Ah, protein. This majestic macronutrient has a host of physique and health enhancing benefits for women, yet many don’t fully understand the ways in which protein can help them.
No worries – we’re here to show you 10 of the many reasons why protein is great for women.
Plus we’ve included some delicious, healthy and convenient ways to increase your protein intake.
Read on to learn how protein can help you lose body fat, control cravings, build lean muscle and more!
1. Protein Is Better at Keeping Women Lean
The Atkins Diet made bacon-lovers rejoice, but not all of us are ravenous carnivores (can’t we all just get along?). But there was definitely something to the trend: Cutting back on carbs and replacing those calories with protein contributes to a decrease in fat tissue.
And research suggests that effect is significantly more pronounced in women (who typically have a higher percentage of body fat) than in men.
In other words, if you are looking to burn fat and build lean muscle, you need to consume plenty of protein!
2. Protein Controls Hunger All Day
Quick! What was your go-to breakfast as a kid?
If a basically-candy cereal is the first answer that pops into your head, chances are it’s time to recalibrate the morning routine.
Eating a high-protein meal early in the day — Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, for example — triggers a hormonal response that helps keep hunger at bay all day.
Chow down early when you wake up or grab a high-protein shake to go to control cravings.
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3. And It Will Keep You Fuller, Longer
Protein’s magic formula for satiety really works in two ways: Research shows it controls appetite later on and promotes a greater feeling of fullness than carbs or fat.
Basically, that means a food high in protein takes less to get you feeling full.
4. Protein Makes Your Body Burn More Calories
When compared to a higher-carb diet, research shows higher-protein diets tend to trigger more thermogenesis (say that five times fast).
Greater thermogenesis is generally what’s referred to when someone talks about a “faster metabolism,” and more protein can signal the body to burn more calories before, during, and after meals.
5. It’s Good for Bone Health
Women are at an especially high risk of bone degeneration. So while protein often gets a bad rep as being bad-for-the-bones, research shows that this macronutrient is actually vital to proper calcium absorption and bone growth.
For the lactose-tolerant, that means dairy gives a great one-two punch of calcium and a full protein, all in one food. Many tasty protein supplements are also high in calcium and great on the go!
Lactose intolerant? Try a lactose-free protein powder.
6. Protein Fights Off Aging
As we age, our bodies tend to lose muscle mass. According to research, eating more protein — along with regular exercise, including resistance training — can help our bodies maintain and build muscles to keep us going strong well into the golden years.
Make sure to grab a protein shake or other high-protein snack post-workout to promote muscle repair!
7. Protein Protects from Stress
But according to The Journal Of Nutrition a diet high in protein — think between 0.8 and 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, up to 50% over the “normal” recommendations for sedentary folks — can act as a buffer against this damage. All systems go for protein!
8. It’s Great for Your Skin
Our skin takes a beating 24/7, and it’s especially under siege when the sun’s shining bright.
UV damage takes a toll on our birthday suits and is a leading contributor to skin’s aging.
According to research, diets high in certain amino acids — the building blocks of protein — can help reduce the aging effect of outside elements like UV light (along with a quality sunscreen, of course).
Looking for a convenient and easy way to incorporate more amino acids into your diet?
Add a BCAA supplement (branched-chain amino acid) or an All-Natural Whey Protein shake to your daily regimen as both of these are packed with amino acids that can help protect your skin, boost your metabolism and more!
9. It’s Also Great for Your Hair!
In order to keep growing to its fullest, hair needs a well-balanced diet — including lots of protein.
Experiencing slowed or no hair growth? Stress and/or a protein deficiency could be to blame.
10. It’s Delicious
Chomping down on veggies and grains all day might seem great to a few of us, but you’re really cutting yourself off from countless great food options ranging from sweet to savory.
And upping your protein intake isn’t just for the meat-eaters among us: When prepared in the right combinations, non-meat or dairy protein sources can give you all the amino acids necessary for everything from lean muscle to great hair.
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