We could try living without protein, but the repercussions would not be great. A diet without protein leads to a loss of muscle mass which in turn can cause a lack of strength, potential anemia so you feel forever tired, a weakened immune system, and brittle hair and nails. These are just some of the many costs, but are enough to make us instantly reach for the carton of eggs and whip up an omelet. Protein can’t be stored in the body so it’s important that we eat protein every day.

Here is a list of reasons why we love protein and how it benefits your whole body:

  1. Protein aids recovery. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or have just finished a grueling workout, eating protein helps to repair the damage muscles may endure when exercise breaks down muscle cells. Protein reverses the damage and builds muscle which makes you more prepared for the next workout.
  2. Eating protein is important for great hair, skin, and nails. Did you know that your hair and nails are made up mainly of protein? The body uses protein to build tissue cells, including hair, skin, and nail cells.
  3. Protein supports digestion. Around half of your intake of protein goes into making enzymes which are essential for digestion. Enzymes help the body to break down larger complex molecules such as glucose so the body can use them as fuel. 
  4. When mixed with fiber, protein helps us to feel full for longer. This means that we are giving our bodies the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and function properly. We are therefore less likely to have the urge to snack on unhealthy food, filling our bodies with unnecessary saturated fats and sugar.
  5. Eating protein benefits bone growth. Bone tissues are made up of around 50% protein. Studies have shown that people who eat plenty of protein have a much lower risk of having fractures and developing osteoporosis as they age. They also tend to preserve their bone mass better than those who restrict protein in their diet.

Top Sources of Protein

It doesn’t matter if you are a meat-eater, vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian. There are some great sources of protein that can be incorporated into any diet. These are the top sources of protein to help your body operate at top performance:

  • Eggs
  • Chickpeas
  • Milk
  • Seitan
  • Yogurt
  • Chicken
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Brown and wild rice

Make Eating Protein A Habit

Adults should have 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day to stay healthy. Try to spread this over your three main meals and snacks throughout the day instead of having it all at once, otherwise, some of the benefits will be lost. If you’re struggling to reach the recommended daily amount, think about incorporating protein drinks into your diet to help reach your target.

The next time you finish a session at Sportsclub, be sure to have a protein-based snack ready to eat to refuel yourself and help build back and repair muscles.