Protein-Packed Snacks: The Perfect Sidekick for a Full Life
with Dr. Emily Fritz
Every moment counts and there’s a long list of all the things you need to pack into those moments. Sometimes the demands of life are fun and care-free and sometimes it’s the slog of a long work week that has you running from one thing to the next. You’re always on the move, and somedays, eating isn’t top of mind when you’re amid the grind. We’re doing what we can to make good choices – even with the odds stacked against you.
Enter the magic of protein-packed snacking. Protein has been getting a lot of good press and there’s a few reasons for that. Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a role in almost every process in your body. It's crucial for muscle repair and growth, and it also aids in keeping your cells in tip top shape and working their hardest, but there are a few key benefits that can help you make protein a priority.
The Benefits of Prioritizing Protein
We mostly hear about how great protein is for muscle-building or post-workout recovery, but protein is so much more than that. It’s about feeling good, staying full, and fueling your body so you can get through whatever comes your way.
Eating protein gives you lasting feelings of fullness that come after we eat a meal, called satiety. I don’t know about you, but it’s one of my favorite feelings. Protein-rich foods help you feel full faster and stay full longer than carbs and fat. Hunger can really be a distraction when you’re getting after your day and satiety can help you stay focused and productive so you can tackle the tasks that are most important. Having protein packed snacks that keep you feeling full is also key to staying on track and avoiding the desperate decisions that happen at the peak of hanger.
Along with that lasting feeling of fullness, you get steady energy with protein packed snacks. Unlike the rapid highs and lows of high-carb, sugary snacks, foods that contain more protein provide a steady release of energy, especially when that protein is combined with other good stuff like fiber. The only thing worse than sitting through a meeting while you’re hangry is the mid-afternoon crash after you ate those fruit snacks in desperation when you got up to go to the bathroom. Plus, the ups and downs that come with high-carb, nutritionally lacking snacks, also leave us feeling irritable and research suggests that these swings in our blood sugar can negatively impact our long-term health and well-being.
And even though we’re not all focused on crushing it in the weight room, it’s important to remember that protein is fundamental for maintaining, repairing, and building strong and healthy bodies so that you stay strong and resilient amidst your busy life. Getting adequate protein means shooting for more than about 0.5 grams per pound of body weight per day (or 0.8 grams/kilogram body weight) and some recommendations go as high as 1 gram per pound of body weight per day especially as we get older or if we’re really active.
Setting yourself up for success
One of the biggest challenges to getting enough protein in your daily diet is the preparation required to prioritize protein. When I see perfectly packed refrigerators full of meal prep work that people post on social media it feels so out of reach –I’m not the kind of person who wants to spend all Sunday grocery shopping and meal prepping for the week ahead. To successfully hit my protein goals, I make sure to have high protein snacks around. Hard boiling eggs is below my effort threshold for meal prep, so I usually keep those around, along with an assortment of high protein snacks like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and protein shakes for the days when I’m really in a pinch. Plus, I also snack on Rivalz since it offers 8 grams of protein in a delicious stuffed snack with savory flavors.
It's clear that integrating more protein into your daily diet is not just a health fad but a substantial lifestyle enhancement. Here are the final takeaways:
- Eradicate Hunger Distractions: Protein-rich snacks enhance satiety, keeping you full and focused. Say goodbye to the distractions of hunger pangs and maintain your productivity throughout the day.
- Steady Energy, No Crashes: Enjoy the consistent energy released from protein-packed snacks. Avoid the highs and lows that come with carb-heavy, sugary snacks, and keep your energy levels stable, helping you navigate through your daily tasks with ease.
- Convenient and Accessible: Prioritizing protein doesn’t mean spending hours meal prepping. Easy-to-grab, protein snacks like Rivalz, hard-boiled eggs, and Greek yogurt make hitting your daily protein goals achievable, even for the busiest individuals.
- Promote Long-Term Health: Beyond immediate benefits, consistent protein intake contributes to your long-term health, reducing the risk of muscle loss, supporting bone health, and assisting in weight management.
- Savor the Taste and Nutrition: With snacks like Rivalz offering delicious flavors packed with 8 grams of protein, you don’t have to compromise taste for nutrition. Enjoy every bite while fueling your body effectively for the challenges ahead.
Incorporate more protein into your snack time and feel the positive impacts on your energy, satisfaction, and overall health. The right snack choices pave the way for a balanced, fulfilling, and healthy life amidst the whirlwind of daily responsibilities.
More About Dr. Emily Fritz:
Dr. Emily Fritz earned her M.S. and Ph.D. at South Dakota State University in Exercise, Nutrition and Food Science. Emily joins Rivalz from her role as VP of Scientific Affairs at the Beachbody Company and is passionate about advancing scientific discovery for companies leading the way in human health and nutrition. In addition to her commercial work, she has authored, presented, and collaborated on many research studies ranging from large National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies to leading student research projects during her time as an Assistant Professor at Simpson College in Indianola, IA.