When you think of a high-protein diet, you might think of bodybuilders or weightlifters and that is partially true. While it is well-known that protein helps you build muscle and improve your workout endurance, which also helps you tone your body, there are many other benefits you can get from it.
In the scientific sphere of today, high-protein diets are not just for athletes or bodybuilders, they have become a mainstream thing. However, it also creates confusion because not many know the proper amount of protein they should take, or if it is even safe to follow such a diet.
However, these seven reasons might convince you that the diet is not as bad as you might think, as long as you follow advice from your nutritionist.
How much protein should you consume though?
Basing on advice from nutritionists, you should aim to eat at least 40 to 50 grams of protein daily, although this will vary with your activity levels, your body weight and size. The general guideline is taking half a gram of protein for each pound you weigh up to 1.5g per pound if you engage in streneous activity.
In addition, you will need more protein if you work out and do a lot of body strength activities such as weightlifting and powerlifting.
1. Helps you reduce your calorie intake
You might not know it, but the effect protein foods have on your appetite is similar to that of whole-meal carbs, they are very satisfying and filling. That means that including more of them in your diet will result in you eating fewer calories, which helps you maintain your weight and manage it easier.
In a certain study on overweight women and their calorific intake, the results concluded that the women consumed more than 440 fewer calories without knowing their limits, simply because they felt fuller from the protein they consumed. The effect increases the more protein they consume, even something like increasing their intake to 30% from 15%.
Therefore, a high-protein diet will be a useful way of assisting if you struggle with food addictions or cravings, much more than calorie-restricting.
2. It increases the daily burning of calories
Aside from helping you regulate your appetite, the body is forced to use greater amounts of energy to break down the protein completely. This energy is actually higher than what it requires to break down carbs or fats.
The structure of protein requires the body to use double the calories to metabolize entirely, and this is also known as the thermic effect. It also takes longer to break down into energy, unlike carbohydrates. The effect of experiencing a sugar rush is due to the blood sugar levels increasing in surges, especially after consuming simple carbs.
Protein will also not spike the blood sugar levels, and the insulin levels in the body remain stable and that allows the body to retain more sustained energy levels.
3. It gives you better skin
This is one benefit that you may not know much of but it is actually the case. Since protein is an essential building block of the skin, you will need to eat more of it if you want to have skin that looks amazing and youthful.
Among the signs of deficiencies in protein is tired-looking skin such as red skin, cellulite, or skin swellings. So increase your intake of skin-boosting proteins, such as salmon, as they have other benefits for the skin as well.
4. Stronger hair and nails
The benefits of protein are not just for muscles or skin the nutrient is essential for all your body parts, including your nails and hair. This is because they are mostly comprised of keratin, and the more keratin they have, the stronger they become.
You can tell when someone is having deficiencies in protein when you look at their nails and hair signs such as dull, lifeless-looking hair, or hair that is thinning out. The nails also become weak and prone to breakage, and that is not a good look overall.
5. Improved sleep
While this may seem strange because protein generally gives you better energy boosts that are more sustainable throughout the day, it also plays a role in improving your sleep quality. However, the findings of a recent study show that high-protein diets help people to sleep better, especially overweight or obese individuals.
The findings revealed that the more protein the subjects consumed over a time frame, the better their levels of global sleep score (GSS), both in the long and short term.
6. Faster recoveries from illnesses and injuries
Since you are consuming high levels of protein, the body has more resources at its disposal to deal with breakdowns or injuries of tissue and organs. It is able to ensure their repair and optimal growth, which also allows your recovery times from injuries and illnesses to become shorter.
It will also allow you to get back your groove faster, head to the gym, and stay in top shape for longer.
When the protein levels in the body are low, it results in a reduced response of immunity from the body (the immune system is a major beneficiary of high protein levels) and the severity of illnesses increases.
Therefore, when you are sick, make sure to eat high levels of protein so that the body recovers faster, aside from ensuring you take in more fluids like water.
7. Helps to reduce muscle soreness
When you are in the midst of working out, the body directs most of the energy reserves and amino acids to the muscles, as it aims to support the expansion and contraction of muscles, instead of protein synthesis. After your workout, the muscles shift to their recovery phase, where they undergo repair.
Since the muscles develop tears when you do your workouts, protein is necessary to restore them. That is why foods such as protein shakes are important since they help to reduce the soreness that comes with a workout.
High-protein diets are more essential to the body than you may realize, and these benefits serve to show why the body needs it. These benefits will apply regardless of your specific goals, and it will help you to achieve your health objectives.