Here at Cocoa+ we thought we would take a few minutes to hit you with a bit of knowledge about our trusted friend...protein, and why it should be, if not become, an important part of your diet.
Whether you lead an active or sedentary lifestyle, or are enjoying a main meal or snack at your office desk, everyone requires protein in their diets.
We want to show you that there are tons of benefits to a diet high in protein and by no means is it simply required to build muscle and get 'hench' haha!
The Science Part.
Let's hit you with a bit of science first; proteins are molecules arranged in various shapes, but they are all made up of long strings of smaller molecules called amino acids (amino simply means that they contain nitrogen). The body can't absorb whole protein however, so they are broken down by enzymes in our bodies into individual amino acids and then absorbed in the small intestine into the blood stream where they are delivered to various parts of the body.
“…there are tons of benefits to a diet high in protein and by no means is it simply required to build muscle and get 'hench'...”
Everything is made from protein, organs, tissues, muscles and hormones so you can imagine it is used by every part of the body to develop and function properly.
A diet high in protein has a number of amazing benefits:
Guess what! Combining protein with foods rich in carbohydrates will actually slow down the digestion and absorption of sugar which may keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing and ward off cravings making us feel more satisfied. See ya cravings!
Not only does protein require more energy to digest compared to carbs and fats, but your body cannot effectively burn fat without the help of protein, so it is essential to cut down those pounds.
Be Gone Stress!
We all know about our friend 'stress', always lurking, to keep us coping with today's demanding and competitive society, however prolonged stress is not good for us and our bodies at all! Cortisol is a hormone secreted in response to stress and is harmful. Research suggests that this complicated compound - alpha lactalbumin, found in whey protein derived from milk, may help reduce cortisol levels whilst increasing production of serotonin which is proven to elevate our moods. So why not drown your sorrows in a refreshing high protein chocolate bar before that stressful exam or work day instead.
Boost Your Immune System.
Your body uses amino acids to build anti-bodies and various other proteins that support immune system cells that attack viruses and other bacteria in the body. So getting in plenty of protein will keep your immune system strong.
Sleep better at night.
A diet high in protein has been shown to promote a better quality of sleep. it was found that there was less waking during the night compared to those on a high carb diet. Believed to be down to protein optimising the chemical transmitter balance, making us wakeful and energetic during the day, but sleepy and restful at night.
Stronger. Harder. Faster.
As obvious as it sounds, greater protein synthesis accelerates the repair of muscle tissue and strengthens connective tissue for less of a risk of injury and also increases bone density to help prevent fractures and bone disease.
There is also greater protein synthesis when consuming protein during strength training. producing increases in muscle size and strength. Wow!
Protein will make you live forever!?
Well...not quite, BUT you'll get you closer to it.
Longevity involves a lot of the points we have already mentioned which are somewhat directly or indirectly responsible for keeping us alive, so surely a diet rich in protein with help support a healthier longer life span? Hmm
But get this...choosing more protein over carbohydrates will improve insulin health and blood sugar tolerance and reduce diabetes and heart disease. To take this one step further, whey has been shown to improve longevity directly by elevating levels of a special antioxidant called glutathione which is involved in decreasing the risk of disease
So next time you reach for that snack in between meals, make sure it provides you with a good amount of high protein (with a little less of that sugar), so you feel fuller for longer, combat that stress and just feel darn good about yourself...us knowing that you're incorporating more protein in your diets will help us sleep better at night ( and that's without protein :) )
Check out our delicious protein chocolate here
It’s Good + More Good.
- Poortmans J., et al. Protein Turnover, Amino Acid Requirements and Recommendations for Athletes and Active Populations. Brazilian J of Medicinal and Biological Res. 2012. 45(10). 875-890
- Lindseth G., et al. Nutritional Effects on Sleep. W. J of Nursing Res. August 2011.
- Darling A, Millward J., et al. Dietary Protein and Bone Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Am J of Clinical Nutrition. 2009. 90, 1674-1692
- Luft AR, Buitrago MM., et al. Motor Skill Learning depends on Protein Synthesis in Motor Cortex after Training. J Neurosci. July 2004. 12;24(29):6515-20
- Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A., et al. Dietary Protein, Weight Loss, and Weight Maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009. 29:21-41
- Wurtman RJ. Effects of Neurotransmitter Release - Food Components to Enhance Performance. Institute of Medicine (US). 1994