Sport and nutrition go hand in hand and everyone has different goals when it comes to sport and nutrition. One would like to lose weight, the other to gain weight, one sport for relaxation and the other wants to improve his/her performance. To achieve these goals, it is important to coordinate your diet and exercise. In this article we take a closer look at the topic “How proteins help you achieve your goals”. Are you reading along?
What is protein?
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. Protein is a nutrient, just like carbohydrates and fat. Protein provides calories and amino acids. Amino acids in proteins strengthen and repair the body's cells and muscle tissue. It is therefore important to get enough protein in order to live a healthy life. There are different types of proteins. For example, a distinction is made between high-quality and less high-quality. When we talk about high-quality proteins, we are talking about proteins with a high-quality protein content that can be easily absorbed by the body. In general, we get protein from our diet.
Which foods contain a lot of protein?
- Fish: salmon, tuna, cod, mackerel, pollock, flounder & seafood
- Poultry: chicken, turkey & duck (+ eggs!)
- Meat: steak, roast beef, tartare, smoked beef, & liver
- Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios & cashews
- Beans: soybeans, lentils, aduki beans, chickpeas, capuchins, fava beans & peanuts
- Dairy: cottage cheese & yogurt, whey protein shakes
What goal do you want to achieve?
Protein can certainly help you achieve your goal. Do you want to lose weight? Then a protein-rich diet or protein shake can support you in this. Research shows that a diet with a relatively high amount of protein can ensure that you lose weight, without the yo-yo effect. This is because proteins make you feel full faster and your body has to work harder to burn the proteins. Foods with a lot of protein and a low glycemic index appear to work best for maintaining weight. The glycemic index, abbreviated to GI, indicates how quickly carbohydrates are digested in the gut and absorbed into the blood as glucose. Does food break down quickly and release glucose quickly? Then it has a high GI. Slow carbohydrates that release gradually or little glucose have a low GI and are therefore less likely to cause a fluctuation in your blood sugar level, so that you are less likely to feel the need to snack.
More muscle mass or faster recovery through protein!
Eating enough protein is necessary for high protein synthesis, the process in which your body builds new cells from the proteins you get from your diet. While exercising, whether it's fitness or running or any workout, you damage your muscles. Micro damage occurs in your muscle fibers. In order to recover, get stronger or grow, the muscles require more protein than when they are at rest. Your protein requirement will therefore increase and you will have to eat more to get enough protein. Your body cannot make essential proteins itself and must therefore get it through protein-rich foods.
Protein can lower your blood pressure
Are you struggling with high blood pressure? Then increasing protein intake could potentially help control blood pressure. Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for more than a quarter of all deaths in the Netherlands. High blood pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. A British study shows that if subjects take a protein shake twice a day for 8 weeks and adjust their diet, this has a significant blood pressure lowering effect. The protein shakes lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood vessels become more flexible.
Drinking a protein shake is an easy way to get the necessary nutrients to support the body with muscle growth and recovery. Protein shakes are not only tasty, but you can vary endlessly with them. Note that many protein shakes contain unhealthy additives and are produced without concern for the environment. Ekopura therefore offers a healthy and organic alternative. Protein without artificial and unhealthy additives and produced with respect for people, animals and nature.
Need some inspiration for a protein shake? Click here for our recipes. For responsible protein products you can here look.