6 Science-Based Reasons Why You Should Eat More Protein Every Day
Out of the three macronutrients, protein is the least controversial. A high-protein intake is promoted, be it your trainers, or nutritionists. Rightly so.
The recommended daily allowance is so ridiculously low that almost anyone who increases their protein intake to their optimal range would reap the benefits we are about to discuss. The need for protein intake increases as your activity increases.
The RDA for sedentary adults is 0.8g/kg of bodyweight. But for active adults, the need for protein increases to this optimal range: (1.2-2)g/kg of bodyweight.
Reasons Why You Should Eat More Protein Every Day
Protein Helps Manage Appetite
What is one of the most important things when it comes to losing weight? Managing cravings..right? Eating more protein has an increased satiety effect that leads to a feeling of fullness. Which in-turn, manages to reduce cravings. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002791, 2https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313949, 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469287
Now, ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite and promotes food intake. 4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12575908 Fifteen healthy men were studied in a single-blind, crossover design. The results were clear: The High-Protein breakfast decreased postprandial ghrelin secretion more than did the High-Carbohydrate breakfast. 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977
Protein Helps Boost Metabolism
If you are one of my students from my best-selling Nutrition course, you know that I give TDEE a lot of importance. TDEE is one of the core concepts when it comes to weight loss and optimizing your health.
One of the components of TDEE is TEF- Thermic Effect of Food, also known as diet-induced thermogenesis. Now, TEF for protein is the highest at 20-30% of the protein calories consumed. To put it in real terms, if you eat 500 calories of protein, 40-60 calories will be burned to digest the remaining protein calories (without you having to do anything!).
Related Article: TDEE Definition: Total Daily Energy Expenditure
This may not seem like much, but every little bit all adds up, especially if you look in the long term.
Protein Helps You Lose Fat
Naturally, when your cravings are reduced, it leads to less and less food consumption, which decreases your overall caloric intake for the day. Several studies have concluded that more protein helps with fat loss. 6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12566476, 7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466943, 8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15051856
Another randomized control trial over a period of 6 months compared two diets, High Protein and High Carbohydrate diets. Weight loss after six months was 5.1kg in the HC group and 8.9 kg in the HP group! 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10375057
Yet another randomized six months strictly controlled dietary intervention followed by a 6-12 months dietary counseling period, and a subsequent 24 months follow-up concluded that weight loss was greater in the HP group (9.4kg versus 5.9kg). 10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15303109
Protein Helps With Increasing And Maintaining Muscle Mass
Strength training and more protein in your diet can help you gain muscles. 11https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169440/, 12https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-9-42, 13https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22958314
Protein, as we know it, is the building block of muscle tissue, and numerous studies support the fact that more protein intake (definitely higher than the RDA) becomes essential when you take part in physical activities. I have a separate article that explains how to figure out the optimal protein intake based on the type of activity.
Related Article: How Much Protein Should I Eat Per Day?
Protein Helps You With Weight Maintenance In The Long Term
We all want to lose weight and retain it…right?
In a New York Times article, it was stated that more than 90% of dieters who lose weight gained it all back! 14https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/health/biological-changes-thwart-weight-loss-efforts-study-finds.html
Well, the good news is that an increase in protein intake into the optimal range, along with regular workouts and an energy-controlled diet has the potential to sustain the weight loss and help you to stay within a healthy weight range or BMI. This is due to an increase in satiety and retention and/or an increase in lean mass, as we learned in the previous points.
Proteins Help You Improve And Reduce Blood Pressure
Hypertension leads to strokes and heart attacks. In a 2014 study, researchers from the Boston School of Medicine published in the American Journal of Hypertension concluded that 15https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4402349/
Participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100g/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest level intake.
Conclusion & My Recommendation
RDA recommendation of 0.8g/kg of bodyweight is geared for sedentary individuals. If you are an active person taking part in strength training and another intermittent type of activities than the need for protein increases, and it’s to consume within this optimal range: (1.2-2)g/kg of bodyweight.
It becomes even crucial if your goal is to increase muscle mass and/or lose fat and, most importantly, for weight management in the long term.
What do you think about these benefits? Have something you would like to add?
Let me know in the comments below!
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About Akash Sehrawat
Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.