Many people aren’t getting enough protein in their daily nutritional intake, which makes it difficult to manage weight, gain muscle, and feel good. We crafted seven reasons to get quality protein that are backed by scientific studies.
- Protein supports fat loss.
A diet that is high in quality protein and that restricts carbohydrate intake, even when total calories from fat remains constant, has consistently been shown to yield the most significant improvements in fat and weight loss, and improve cardiovascular function and other health measures.1
- Whey protein optimizes transformation goals.
In a recent scientific review article, researchers concluded that whey protein can be used as an effective and powerful tool to transform one’s body and health. Whey protein supports a person’s ability to achieve his or her ideal weight and can support healthy blood glucose and insulin sensitivity (e.g., in response to strenuous exercise). It also stimulates the production of gut hormones involved in reducing hunger and burning fat.2
- Protein supports healthy muscle mass and a healthy immune system.
Chronically-exercised skeletal muscle is paramount to leading a healthy, robust life. Supporting that muscle and reducing its loss is critical to one’s quality of life. For example, did you know that muscles release signaling molecules that communicate with the brain, liver, pancreas, bones, fat tissue, and many other organs? The healthier and more active your muscles, the healthier your overall immune system response will be.3
- Protein is a hard gainer’s go-to nutrient.
Putting on solid muscle really is a reflection of the saying, “You are what you eat.” A person who consumes more quality protein, along with healthy diet and exercise, will pack on more quality muscle (skeletal protein), verses those who primarily eat high-glycemic carbs or fat. In fact, a recent review study concluded that lean men and women require at least 1.1–1.5 grams of quality protein per pound of lean body mass, per day, just to maintain muscle mass when training regularly and calories consumed are lower than calories expended.4
- Fast protein helps protect vital muscle as your age.
Not only do you move more slowly as you age, but your body also has a less robust response to exercise and protein. However, “fast” proteins and extensively hydrolyzed protein (“pre-digested” proteins) have been shown to provide older muscle with the ability to respond with youth-like sensitivity. Specifically, a diet that’s higher in protein than carbohydrates offers the greatest benefit for helping you maintain vital muscle mass and strength—the two factors most highly correlated with health and quality of life in later years.5
- Protein is required for bodily function.
Your body uses the structural elements of protein to manufacture necessary biological proteins that affect all of your body’s physiological processes. For example, enzymes are a class of proteins used within your body for metabolic and chemical reactions. Other proteins are required to transport substances into, within, or from a cell, as well as through your body’s circulatory system. Similarly, proteins are required for the composition and function of all of your body’s hormones and cellular receptors, and proteins are a major source of energy production for your body.6–7
- Protein is essential to life.
Protein, like water and essential fatty acids, is critical to supporting life and must be consumed frequently and in abundance each day. Dietary protein represents the sole source of useable nitrogen for the human body. In addition, the amino acids in protein are the building blocks of your DNA and represent the structural elements that provide form within your body.6–7
1 Petzke KJ et al. Int J Mol Sci 2014; 15:1374–91.
2 Sousa GTD et al. Lipids Health Dis 2012; 11:67.
3 Pedersen BK & Febbraio MA. Nat Rev Endocrinol 2012; 8(8):457–65.
4 Helms ER et al. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2014; 24(2):127–38.
5 McLean RR et al. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2014; 69(5):576–83.
6 Chou CJ et al. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 2012; 108:51–74.
7 Biesalski HGK, ed. Pocket Atlas of Nutrition. 2005, Thieme: New York.