Protein is not just for bodybuilders packing on masses of muscle, we all need it! But what really is protein? You may have heard it said that proteins are the building blocks of our cells, which describes just how important this macronutrient is for us to function normally let alone at our best. Protein plays a vital role in a range of bodily processes. Our hair, bones, skin, tissues and muscles all contain proteins made up of amino acids. Nine of these are referred to as essential amino acids, which the body cannot produce itself and needs to be obtained through diet.
Many health-conscious people focus on eliminating carbs from their diet or turning to low-fat foods, but tend to neglect the importance of protein. Not only does consuming protein fuel muscle growth and recovery, but it also helps stimulate metabolism, strengthen the immune system, replenish your energy stores and keeps you feeling full for longer. If you think that you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, there’s no need to sit down to a steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Although meat is a rich source of protein, there are plenty of others that are just as good. Plant-based sources such as beans, lentils and tofu are a great way to increase your protein intake, as well as dairy products like yoghurt. If you’re on the go or pressed for time, Tonik Pro is a delicious and convenient shake that provides a great boost of protein to help keep you powering through your day.
Timing is key
Consuming enough protein is not the only important factor to consider – when you consume it makes all the difference to how much you reap the benefits. There are two key times when consuming protein is most effective…
While you sleep, your body is busy recovering from the day and preparing for the next. Throughout the night, our bodies absorb the energy and nutrients from dinner and by morning our stores are depleted. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, because this is your chance to fuel up for the day ahead and replenish your protein levels. Having an egg on toast in the morning or a Tonik Pro on the way to work will have you feeling energised and ready to seize the day!
When we exercise, we break down our muscles and create tiny tears. Your muscles don’t grow while you’re pumping out reps in the gym, but afterwards. In the recovery phase, your muscles rebuild to be stronger than before, but only with the help of protein. Without protein, your muscles will only begin to break down. You should aim to consume protein within two hours after your workout for ideal results, or immediately afterwards if you fasted before exercising.
No matter what your health goals are, protein is an essential component of your diet. The amount of protein you need will depend on a range of factors including gender, weight and physical activity. If you’re not consuming enough protein, remember that your daily intake doesn’t have to be all in one hit! Consuming protein-rich snacks and beverages like Tonik Pro is an easy way to increase your intake and see positive results.