The next time you need a boost of energy, don’t reach for a cup of coffee or a can of cola. Instead, have a snack or drink that is high in protein. This will give you energy that will continue to work throughout the day and help to eliminate those mid-afternoon blahs.
Not only does protein provide energy, it is a macronutrient that the body needs in order to survive. In addition to being essential for muscle growth and recovery, it is also important for healthy hair and nails (which are made of protein), and without enough protein, we actually risk malnutrition.
Dietary Sources of Protein
We should all be eating healthy diets that include around 30% of the daily caloric intake coming from proteins. There are a number of healthy dietary sources of protein which taste great and are healthy for most diets, including:
Beans: Pretty much every type of bean is loaded with protein, so it is okay to enjoy a delicious bowl of baked beans. Soy beans are extremely high in protein, and because soy contains all eight essential amino acids and all 14 non-essential amino acids, it is considered to be a complete protein.
Eggs: This is a versatile food that is very high in protein. To make a protein-rich, low-calorie sandwich, scramble one egg yolk with two egg whites and a tablespoon of skimmed milk (add a little bit of salt and pepper to taste). Spread the scrambled eggs on whole grain bread for a delicious sandwich.
Meat, Fish and Poultry: These are all terrific sources of protein. Remember, red meat should be lean. A quick and easy protein-rich snack is made by spreading canned tuna on whole grain crackers, topped off with shredded cheese and olives.
Nuts and Peanut Butter: These are both delicious, nutritious treats that are loaded with protein. When it comes to nuts, make sure that you are eating ones that are low in fat and calories. For instance, cashews are high in fat and calories, but a delicious substitute is almonds. The same goes for peanut butter. Find one that is low calorie and fat-free. A delicious, protein-rich snack can be as simple as some crunchy peanut butter spread on some whole grain crackers.
Protein Supplements for Added Energy
One way to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet is to use protein supplements. These are available in a variety of forms, including powders, liquids and capsules. Liquid supplements can be used before and after meals, or as a meal replacement. You can use them in smoothies, shakes and other recipes, or purchase ready-to-drink shakes and smoothies in many delicious flavors.
Powdered Protein Supplements
Another great way to get the protein that you need in your diet is to use powdered protein supplements. These can be purchased in flavorless varieties to be added into just about all of your favorite recipes. Or they are also available in such delicious flavors as chocolate, vanilla, berry and fruit punch, which can be used in delicious shakes, smoothies and slushies.
Here is a tasty slushie that you can make in just a few minutes. It is protein-packed, and your kids will love it too. Use this smoothie as a delicious snack or as a meal replacement for breakfast. Your entire family will love taking these on-the-go meals with them.
– 1C sugar-free lemonade (such as Crystal Light)
– 1C mixed frozen berries (strawberries and raspberries taste great together)
– 1 scoop berry or fruit punch protein powder
– Lemon juice
Blend all ingredients in the blender. The frozen berries act as the ice, and when they thaw, they will not dilute the smoothie. For an extra sour smoothie, add a couple of extra squirts of lemon juice.
How Janet Got Energized – A Protein Supplement Case Study
Janet is an active woman who enjoys working out regularly. The reason that Janet works out is to compensate for her love of junk food and all things fatty and bad for you. Although she often didn’t have the energy to work out, Janet would go anyway and feel drained afterward. She couldn’t understand this, because she thought that working out was supposed to provide an energy boost.
What Janet didn’t realize at the time was that she was not getting the proper nutrients in her diet, so no matter how much exercising she did, she was not going to feel better. Janet decided to talk to one of the trainers at her health club, who asked her about her diet. When she told her what her eating habits were, the trainer told her that she needed to make some drastic changes to her diet if she wanted to start feeling better and having more energy.
The trainer told Janet that she …