It’s no secret that protein is great for muscles. Whether you are a dedicated bodybuilder, want to build your strength, or are simply tired of being considered scrawny, you will find countless sources that tout the importance of combining the consumption of quality protein with strength training to achieve your fitness goals. Protein is also increasingly recognized as an invaluable ally for those working to shed unwanted pounds and maintain a healthy weight; it can improve satiety, reduce cravings, and boost your metabolism. But did you know that protein can also improve your bones? Scroll down to learn about the benefits of protein for bone health.
A Recipe for Healthy Bones
Your bones aren’t static. They are continually being rebuilt and renewed, and their health is a vital factor in your well-being. Weak, brittle bones can leave you vulnerable to dangerous fractures and breaks. They can also interfere with your ability to do everything from everyday tasks and professional responsibilities to the activities that you love and the exercises your body needs.
While calcium may be the nutrient most strongly associated with bone health, it isn’t the only one that matters. Protein is a vital building block for the construction of new bone matrix. It’s a crucial part of a healthy diet because it provides the body with the materials that it needs to function properly and to build and repair its tissue, including your bones. In fact, roughly 30 percent of bone’s mass and 50 percent of its volume are made up of protein, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Consuming adequate protein every day is critical for maintaining healthy bones and avoiding bone loss. In fact, there is reason to believe that when it comes to protein for bone health, the current recommendations regarding daily protein consumption fall short.
Protein for Bone Health
Could consuming more than the daily recommended amount of protein benefit your bones? Researchers at George Mason University think so. As part of a recent study, they reviewed existing literature regarding protein for bone health and its role in hip fracture prevention. After examining more than 30 studies, they concluded that getting more protein than recommended poses no risk to bone health and likely provides welcome benefits.
Breaking Down the Rumors
For years it was said that too much protein was bad for your bone health. Some suggested consuming excess protein would actually weaken bones by leaching calcium from them. As HealthyEating.org points out, newer research has proven these fears invalid. While consuming plenty of protein may increase the amount of calcium excreted, it offsets this by also increasing the absorption of this critical mineral in the intestines. Protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals (phosphorous, magnesium, etc.) are all vital for healthy bones, so anyone concerned about the strength of their skeleton should ensure that their diet includes a sufficient amount of all three of these substances.
How Protein Benefits Bones
How does protein benefit bone health? According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a high protein diet actually supports bone health in multiple ways, including all of the following:
- Improving intestinal calcium absorption. Calcium is known to be vital for strong bones.
- Increasing insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is recognized as a key player in bone health.
- Suppressing parathyroid hormone. Increases in parathyroid hormone prompt the body to draw calcium out of the bone. Decreasing this hormone allows the bones to retain more of their stores of this mineral.
- Building muscle. Improved muscle mass and strength are linked with better bone health.
The Musculoskeletal Connection
While muscles and bones are distinctly different parts of the body, their health is interrelated. Many of the factors linked with strong muscles, including protein consumption, also benefit bones. In addition, strong muscles actually protect bone health. That’s why adults at risk for bone loss are urged to exercise. As the National Osteoporosis Foundation explains, a potent combination of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises is recommended for people who want stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises improve muscle strength and prompt bone building. Exercises that hone muscles also improve flexibility and balance, which can protect bone health by reducing the risk of falls. Ultimately, consuming more than the recommended amount of protein provides your body with the materials it needs to fuel both muscle and bone health.
When you want to increase your protein intake, high-quality protein powders and protein-enriched foods make it simple. If you would like to add protein to your diet, try CHiKPRO™, a nutritious chicken protein isolate powder. Versatile and easy to use, this protein supplement contains 25 grams of protein in each 30-gram scoop! It’s a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids and scores high in PDCAAS, even when compared to casein protein.
Plus, you can use CHiKPRO™ in pizza, waffles, smoothies, frittatas, and many more delicious recipes. It is non-allergenic, dairy-free, and gluten-free. CHiKPRO™ also features in MEAT-SNX™ Chicken Protein Snack Mix, which comes in several different flavors, including Sweet BBQ, Cheese Pizza, and Cinnamon Bun. To learn more, please visit the CHiKPRO™ website.