine it with carbs. (Meanwhile creatine is also said to aid muscle growth, for more details about it, check out our blog (‘Creatine: What is it? Why do you need it? How do you take it?’)
BENEFIT #2: Feel fuller for longer
Eating a handful of almonds or a bowl of oats or protein bar here, and a serving of lean chicken or a hard-boiled egg or protein shake there, is a really easy way to up your protein intake. Ideally, you should try to add a small amount of it to your meals, so that you provide your body with sufficient amounts of it.
According to the latest guidance, we should aim to eat 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which equates to 0.36 grams per pound. For men, this works out to around 56 grams a day and for women, 46 grams.
If you’re making an effort to add protein to every meal, then you should notice something else too – you won’t necessarily always feel as hungry! A quick tip for you – try to consume vegetable protein as much as you can, such as lentils or beans, as it’s a better quality source of protein.
BENEFIT #3: Increases fat burning
Consuming a higher protein-rich diet is said to significantly speed up metabolism which, in turn, increases the number of calories you burn. (Now for the science bit…)
This is because protein uses more energy to digest the nutrients that’s within your food, which is also referred to it having a higher Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). In terms of how many calories it can burn, it can be anything up to 80 to 100 times more calories per day (PubMed Central).
There are all sorts of articles out there that describe the biological and scientific processes that take place when protein’s TEF effect is working its magic. This Healthline article provides a useful overview of what happens – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight#section1
Are you planning to review or increase your protein uptake now that you’ve read this post? There are, of course, many more benefits associated with protein, we’ve just recapped on three of them.
If you’d like to try incorporating more protein into your diet, then check out our Protein range of products.