The Importance Of Protein In An Active Lifestyle
While most people are aware that protein is an important staple in your daily diet, not everybody understands why or how to achieve the right levels of protein to stay healthy. Protein isn’t just something that you put between two slices of bread; it’s also what makes up the majority of your body.
“It is a component of every cell in your body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein.” – Detour
It’s because of this that protein is the basic building block of the human body, especially when it comes to muscle growth and repair. This means that although protein is important to every human on the planet, it’s most important to those who are leading healthy active lifestyles. While many athletes and even those who exercise to stay healthy will take some type of protein powder to ensure that they are getting enough daily protein, it’s still important to understand what kind and how much you are getting.
Energy That Lasts
Despite carbohydrates being known for their high energy levels and great quality as a breakfast staple, scientists have found that protein-enriched foods are actually likely to keep you feeling fuller for longer, as well as giving you more energy that lasts without the sugar crash that sometimes accompanies carbohydrates. Protein is a staple and should be introduced to every meal through one form or another; this doesn’t mean that you need to eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you should seek out alternatives or take a supplement in the form of a shake or a bar so that you’re still gaining the maximum benefit of the foods that you eat.
Obviously, it’s important to watch what you eat, and making healthy choices combined with activity will result in weight loss if that’s what your goal is. Research has shown that ingesting a protein rich diet may in fact produce better results as far as slimming down goes.
“On average, high-protein diets produced an average weight loss that was about 4.5 lbs greater than that achieved on other diets after six months.” – Web MD
This doesn’t mean that you should eat only protein, or cut out another food group to get more protein in your system, but monitoring portion size when it comes to carbohydrates and choosing lean cuts of protein and vegetables can certainly make a difference in your weight loss abilities.
Repair And Rejuvenation
Protein does more than just give your body the energy that it needs to get through the day and keep you satiated long enough to avoid the cake in the office lunch room. It also works hard to repair, heal, and regenerate your muscle tissue. This usually happens while you sleep, but proteins in your body slowly begin to repair the damage that is caused during injury or natural depletion due to diet and lifestyle. If you’re trying to bulk up in the fashion of a body builder, or even if you’re looking to be svelte but toned, you should consider adding extra protein to your diet in order to feed the muscles that you’re trying to grow and form. For women, this concept can be a little bit scary, because most of the fairer sex don’t want to see themselves getting big and ripped the way that male bodybuilders do, but by eating protein you won’t get huge the way a man does, not unless you start loading up on food to bulk up on purpose. Eating small proportionate sized dishes with the daily requirement of protein will just keep your muscles healthy and on the right track.
“Protein is part of muscles and connective tissues in the body and is vital for growth and the repair of all body cells. The antibodies that protect us from disease, the enzymes needed for digestion and metabolism, and insulin and many other hormones are all made of protein.” – Toronto Sun
Understanding that the antibodies and enzymes in your body are created through the use of protein may give you a whole new outlook on the way that your body functions. This means that protein not only helps rebuild, but it works as your own private security team as well to keep your immunity levels up and running.
Protein isn’t just about what it can do for you in relation to making your life easier, it also creates your body’s ability to function as a human being. Think about the way that even recognizing that a burner is too hot to put your hand on requires your nerves to relay a message to your brain and back through muscle cells. The messages might be sent through the use of neurotransmitters, but guess what those transmitters need to function properly; protein. As mentioned above; every cell in your body is made up of protein in some form of another, which means that without enough protein your body would stop working.
“Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the body. Plasma, the clear fluid in blood, contains fat and protein particles known as lipoproteins, which ferry cholesterol around and out of the body.” – For Dummies
Your heart, brain, arms, legs, and tongue all need protein to work right, and even parts of you that aren’t physically visible like your memory are affected by protein in your body. Some people don’t get enough protein through natural methods, which means turning to alternative choices like supplements. You can get protein in powders which make good shakes when mixed with water or milk, you can also purchase protein in the form of energy bars. Finding the right supplement for your lifestyle and taste might take time, but it could make a big difference to your diet and capabilities as a person.
Whether you choose to eat meat, or go down the path of the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and utilize proteins in the form of tempeh, quinoa, beans, and nuts, getting the right amount of protein is crucial to leading a successful happy healthy life. If you aren’t able to fit the correct amounts of protein into your meal plan, or you don’t have time to cook it all, try going for the supplements; shakes make a great breakfast replacement meal, and come in multiple flavors, some of which are really excellent.