Benefits of a high protein diet

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Benefits of a high protein diet

One thing that pretty much everyone can agree on is that protein is an important nutrient to our bodies and has a range of benefits to offer. Unlike carbohydrates and fat where their effects can be unclear as there are “good carbs” and “bad carbs”, protein is pretty much the same and is crucial for you maintain your physical and mental health.  In the sporting industry high protein diets have been adopted by many athletes to improve their health and performance, this type of diet is also becoming more popular with people who are just looking to shed a few pounds. Whatever the reason is for you clicking on this article, one thing we can say is that you want to know more about high protein diets and how they can benefit you.


Muscle mass and strength

Your muscles are made out or proteins. As this is the case it comes to no surprise that eating more protein will cause your muscle mass and strength to increase.  Protein is made up of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids that your body requires you to consume through diet. Eating a high protein diet means your likely getting your essential amino acids as these are found in sources like meat, fish, and milk.  Making sure you get your essential amino acids means your muscles will not be deprived of the proteins they need during synthesis.

Eating enough protein can also aid your recovery process as you have all the amino acids needed to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that has formed micro tears during exercise. Although getting enough protein is good for building muscle, this is not the only factor that causes muscle growth. Even with consuming great amounts of protein you will still be required to train to form the tears in your muscle so they can be rebuilt. One common misconception is that you can gain muscle just by consuming protein and not hitting the iron.


Fat loss

A high protein diet can also aid your weight loss goals and cause you to lose fat. This can be due to high protein diet often being low in carbohydrates, which are what your body uses for energy. In the absence of carbs, you will have to resort to using your energy stores, meaning you will have to burn your stored fat for energy.  Digesting and metabolising protein also burns calories as it is a complex structure for your body to break up into useful amino acids. Protein has a thermic effect of around 30%, meaning if you consume 200 calories of protein only around 140 calories would end up as calories you can use.

Another way protein helps with fat loss is that high protein diets can reduce your appetite and keep you fuller for longer. This is due to eating vast amounts of protein casing your body to release appetite suppressing hormones. This can be an easy way to stick to a diet as a big reason diets do not work is due t snacking. Having a reduced appetite will stop the snacking and eating between meals, further helping you lose weight.


More energy

Your body’s usual source of energy would come from carbohydrates. These are a good source of energy but cause a rise in blood sugar levels which is met by a energy crash. This leaves you sluggish and lethargic and is usually experienced after a high carb meal or eating sugary foods. Using protein as your body’s main source of energy doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels as much which means you won’t experience a crash. This is one of the main reason’s protein is a good sustainable source of energy for your body.

A high protein diet puts you at a lower risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure as it does not cause this sudden spike in blood sugar levels. This mainly applies to healthy sources of protein as fatty sources that contain a lot of saturates that can cause cardiovascular issues and heart disease. This is why it’s important to make sure you are consuming foods that are a source of lean protein, meaning they are low in fat. Examples of lean protein are chicken breast, fish, and Greek yogurt.


Better skin, hair, and nails

When it comes to having good skin, your diet plays a great part. We need to make sure our skin is receiving all the nutrients it needs to rebuild itself and keep it moisturised. Your skin also needs to protect itself from free radicals that break down your skin’s collagen.  Collagen is a protein that is the major building blocks of bones, muscles, and skin. We can consume collagen with our protein intake meaning we will always have enough to maintain good healthy skin and combat the free radicals. High amounts of protein in your diet will also help your skin heal any cuts or bruises.

When it comes to good hair and nails then the same things apply. These rely heavily on protein to stay healthy and to repair themselves after being beaten by a harsh environment. So, if your hair is in bad condition or your nails have seen better days then addressing your diet would be a step in the right direction. Many people have different routines to look after there looks but changing your diet may be the most effective.


Disadvantages of a high protein diet

Although good for many things, a high protein diet can have some disadvantages. One of these include the risk of deficiencies as having protein as your main source of energy can lead to a limited range of foods you can eat. These foods may not be rich in the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. There is also the risk of kidney damage if you already have a pre-existing damaged kidney.

Also, if you’re not getting your protein from healthy sources you are putting yourself at risk of health issues like heart disease. This is because red meat and full fat dairy products being high in saturated fat which can block arteries restricting blood flow around your body. Not eating carbohydrates that are high in fibre can also be damaging as this can lead to bad breath, headache, and constipation.


In conclusion, a high protein diet can be very useful and help us with a lot of things. It can make it easier to build muscle and strength and can make losing weight quicker. We are also less likely to snack on a high protein diet making it an effective way to lose weight. However, when doing a high protein diet its important you do it properly and make sure you are still getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Also, your sources of protein have to be well thought out and you can just go with any food because its high in protein, for example chicken nuggets ae high in protein but also in saturated fats so these would not be a healthy source of protein.