When you think of protein, what image pops into your head? The muscle-head at your local gym chugging down a post-workout shake, or tearing at a huge slab of steak? (Okay, that’s taking things a little far but you get the picture!)
Here’s some good news – protein is not just for the cavemen-type. Dieticians recommend that women get at least 0.75g per kilo of body weight, and that doesn’t even count the needs for exercise recovery.
What’s more, emerging studies have shown that women may get particular benefits out of increasing the protein in their diet, from strong bones to shiny hair and nails (yes!). Here’s just five of them.
1. We need protein for lean muscle growth.
If you fear protein is going to give you guns to rival Popeye, you’d be surprised to know that protein actually promotes lean muscle growth. In other words, you won’t get “bulky” by eating meat and legumes.
And, while some protein powders contain carbohydrate-rich “gainers”, an unadulterated and pure protein powder like Bare Blends Whey Protein Isolate won’t turn you into a bodybuilder. We promise.
2. In fact, protein can help healthy weight management.
Research has shown that a high protein diet (around 30 per cent protein) was found to reduce body fat and blood pressure in overweight and obese women. While we’d always focus on the nutritious benefits of protein first, it’s good to know that this whole food helps maintain a healthy weight without making you go hungry. Which brings us to our next point…
3. Protein keeps you away from the vending machine.
Protein fills you up – fact. One study found that women who ate protein in the morning maintained steady glucose and insulin levels (basically, they didn’t experience that awful sugar crash and subsequent munchies).
And the best part? Protein is so delicious, that you don’t even feel deprived. We mean, Chewy Pumpkin Protein Bars? Get in mah belleh!
4. It can make your bones strong.
Elderly people with low protein in their diets have increased bone loss, research finds. And, with women at increased risk of bone loss and more than half experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, this is one macronutrient we’re not missing out on.
5. It promotes strong, shiny hair and nails.
Did you know your hair and nails actually contain protein? A healthy dosage of protein will help your nails harden up and make your hair so good that Beyoncé will write a song about you (well, anything’s possible!).