Frequently, I recommend protein powder to supplement dietary protein, but my clients aren't always sure exactly what to do once they have it. That’s the topic of this post.
Why Protein Is Important
Protein has numerous functions in the body, starting with the obvious one that it can be converted to glucose for energy.
Because I’ve covered protein in previous posts, I’ll keep this part brief. Protein is used to form hormones, enzymes, blood, body tissue, hemoglobin, antibodies, transport proteins, and much more.
As protein enters the small intestine, it triggers CCK, a powerful satiety hormone. CCK curbs carb cravings significantly. People who don’t get adequate protein often have strong sugar cravings.
Protein provides the amino acid precursors for brain chemicals that have many functions. Those amino acids can, for example, raise dopamine and norepinephrine for alertness and improved mood. Eating sufficient protein can reduce the need for caffeine – which triggers the same brain chemicals. But while caffeine depletes those chemicals, protein increases their production.
Another example is tryptophan, used by the brain to make serotonin. Serotonin enhances satiety and mood.
And protein provides several B vitamins that act as catalysts in forming all three of the brain chemicals above.
Why Protein Powder?
I’m not suggesting that you give up real foods and use protein powder instead. But protein powder is convenient. It’s light and portable and needs no refrigeration. Here are some suggestions for specific situations.
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