In recent years we've seen increasing amounts of products in the supermarkets with added protein, and a lot of discussion about who actually needs extra protein in their diets (provided that they're already eating a healthy and well balanced diet). Athletes and bodybuilders looking to add muscle mass are usually considered to be the people who can benefit from extra protein in their diets, but did you know that it's very beneficial for the rest of us too? If you're following a plant-based diet, it's even more vital that you ensure you are getting enough protein from a variety of sources as protein needs for you are higher.
Proteins are made up of amino acids (another macronutrient we hear a lot about) and they're really essential for building and maintaining healthy muscles, for maintaining our immune systems and for ensuring our hair and nails are in the best condition they can be. Our hair and nails are actually made from a protein called keratin, so it's no surprise that we need to be eating enough protein to keep our hair looking healthy.
We need more protein in our thirties and forties as we enter perimenopause and menopause because we naturally start to lose muscle mass. Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade.
Extra protein in our diets can help to retain muscle mass. Protein is also vital for the production of many enzymes which aid digestion, it helps to make antioxidants and to keep our internal systems balanced and in good working order. Protein also helps in the production of hormones at a time when we need all the help we can get! If you want to fight against thinning hair, brittle nails and decreasing muscle mass then protein is your best weapon.
Many of us will be getting regular exercise in an effort to stay physically fit, and this is a great way to look after ourselves. As we get older, our muscle and bone density starts to decline, again due to dropping hormone levels (oestrogen is important for bone health) so physical activity is a fantastic way to combat this and to stave off joint problems in later life. If we're physically active we must ensure that we are getting the right nutrients to power our bodies through a workout; this is where extra protein comes in.
Next time you hear someone repeating the myth that only bodybuilders and elite athletes need extra protein, remember that getting enough protein in our diet is important for all of us. Sure, we might not be trying to bulk out, but that's only a small part of what protein actually does for the body. This is especially important as we get older and our bodies need more help from our diet in the form of the right fuel.
While it's true that a well-balanced diet can provide enough protein, in reality we're not always able to achieve balance easily through the foods we eat. On a busy weekday, it's all too easy to grab some toast, rice cakes or a packet of crisps to keep us going, so we end up filling ourselves up with carbohydrates for a quick energy boost and to stop our tummies rumbling. What we're lacking is enough protein to make these snack breaks healthier and more efficient. Protein fills us up for longer than carbs do, so it is less likely that we will get an urge to reach for the biscuit tin! We may be biased, but The MenoShake™ is a really easy and delicious way of getting the nutrients you need and it takes less time to mix than it takes for your toast to pop up.
As mothers and businesswomen, we're acutely aware that relying on carb based snacks becomes a habit that's hard to break. Swapping your usual afternoon snack for The MenoShake™ satisfies your need for a break, cures sweet cravings, and will keep you going all the way through to dinner without feeling the need to reach for the biscuits or crisps again. Alternatively, The MenoShake™ is also a great alternative for breakfast on-the-go. You can drink it out of one of our lovely pink protein shaker bottles.