Protein plays an integral role in our bodies – that’s why we rave about it so much and ensure we have lots of it in our products! From weight loss to muscle gain, protein is crucial in our diets. But there’s also more to protein than we might know so here are 7 fun facts about protein.
Our body is made up of more protein than you’d think
A statement you hear again and again is ‘over 50% of our bodies are made up of water’ which is true, but did you know protein makes up 17% of our bodies? All of the protein within our bodies has a function and none of it gets stored. Fat, on the other hand, does get stored in the form of adipose tissue, as do carbs in the form of glycogen.
High protein keeps you fuller for longer
Many studies have proven that eating protein can help to keep hunger at bay because it takes longer in our bodies to digest. Start with a high protein breakfast and this will set you up for the day ahead, enabling you to reach lunch time without reaching for the office cakes and biscuits. High protein breakfast options could include eggs, protein bread, savoury muffins or my personal favourite – PBCo's. pancakes. Try and keep clear of sugar in the mornings too as this is likely to raise your blood sugar early on.
Brain function, focus & Learning
The brain needs a steady supply of amino acids to maintain concentration and energy levels. Feeding the brain these amino acids from protein can help do this. Try to ensure that you have a high protein lunch to get you and your brain through those slow afternoon meetings.
High protein diet will aid fat loss
People tend to associate protein with body builders, gyms and huge muscles. However if you are aiming to lose body fat then protein will most certainly help do so! Eating a high protein diet will not only help with your appetite as mentioned above but it plays a big part in retaining muscle whilst trying to lose weight. The more muscle you can retain whilst trying to lose weight, the more calories your body will burn, making it a lot easier to achieve your goal.
If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram (.73 and 1 grams per pound). Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss.*
High protein diet helps build muscle
Amongst other variables, a high protein diet will also help you build muscle. Paired with the right training and diet, protein is the building block in helping muscles grow. This is often why people associate protein with body builders, gyms and large biceps. If you goal is to build muscle then start aiming for protein at every meal. Do also bear in mind that increasing protein into your diet will not instantly make you bulky and muscly – a common misconception.
Protein is a macronutrient, therefore energy
Protein, like fat and carbohydrates, is a macronutrient. All foods are made up of these macronutrients and therefore energy. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories that fuel our body’s day in day out. Carbohydrates are the same; they also have 4 calories for each gram consumed. Fats, on the other hand, contain 9 calories per gram.
Protein helps our body function
Our body needs 22 amino acids to function, 13 of these our body can create by itself - these are known as non-essential amino acids. The remainder comes from our diet, known as essential amino acids. Foods containing the remaining amino acids (essential amino acids) come in forms of complete or incomplete protein sources. Here’s a small list below to give you an idea:
Dairy products (milk, yogurt, whey)
Hemp and chia seed
Hopefully, this article has helped to cement the idea that protein is crucial in our diets for a number of reasons and during your next meal you’ll give protein an extra thought. If you want to know to know more about protein, click here