You probably associate ‘protein’ with weird powders that claim to taste like ‘cookies and cream’ and come in tubs bigger than your head. But, for all active women, eating to fuel is crucial.
Alongside carbohydrates and healthy fats, protein is an essential part of your diet – particularly for people who train hard and need to keep their bodies revved up with the right stuff.
Professional rugby player turned personal trainer, Christian Lewis-Pratt, recommends focusing on sources such as oily fish, served with healthy fats such as eggs, plus veggies such as broccoli, green beans, or spinach, adding hot spices for taste and seeds or nuts for texture. “First and foremost, it’s important to eat a diet made up of nutrient-rich foods,” he explains. “This of course includes protein.”
Good news is, from dairy to nut butter, it’s an easy one to pack in. Here’s why you should get on board.
It helps your muscles to mend faster
Protein is key to recovering after a workout, because it’s believed to help to heal the tiny tears that lifting weights and intense cardio creates – exactly what you need for lean muscle growth. As Lewis-Pratt says: “You can only train as hard and as consistently as your recovery allows you to.”
It’s super convenient after a workout
If you’re a day break gym go-er (if so, well done) no need to fret about not having time to make a three bean salad with a side of aubergine satay after you work out. Try an Arla Protein pot, for a spoon-able hit, or an Arla Protein on-the-go yoghurt pouch. For extra texture, punch up with a scattering of pumpkin seeds and add an extra dose of goodness with chopped banana.
It helps you feel full
Eating protein with every meal has been shown in studies to help keep you fuller for longer. Add in a portion – via nuts and seeds, dairy products, fish or beans – with your meals, to sustain your energy levels and stop you reaching for the biscuit barrel. Willpower always needs a little help, no?
It can help you get lean
Protein can also help you see more results from your workouts, faster. Eating protein, combined with a workout regime, has been shown by some studies to help reduce your body fat.
Not only will protein stop you reaching for that doughnut, a high-protein diet – alongside healthy snacks such as nuts and small amount of fruit – has been shown to help you build lean muscle.