Protein for breakfast packs a powerful punch

Protein for breakfast packs a powerful punch

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For years nutrition experts have told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And according to Bianca Tromp, FUTURELIFE® dietitian, they are absolutely right! She says, “Eating breakfast encourages healthier eating, balances blood sugar levels, kickstarts your metabolism, boosts energy levels, promotes heart health and stimulates the brain.”

She adds that eating protein in the morning packs an even more powerful punch and will set off a myriad of benefits including:

1. Feeling fuller for longer with less cravings

Protein takes much longer to digest than refined carbohydrates, which is why eating a breakfast high in protein will keep you fuller for longer and reduce craving for refined carbohydrates and sugar. Two of the mechanisms behind this are a reduction in ghrelin levels (the “hunger” hormone) as well as the stabilisation of blood glucose levels to help you avoid the dreaded sugar-crash. Therefore, starting your day off with a high protein breakfast sets you up to make good food choices for the rest of the day, without any hunger pangs.

2. Enhancing your workout

Protein supplies amino acids, which are essential for a range of bodily functions, including the building, maintenance, and repair of muscle fibres. Eating a protein for breakfast before your workout will help improve your performance, energise your muscles and prevent your body from tapping into protein stores meant for recovery. Protein will also help repair muscle damage post-exercise while stimulating muscle protein synthesis. FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is a perfect breakfast solution as it contains SmartProtein3D, a blend of fast digesting whey, intermediate digesting soy and slow digesting casein that provides a longer-lasting supply of amino acids, optimising muscle repair and growth.

3. Feeling more energised

Protein increases certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which not only gives you energy but makes you alert. Eating protein raises the levels of the amino acid tyrosine, which prompts the brain to manufacture norepinephrine and dopamine, chemical messengers in the brain that can keep you energised as they promote alertness and activity. Protein may also help you feel relaxed, as the amino acid tryptophan is necessary to produce serotonin (the “feel good” hormone).

So, what type of protein should you be having for breakfast?

Bianca explains that it is important to choose protein options that do not contain excess fat. “Lean protein food selections, such as plain yogurt (unsweetened), nuts, eggs, soy, milk, legumes, beans and lean meat/ chicken or fish, offer the benefits of a protein-rich breakfast without the harmful effects like weight gain or increased cholesterol levels. To avoid high-fat foods such as bacon, a good cereal, like FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™, a slice of toasted FUTURELIFE® High Protein Brown Bread or, if you on the run, a FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart bar is also a clever breakfast option,” Bianca concludes.

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