Why Does Protein Give You Energy?
Reviewed by Jaimee Gooley, R.D.
Written by Hannah Marchese
You probably hear it all the time: eat more protein! Especially as women, we typically aren’t getting enough protein daily. This is definitely just a generalization, as there are plenty of women who are crushing the protein game.
The standard amount of protein we need on a daily basis is around 45 grams, but many people aren’t even getting that much.
A woman who is highly active should be getting closer to 60-70 grams of protein. Something important to note is that these protein suggestions are for your daily allowance.
You should not be eating 70 grams of protein in one sitting. The reason for this is because protein takes time to digest once it enters the body. If you eat a huge amount of protein at once, it can cause digestive issues.
You don’t need to be scared of protein. You’re not going to turn into the Hulk after eating too much protein. You would have to be eating extremely high levels of protein plus weight training every single day in order to bulk up significantly.
If you are eating lean and clean protein sources, you’ll likely find you have more energy. Why is that? Well, we’re going to answer that question and more! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about protein and why it gives you energy.
What Is Protein?
Protein is responsible for building and repairing muscle in our bodies. It’s also one of three macronutrients aside from fat and carbs. Basically, macronutrients are responsible for providing the body with energy through calories.
Protein is composed of amino acids, which act as building blocks for almost everything in the body. There are also different types of protein that can be found in the human body, such as collagen, which is responsible for tissues, organs, skin, tendons, and bones.
You can look at it this way: amino acids are building blocks for protein, and proteins are building blocks for muscle. They are both connected to each other and need one another to function properly. As protein is broken down in the body, it fuels muscle mass. In turn, this helps to boost your metabolism.
Besides this, protein also plays a role in our immune system and helps us stay full. This is why high-protein snacks are great for keeping us satiated.
If you’re wondering what foods are considered high-protein, try eating foods that are in the protein group, including:
As you can see, there are a lot of foods that contain protein, so you shouldn’t have too hard of a time including it in your diet. It can be found in almost every type of food.
So, How Does It Give You Energy?
Do you ever feel that midday crash hitting you? This feeling of fatigue can hit many people in the afternoon.
While you might just be tired, there’s also the possibility that you’re not eating enough protein. In fact, not eating enough protein throughout the day is one of the main reasons people experience fatigue.
When you eat protein, you’re giving your body fuel. This fuel is used to repair muscles and damage within the body while also building up tissues.
Protein helps to slow down digestion and the absorption of sugar in the body. As a result, protein promotes a slow, more sustainable release of energy, leaving you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
Meanwhile, simple sugars and carbs provide a quick release of energy into the body as it is not sustainable. You know when you eat something sugary and feel good for about an hour, and then horrible an hour later? Yeah, that’s a sugar crash.
High Protein Foods and Snacks
Now that you know how protein functions in your body, it’s time to start incorporating high-protein foods into your diet. Instead of reaching for a snack that is high in carbs and sugar, consider having a snack that will give you energy and help you feel good.
There are so many amazing benefits of eating a high-protein diet, and boosted energy is just one of them. If you need ideas for meals and snacks that are high in protein, we’ve got you covered!
If you’re looking for the perfect protein-packed snack, look no further. Kalumi BEAUTYfood makes the most amazing marine collagen bars. Marine collagen is the cleanest and best collagen source (score!).
Each bar contains 15 grams of protein. That’s a great amount of protein to have in one snack.
Not only do the bars contain protein, but they are also packed with other superfoods such as sweet potato, cocoa butter, and either almond butter or cashews, depending on which bar flavor you choose.
These bars are perfect for a grab-and-go snack. If you don’t have time to eat a meal, they will keep you satiated and energized until later in the day. They’re such a lifesaver when you’re in a rush but still want to pack in some nutrients and stay full.
Did we mention they’re gluten-free, non-GMO, and have no added sugar? Sign us up!
Healthy Meats and Seafood
If you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, clean meats and seafood are a great source of protein to incorporate into your diet. Always try and buy organic meat and seafood if you’re able to. That way, you know it doesn’t contain any antibiotics or hormones.
You can also look for terms like “wild-caught,” “free-range,” or “grass-fed.” Those terms also indicate that meat or seafood is cleaner than other kinds.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to serving sizes is to eat a piece of meat or seafood the size of your fist for one serving. Obviously, this depends on how active you are and how much protein you are trying to consume, but typically that makes a perfect serving size.
Any kind of nut butter in any form makes a great snack that gives you the perfect protein boost.
Typically, people choose peanut butter or almond butter for a snack or meal. Both are very similar nutrition-wise. They both have similar calories and protein content. Don’t make the nutrition value your deciding factor when it comes to choosing one of these nut butters.
Peanut butter has slightly more protein than almond butter does. Eat a spoonful before you head to a workout, or dip some apple or celery slices into the nut butter for a salty and sweet snack.
You can also make toast or add nut butter to things like oatmeal and yogurt parfaits. Plus, nut butter is great for any dietary restrictions (except if you’re allergic, of course).
Protein is essential for our bodies and our overall health. Not only does it act as a building block for muscle, but it also gives you a huge energy boost. As your body breaks down protein, it’s able to use it as a source of energy. Even though carbs are the primary source of energy for our bodies, protein is still incredibly important.
You should aim to have 45-70 grams of protein each day, depending on your level of physical activity. Including protein in your diet is easy; you can find it in meat, seafood, nut butter, eggs, legumes, and more.
No matter what your dietary preferences are, protein can fit in in one way or another. There are protein sources that work for vegans, people who eat gluten-free, and for those who have no dietary restrictions at all.
Don’t forget: when you need a clean and satiating protein snack, Kalumi BEAUTYfood has got you covered. From full-size bars to mini bars, to collagen powder, you have plenty of protein-packed options to choose from!
Daily protein needs for seniors still unsettled | Harvard
What Is Protein? | Live Science
Protein | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health | Harvard
Does protein give you energy? | Well and Good
How eating protein affects blood sugar | Cecelia Health
Portion size | Medline Plus