The surprising benefits of a high-protein diet (that aren’t building muscle!)

The surprising benefits of a high-protein diet (that aren’t building muscle!)
Thought protein was just for elite athletes or those looking to pack on some serious muscle gains? Not so fast girl! There’s a huge misconception that protein shakes are just for guys who have always wished they could look like Arnie. Yes, eating a high protein diet is great for sports performance, body shape and recovery, but protein isn’t just about getting rippling muscles (and FYI, won’t make you bulk up on its own either)! In fact, there’s a whole host of other benefits you could gain from consuming a high protein diet. So, if you’re looking for glowing skin, glossy hair, to boost your overall wellbeing and yes, gain that highly sought-after muscle tone, here’s how protein could help you do just that:

Say Hello to Glowing Skin, Hair and Nails

Simply put, protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of your body. By this we don’t just mean your muscles, but your hair, skin and nails are all made up of amino acids too! These amino acids are crucial for keratin production – the fibrous structure that makes your hair look full and glossy - which is one of the reasons why someone with a protein deficiency might end up with thin, breakable hair. The amino acids L-lysine and L-proline also support the body’s production of the connective tissue collagen, helping to keep your skin looking young!

Our ultimate beauty tip? Start your morning with a skin-boosting Free Soul smoothie, packed full of protein, vitamins and antioxidants thanks to our carefully formulated vegan nutrition blend!

Boost Your Immune Health and Swerve Sickness

There’s good reason that protein is one of the key macronutrients your body needs. Protein’s job is to build and repair, not only to give you killer abs, but to support a healthy immune system – and a whole host of other bodily functions – too! Make sure to eat plenty of protein from animal products or plant-based sources, so that your body can build antibodies and promote the synthesis of glutathione, a crucial antioxidant for immune health!

Want to know more about boosting your immune system? Check out our top tips.

Endlessly Hungry? Stay Full for Longer

Do you ever find that those classic, carbohydrate-heavy breakfast choices like toast or porridge leave you feeling starving 2 hours later? If you find yourself endlessly hungry soon after mealtimes, it could be because of not eating enough protein! Carbohydrates, particularly refined one’s such as bread and sugar, are quick energy sources that are easily broken down and digested by your body. Whilst this is great if you need a quick boost of energy to power through a long run or to help you refuel fast, it’s not so great at keeping you full for very long!

Foods high in protein make us feel more satiated, partly because it reduces our levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts other hormones that make us feel full. But also, more simply, this is because it takes our body’s longer to break down and digest proteins as opposed to simple, fast-acting sugars.

Our top tip? If you find your stomach growling soon after breakfast, try pairing your morning oats with a scoop of Free Soul protein and healthy source of fat like our beloved peanut butter – it’ll keep you full all morning long!

Build Lean Muscle

Yes, it might not be the only benefit, but it is true that protein is good for your muscles too! If you’re looking to build or maintain lean muscle, protein is essential! There’s lots of research that shows how eating a high protein diet can help you to maintain muscle mass, strength and can also promote muscle growth after strength training.

But what if you’re not looking to build huge muscles, but do want to lose fat? Maintaining muscle mass is still important to keep up your functional performance and by ensuring your protein intake is high, this can help prevent muscle wastage during weight loss.

Struggling to consume enough protein? That’s where Free Soul comes in with products that are smart, effective and backed by real science to give you a protein hit that’s tasty and super convenient. A chocolate shake after a hard gym session that’s got all the protein, vitamins and minerals we could need? Sold!