Everyone knows that protein intake is essential to building and maintaining your lean muscle mass. It doesn’t really matter where you are getting your protein from, as long as you are getting enough for your body to not break down its own lean mass.
Although most people could get their daily recommended intake of protein from their diets, with our busy schedules often it is hard to consume the correct amount of protein throughout the day if you are not planning your meals.
This is where protein supplements come in, protein supplements are an easy way to boost your daily protein intake. You can carry protein powder with and put it in a shaker bottle or water bottle at any time to boost your protein.
This could be particularly helpful if you are going to the gym and want that extra boost of protein before or after your workout. For those of you who are constantly in a rush in the morning, a protein shake could be a quick way to have breakfast and kickstart your day with protein.
Protein supplements are easily the most popular fitness supplement out there today for active individuals. Why has it become so popular? Let’s take a look at how protein supplements could benefit you.
Protein Burns Fat
For so long there was a misconception that protein was strictly for people who were looking to build muscle. Fast forward to 2018, protein is essential for your diet if you are looking to burn fat.
Protein is known to be able to curb to your hunger. Which is great for anyone that is looking to shed off a few pounds. When protein is digested in your gut, what is left is called Phenylalanine. Research has shown that phenylalanine was causing our appetite to be suppressed by interacting with our receptors called the calcium-sensing receptor. The calcium-sensing receptor was causing the levels of GLP-1 in our bodies to increase, and subsequently reducing our appetite.
There have also been studies that showed an increased metabolic effect from increased protein intake. This increased metabolic effect has the potential to last even during sleep. It showed that the increased energy usage was coming from muscle or any other fat-free mass.
If you are taking protein supplements, more than likely you have some sort of workout routine going. Having a good strength training routine could help boost your metabolic rate even more.
I am sure you have heard the phrase “muscle burns more fat”.
Muscle doesn’t exactly literally burn fat, muscle mass itself takes more energy to maintain than fat. Muscle burns roughly 6 calories per day, compared to fat which burns 2 calories per day.
Your metabolic rate is determined by your overall body mass, and how many calories it takes for your body to maintain all its vital functions. Therefore the more muscle mass you have on your body, the higher the metabolic rate.
Protein plays a major role in reducing muscle loss, maintaining, and building your muscle mass. Still confused about how protein helps you burn fat? Check out this video by PictureFit for a better explanation.
Fuel For Your Muscles
Having enough protein for your muscles is essential if you do not want your body to break down its own muscle mass to maintain your vital body functions. Protein contains nitrogen, which is released during a process called protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is essential to maintain your muscle, having more protein in your body stimulates protein synthesis.
The process is fairly simple, if the rate of protein synthesis is greater then that of the rate of protein breakdown, then you would increase your muscle mass. If the rate of protein synthesis is less then that of the rate of protein breakdown, then this is where you would start losing muscle mass.
Whenever you workout, your rate of protein breakdown increases. If there is a shortage of protein intake, your body will resort to other things to support vital body functions, such as your muscle mass.
How Much Protein is Enough?
This will vary from person to person, younger healthier adults will not need as much protein to maintain their lean body mass. Older adults, however, could benefit from more protein consumption to maximize protein synthesis.
There is a guideline in the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which suggest for 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Which translate to roughly 0.36 grams of protein per pound.
While this is the baseline for protein intake to prevent deficiency, you should be getting more than that to maintain optimum health and body composition.
Remember that you should be getting the majority of your protein from your diet and not from supplements. Protein is also not only about the amount of protein, but as well as the quality of your protein.
Some protein such as animal products contains all of the essential amino acids that your body can not produce, and other proteins such as plant proteins do not contain all of the essential amino acids. If your diet already consists of some sort of animal protein such as beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, or dairy on a regular basis you are likely getting all of your essential amino acids.
If you are vegan, or vegetarian getting your daily dose of protein and all of your essential amino acids might be slightly harder. There are various combinations of plant-based proteins that would give you all of your essential amino acids such as rice and pea proteins. You may be interested in this article of the best brown rice protein supplements. Some of those are combinations of brown rice protein and other plant-based proteins that gives you all of the essential amino acids that you need.
Prevents You From Gaining Back Your Fat Loss
As I mentioned above protein helps your body burn for fat, but did you know that having the correct amount of protein might actually help you keep off that fat that you were trying to get off in the first place. A couple of these studies have been done on this particular topic.
One study showed that participants that were given more protein were able to maintain their fat loss much better than the group of participants that were given less protein. A couple of other studies used the same basic idea but gave the participants less protein than the other studies to see if more protein would be beneficial. The results showed that more protein was not necessarily better, but just having protein intake, in general, helped participants keep the weight that they lost off.
Having extra protein in your system is known to make you feel more full. Which in turn leads to you eating less. That could be a factor in the reason why these individuals were able to keep off the weight.
There are many benefits to having the right amount of protein consumed throughout the day. Whether you consume it in your diet or through supplements, the benefits are still the same.
Supplements are an easy and quick way to boost the amount of protein you have on any given day. Not to mention they can be turned into some delicious shakes or smoothies.
Protein is essential for protein synthesis and maintaining your lean body mass. Protein helping you feel more full will help you from consuming unnecessary calories from random cravings.
Do you use protein supplements? What kind? Let me know below!
As always thank you all for reading, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just want to say hello, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.