Nutrition

13 Reasons to Eat More Protein (Backed by Science)

✅ Evidence Based Article

In a world that is levitating more towards high calorie and nutrient-poor diets, coupled with a highly sedentary lifestyle, too many people are eating too many calories forgetting the importance of proteins.

Hence, the current obesity epidemic and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart complications.  Perhaps, this can be attributed to the common misconception that only people involved in strength training workouts should increase their protein intake.

Contrary to this belief, everyone needs to increase their protein intake regardless of whether they are living a sedentary lifestyle or not. And this is due to the simple fact that your body cannot synthesize vital amino acids unless you consume the right type and amount of proteins.

If you don’t increase your protein intake to the recommended amount, your body begins to lose muscle and everything else begins to break down.

The recommended daily requirementsof protein for women over 19 years is 46g and 56g for males above the age of 19 years. Nevertheless, the protein intake for most people is way below the recommended daily amount.

Perhaps, this can be attributed to the fact that the body’s optimal requirement for proteins is way below that recommended by experts. Bearing this in mind, it is important now, more than ever to increase your daily intake of proteins and here are 10 more science-backed reasons on why you need to do so.

1.Minimizes Appetite

If your goal is losing some weight, there is a dire need to go an extra mile to control your hunger. And that’s where proteins come in.

Research has established that protein-rich foods are very filling, consequently preventing you from undergoing hunger pangs more often. Another studyindicates that obese women who increased their daily protein intake from 15 percent to 30 percent consumed 441 fewer calories every day.

The most impressive thing with increasing protein intake is that you will not experience hunger pangs after reducing the number of calories you consume. Besides, there is a less likelihood of having cravings for unhealthy foods after upping your protein intake.

2.Improves Muscle Mass

For anyone who wants to keep their weight in check and remain lean, it is very important to concentrate on increasing the body’s muscle mass.

And this is one more reason why you should enrich your diet with more proteins if you are after losing weight. The argument behind this is, the basic building blocks of muscles are proteins.

And for your body to build more, it is inevitable to increase your daily protein intake. More to this, whenever you increase protein intake, the body releases more of peptide YY– which is a form of protein that comes in handy in regulating appetite. Besides, protein is necessary to minimize muscle loss after the body gets into a catabolic state when losing weight.

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3.Reinforces Bones as you age

It is inevitable for your bones to get weaker as you age, adding up to the reasons you need to increase protein intake. And even though many people were of the point that high protein diets compromise bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in urine, it is no longer the case.

A recent studyshows that increasing protein intake helps maintain the body’s bone mass all the way into old age. It also found out that deficiencies in dietary protein can result in deteriorations in bone strength, mass, and micro-architecture whose ramifications can cause osteoporosis.

Fortunately, you can get good amounts of proteins by increasing the intake of dairy products such as milk. These also contain a range of essential nutrients necessary for strengthening such as calcium, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, Vitamin K and potassium.

4.Helps with your weight loss efforts

Consuming more proteins can significantly help reduce weight considering that it boosts the body’s metabolism. This, combined with regular and consistent exercise helps the body synthesize muscles.

Proteins also initiate and promote thermogenesis-a process that increases the body’s temperature hence, facilitating it to burn more fats. To back this up, a recent study found that people who consumed two times the recommended levels of protein whilst reducing their intake of calories lost more fat when compared to those who never increased their protein intake.

Dieters who only consumed the normal amount of proteins lost only 48% fat while those who took more proteins lost 70% of their body fat.

Combining this with an increased intake of water will further boost your metabolism. Therefore, take more water instead of sugary drinks and don’t forget to enrich your diet with more proteins for the best possible results.

As a matter of fact, you need to adhere to a low carb high protein diet when trying to lose weight for quicker results.

In a studyconducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of American Medical Association”, researchers observed 311 obese women. The participants were divided into 4 groups with each under one of the following diets:

  • Atkins diet (low carb, high protein),
  • Zone diet (balanced protein)
  • LEARN diet  (more fat and carbohydrate intake)
  • Ornish diet (lower fat foods)

Findings established that the group on the Atkins diet-which is highly protein oriented lost 10 pounds while the participants in the other groups lost between 3 and 6 pounds.

5.Regulates body Hormones

One more remarkable reason you need to up your protein intake is that it controls several hormones responsible for regulating weight. In more scientific terms, it targets the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that regulates hormones.

When protein intake is increased, the body synthesizes and releases hormones such as cholecystokinin, GLP-1 and peptide YYwhich tricks the brain to believe that your stock is full. By so doing, you will be in a better position to lose weight effectively.

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6.Helps the body recover faster from intense workouts

It is general knowledge that you can’t go back to the gym before recovering from previous sessions. If your protein intake is low, the body will take longer to recover. The argument is, protein encourages muscle adaptation by encouraging the generation of more muscle fibers, hence seamlessly repairing broken or damaged muscle fibers.

Therefore, it is important to consume more proteins after intense exercises so that you increase protein synthesis in the body quick enough before your next work out session. Otherwise, muscle breakdown will overwhelm protein synthesis consequently triggering muscle loss. Combining a diet rich in proteins with more water before and after exercise will see your body recover faster.

7.Maintains a healthy blood pressure

Researchshows that increasing your protein intake significantly lowers the probability of developing hypertension. To be precise, adults who consume an average of 100g of protein every day have a 40% lower risk of getting high blood pressure when compared to those with lower intake levels.

In order to maintain healthy blood pressure, your heart, kidneys, blood vessels, and several other hormones have to work together effectively. Though it is a very complicated process, proteins help facilitate it.

For instance, proteins from dairy products act as ACE inhibitors, while other animal proteins like eggs and meat contain arginine which dilates blood vessels to keep blood pressure under control.

8.Helps Repair the body after Injuries

If you have an injury, increasing protein intake will come in handy to improve and quicken recovery. Considering that proteins are the basic building blocks of the body’s tissues, increasing intake gives the body the ability to synthesize more these tissues hence repairing damaged ones.

9.Protects the body as you grow older

Though proteins are important for everybody, it is more important to increase your as you age since it boosts your immunity to promote recovery from illnesses, maintain the functionality of your body organs and support good health.

As the body grows old, there is a reduction in its anabolic responses respective to your protein intake. Likewise, a high splanchnic extraction necessitates that you up protein intake as you grow older.

Studies have even found out that increasing the number of proteins you consume plays an important role in protecting you from age-related sarcopenia which causes muscles to shrink.

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10.Boosts your body’s immunity

For a strong immune system, it is very imperative to increase your protein intake. The thing is, the system triggers the release of antibodies in response to bacterial and viral infections.

Most of these antibodies are made of proteins. Therefore, an inadequacy of proteins in the body means that the immune system can’t synthesize antibodies necessary to fight viruses and bacteria.  In addition, most protein sources contain immune-boosting nutrients such as zinc and magnesium.

11.Regulates  Blood Sugar Levels

According to recent studiespeople suffering from metabolic and high blood sugar problems need to increase protein intake to help the body handle the complications.

Increasing protein intake significantly stabilizes blood sugar and over time, results to a positive effect in a range of metabolic, cardiovascular and inflammatory markers, all the way from cholesterol, triglycerides, to C-reactive protein and insulin sensitivity.

12.Minimizes Stress

Stress can resultin all sorts of mental and physical illness. It can also negatively affect blood sugar, leading to glucose imbalances such as hypoglycemia.

However, consuming more proteins more so in the morning will be very helpful in maintaining your energy levels, reducing mood swings, agitation and jitteriness caused by chronic stress.

People under stress might also find it difficult to get quality sleep. Fortunately, proteins help in improving sleep and repairing tissues damaged as a result of stress. Besides, it prevents the wear and tear of these issues in the future.

13.Boosts Brain Function

Without enough proteins in your body, it cannot systemize essential enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones necessary for the proper functioning of the brain. For this reason, it is very important to consume a protein enriched breakfast so that you can handle the day ahead efficiently.

Studies have even showed that consuming more proteins improves the functionality of the part of the brain responsible for remembering things.

In the absence of these essential amino acids, you might find it hard remerging even the very obvious things. Other studies have also indicated that with time, proteins improve concentration, enhancing skills such as driving and learning.

Bottom line

Though you might be getting enough proteins from your current dietary sources, remember the optimal protein requirement for normal daily activities is lower than what experts recommend.

Therefore, there is a need to increase your protein intake so as to ensure your body has enough of them to keep functioning optimally. Otherwise, you might find your body failing in some aspects, simply because you are not feeding it the amount of protein it requires.

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