Around here (as in the jerky biz), we tend to throw around the word “protein” a whole lot, because, well, you know …
But — as you probably learned in fifth grade, assuming you paid attention — protein is one of those essential building blocks for pretty much everything in your body (tissues, organs, bones, blood, and so on). And without enough of it, well, you may not feel so great.
A few signs you may just not be getting enough protein include:
Brittle hair and nails
Fatigue or weakness
More frequent colds (thanks, immune system)
So … that’s fun. But it’s an easy fix. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with enough protein. It’s that simple.
But how do you know how much protein you need? The general rule of thumb, according to the Dietary Reference Intake: 0.36 grams per pound of weight. Here are a few benefits of a protein diet.
Be Less Hungry
Our favorite thing about protein? We don’t look at the clock nearly as much to see if it’s time to eat again. A good helping of protein makes you feel less hungry and less hangry throughout the day. In fact, when you’re feeling crappy, we highly recommend hydrating and eating some protein for a quick perk-up.
Look, if you’re building muscle, lifting regularly, and if you’re physically active in general, protein is always a good idea. Why? Well, your muscles are made up mostly of protein. So, lots of protein equals more lean muscle mass. Pretty easy math.
Burn Fat Faster
We’re not going to get too much into the science of it, but high protein gives your metabolism a quick boost that makes it more efficient at calorie-burning.
You know how old people break their bones really easily? While calcium is often to blame, lack of protein is also a factor (who knew?). So eating lots of protein means stronger bones, too.
Regulate Your BP
Yep, eating more protein can actually help regulate your systolic blood pressure—that top number that measures artery pressure during your heart’s contractions, aka the more important number in determining whether you have high blood pressure).
Whether from a grueling workout or unrelated injury, recover faster by incorporating enough protein into your diet. That makes sense, since protein is that essential building block in your muscles, bones, and organs.
Protein benefits aside, here are a few quick tips to help make that protein work for your specific health and wellness goals.
Space out your protein during the day in the form of balanced meals and snacks
Choose different types of protein