Ok, we all know that protein is important not just for lean muscle mass, but for strong and healthy nails and hair too. BUT – with every single food product now in a race to boast the most protein content, what does it actually do, and how much should we be taking?
Grows Muscle & Burns Fat
This is probably the number one reason most people increase their protein intake. Our fitness goals usually fall into one of these camps. We either want to trim down by burning our body fat, or we want to get stronger by building more muscle.
What usually happens is that your body uses the protein you eat/drink (alongside some exercise of course) and uses the molecules to build new muscle tissue to increase your Fat-Free Mass (basically your weight without your body fat) (1). Now that you have more muscle, your body will need energy to power those muscles (3), so it will usually get some of that from your body fat. Here endeth the science lesson….almost.
The protein you eat also needs more energy to actually digest, so your body will use more energy to break it down (2), meaning to get energy, your body will keep burning body fat stores, even when you’re sleeping.
Maybe she’s born with it…maybe it’s a BOXD Shake
Yup, protein has a role to play in making sure we all can keep our skin clear, our hair lush, and our nails strong. It’s made up of amino acids which are linked together and amino acids (4) also just happen to be the building blocks of all the cells in our body, and that includes our hair, skin and nails. Those with protein deficiencies have been found to experience hair breakage and loss; reduced production of pigments; appearance of grey hair colour, pale skin; dry or flaking skin; skin atrophy (skin losing its thickness and elasticity) (4). So the more of those amino acids you have, the healthier your hair and nails will be.
Support your local endorphin dealer…yep, that’s us.
Protein is clinically proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and other severe emotional disorders. Protein also builds the cells responsible for transmitting signals from nerve cells to our muscles, organs, but most importantly in this instance, our brains (5). So the hormones responsible for keeping our mood up or regulating our sleep won’t be any use if we don’t create enough of these neurotransmitters to get the message across.
There are so many benefits to a protein rich diet. Now that doesn’t mean you should neglect your other macros (carbs and fat are still very important), but it just shows that increasing your protein intake, even just a little bit and regularly, can help to improve your health exponentially. So go get it.
For more nutritional expertise, read our blog post on the essential Vitamin C.
At BOXD, we are made up of a team of Sports Scientists, Chartered Nutritionists. We want to make sure that we’re not just putting up the pseudo-science you’d see on other sites. If any of our staff put anything on our blog that relates to your health, you can bet that it is backed by evidence-based science! It always will be. That’s our commitment to you.