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Women and protein – the facts
Posted Nov 06, 2009
For many women, the idea of protein supplements conjures up images of enormous men with bulging biceps and rippling thighs; a vision far from the lean ideal most women hope for once they commit to regular training and calorie controlled eating. Unfortunately, this view of protein supplements and its role in the body is far from the truth, with protein rich foods offering much for active women.
Protein contains the same number of kilojoules per gram as that of carbohydrate, yet protein has a much different role in the body. Protein is the key building block of our skin, hair and muscle cells and hence is a crucial nutrient to ensure optimal muscle recovery after training. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when considering if you are getting enough of this vital nutrient is that protein helps to slow the digestive process and control blood glucose levels, which ultimately helps to keep you fuller for longer after eating it.
One of the most common mistakes active women make when it comes to making smart food choices to fuel their bodies to relying too much on high carbohydrate, processed foods such as snack bars, juices, low fat muffins and bread based products which contain little protein. The result is fluctuating blood glucose levels and ravenous hunger which can ultimately lead to overeating and a failure to metabolise body fat. Focusing your snack food choices around protein and nutrient rich foods such as low fat dairy, lean meats, nuts and supplementary protein rich shakes and bars is a great way to not only ensure that you are getting enough protein in total to compliment your active lifestyle, but also ensures a of feeling fullness and satisfaction after enjoying protein rich snacks.
Remember that women, unlike men do not produce enough the key hormones required for significant muscle growth so choosing protein rich snacks will not turn you into a body builder anytime soon, just a leaner you in conjunction with the right resistance training program.
If you routinely find yourself hungry in between meals, and struggle to find a filling yet tasty snack to satisfy your hunger, try supplementing your diet with a high protein smoothie or shake in between your meals. Protein rich snacks will not only help to control your cravings but you may also find that you are eating fewer calories in total at your main meals which will help with fat loss and weight control.