Think protein is only consumed by body builders and extreme athletes looking to bulk up on muscle, think again! We’re starting to see the word “protein” pop-up in many of the products we consume on a daily basis and for good reason. The benefits of adding protein to your daily diet extend well-beyond building lean muscle in place of fat. I’d like to take this opportunity to expose a few of the lesser-known benefits of protein.
Now that we are in the midst of the holiday season, diet and weight loss will be a focus for many of us that overindulged with cookies, eggnog and the like. Protein can be one of your biggest allies in the battle against the bulge. One of the most-beneficial side effects of protein consumption is satiety, or the feeling of fullness. Consume protein during and between meals to help control snacking and overeating. Additionally, because protein has a high thermic effect (energy expended by our bodies in order to digest nutrients), your body will burn more calories to digest it and rev up your metabolism.
Not enough energy to get you through the day? Well protein is an excellent source of natural energy. Unlike artificial stimulants that will give you a boost but leave you crashing later in the day, protein can actually boost your natural energy levels. In fact, it is recommended that up to 25% of your daily energy intake should come from protein sources. Sure coffee will give you a quick boost but protein will give you the lasting, natural energy to keep you going throughout your day.
Looking to boost concentration and brain function? It’s proven that diets high in protein help maintain healthy brain function and good mental performance. Supplementing with protein can leave you feeling alert and energetic by boosting levels of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine promotes the creation of neurotransmitters that boost activity, alertness and energy.
The face of protein is changing as our understanding of the benefits of this vital nutrient evolves. Protein is no longer simply the supplement of choice for body-builders and athletes…it is quickly becoming the nutrient of choice for everyday people looking to lead healthier, happier and more active lives.