The power of protein for better health and fitness

You can lift all the weights in the world, but if you’re not taking in enough protein, your efforts will be naught

Fit young man making protein shake at the gym
Photo by Justin Luck from Pexels

Whether your goal is to slim down, bulk up, or have better health in the days ahead, one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll receive is to pay attention to your protein intake. Protein is essential for all aspects of whole-body health and fitness. It plays an instrumental role in diet, nutrition, metabolism-regulation, and can even help you feel fuller longer. These are just a few key reasons why you need a healthy selection of protein in your diet. If you prefer not to eat meat and cheese, you’re in luck. There are outstanding plant-based protein powder products available to help supplement your diet and help you meet your daily intake goals.

Building muscle mass and boosting strength with protein

Did you know that your muscles are primarily made of protein? It’s true. You can lift all the weights in the world, but if you’re not taking in enough protein in the average day, your efforts will be naught. The best path to bigger muscles and advanced strength training is to consume high amounts of protein throughout the day while also lifting weights and engaging in other strengthening exercises.

So, how much do you need to bulk up in the muscle department?

The protein requirements for building muscle are different than the requirements for losing weight without losing muscle. So, keep this in mind when planning your daily intake. Studies suggest that you should plan for approximately one gram of protein per pound of your current body weight daily to build muscle. If you weigh 185 pounds and seek to add muscle mass to your frame, you should plan to consume around 180 grams daily. Healthy protein powders allow you to add sneaky proteins throughout the day without eating meat, peanut butter, beans etc from the time you get out of bed in the morning until you go to bed at night. Of course, this is in addition to aerobic exercise, weightlifting, and strength training.

How does protein help with weight loss?

Slimming down in the year ahead? Consider upping your daily intake to help spur your efforts along. According to Healthline, it aids weight loss in multiple ways, including the following:

  • Boosts metabolism
  • Increases fat burning
  • Curbs appetite
  • Reduces hunger levels and cravings

Even more importantly, keeping up your intake once you reach your goal weight, helps you maintain your weight. The general recommendation for losing weight is a little different than that for bulking up, with most experts recommending approximately 0.75 grams per pound of bodyweight to facilitate weight loss without sacrificing muscle mass. Of course, each body is different. The best thing to do is track your macros and identify your sweet spot for optimal weight loss without giving up vital muscle mass as you go.

Protein powders provide tasty and sneaky options for working additional protein into your daily diet and satisfying sweet cravings in the process. It’s an incredible tool for weight loss you don’t want to overlook. Especially, if your goal is to lose weight without feeling deprived.

Protein for better health

What many people do not understand is the role protein plays in overall health. Fitness buffs have long understood how critical it is for fueling muscles, generating energy, and even helping to fight body fat. But it provides other vital health benefits, too. Benefits that are well worth considering, including those listed below.

Helps build stronger bones

People who consume more protein daily face reduced risks of osteoporosis as they age. Women, especially, face an increased risk of losing bone density as they age, but a diet that is high in protein is an excellent tool for prevention.

May reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and more. Protein can help you lower your systolic and diastolic numbers for a much more favorable blood pressure reading.

May help reduce LDL cholesterol (aka, the bad one)

While many people seeking to reduce cholesterol and lower triglycerides often cut foods like meat and eggs out of their diet, adding healthy proteins, such as protein-rich vegetables, into your diet can actually help to reduce these numbers and improve your health.

Helps bodies repair themselves

Perhaps one of the most beneficial reasons to consider adding more protein into your diet is the fact that it helps your body recover from many different types of injuries. Just as it is the building block for muscles, it is also a key building block for tissues and organs, fueling faster recovery after injuries.

The bottom-line

You’ve probably heard many times that food is fuel. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to protein. Foods that are high in protein are the fuel your body needs to promote better health and fitness all around.

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