Protein is extremely important if our goal is to get stronger and achieve a toned physique. It becomes especially important as we age as the loss of muscle mass is one of the biggest factors in the reduction of quality of life and protein intake is one of the things that can help offset that.
I know that a lot of people struggle initially when trying to increase their protein intake, so here are some resources to help:
Eating protein with meals offers a range of benefits for our overall health and well-being. Here are some key advantages:
Satiety and appetite control: Protein is highly satiating, meaning it helps us feel fuller for longer. Including protein in our meals can help reduce cravings and prevent overeating, supporting weight management goals.
Muscle growth and repair: Protein is vital for building and repairing muscles. Consuming protein-rich meals after exercise or throughout the day provides the necessary amino acids to support muscle growth, recovery, and maintenance.
Metabolism boost: The thermic effect of food (TEF) refers to the energy expenditure required to digest, absorb, and process nutrients. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbohydrates and fat, meaning it requires more energy to metabolize. This can slightly increase our metabolic rate, supporting weight management efforts.
Blood sugar regulation: Adding protein to meals can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This can help stabilize blood sugar levels, promoting better energy balance and reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Bone health: Protein is not only important for muscles but also for maintaining healthy bones. It helps in the production of collagen, a major component of bone tissue. Including protein in meals contributes to optimal bone health and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Nutrient absorption: Consuming protein alongside other nutrients can enhance the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Some nutrients require protein for efficient transport and utilization in the body, ensuring we get the most out of our meals.
Sustainable energy: Protein provides a steady and sustained release of energy compared to carbohydrates alone. Including protein in meals can help prevent energy crashes, promote better focus, and support balanced energy levels throughout the day.
It’s important to choose a variety of protein sources, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and dairy products, to ensure a well-rounded nutrient intake. Aim to include protein in each of your meals to reap these benefits and support your overall health and wellness.