Protein shakes are the most underrated breakfasts for people working on the road. They are quick, convenient and easy to travel with. They can be delicious, nutritious and some can even provide much lacking vitamins and enzymes giving you a complete and healthy meal. For those in the aviation industry, an early show time can mean no chance for breakfast. Protein shakes can help you take charge of your day by providing a healthy, fast and tasty breakfast regardless of the time or place that you start your morning. Below I will discuss the benefits of protein for breakfast.
1. Protein for breakfast will keep you fuller longer, improve appetite control, and decrease cravings for junk food throughout the day.
As a vegetarian on the road, you might not have access to nutritious vegetarian food throughout the day. With a protein shake in the morning, you will feel much more satisfied, longer and you will be able to stop yourself from snacking on those unhealthy airplane snacks.
In 2013, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study from the University of Missouri-Columbia on the effects of a protein rich diet and found the following results; “Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening.”
2. 25-30 grams of protein in the morning will help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes throughout the day.
Starting the day with hotel breakfast for most people means some eggs, sausage and maybe some bacon. For vegetarians, hotel breakfasts are going to be all carbs and sugars. Oatmeal and wholewheat english muffins are fine but, they will provide very little protein. God forbid you grab some of those sugary cereals or muffins, your day will be on a crash course for energy droops and hunger cravings. Carbs tend to metabolize into sugar and can spike insulin. An early blood sugar spike will leave the body trying to match that high all day. This means sharp cravings for sugar.
Protein shakes are the answer! Diane Fennel at diabetesselfmanagement.com reports on how protein in the morning will stabilize your energy for the rest of the day. “…high-protein breakfast lowered blood glucose levels after both breakfast and lunch and that insulin levels were slightly elevated after lunch, indicating that the participants’ bodies were working properly to manage blood sugar.”
Start your morning with a protein shake and throw in some toast or a muffin and you will be well balanced for the day to come. Nothing is worse than getting those sharp hunger pangs while trying to focus on the job. This will also lead to less “Hangriness” and your co-workers will be grateful.
3. Protein will jump start your brain for focus, alertness, and good memory.
An early showtime on day 4 of a trip usually means you're not operating to your best abilities. It’s usually towards the end of a trip that small mistakes start happening and the signs of fatigue will be evident. This is the most imperative time to be feeding your brain the protein to keep your focus strong.
Willow Lawson from Psychology Today writes, “Have you ever noticed that a high carbohydrate lunch can make you feel sluggish? Or that eating protein in the middle of the day keeps you more alert through the afternoon? Brain cells communicate with one another via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which are usually made of amino acids, the building blocks of protein."
“Eating protein raises the levels of another amino acid called tyrosine, which prompts the brain to manufacture norepinephrine and dopamine, other kinds of chemical messengers in the brain. Not as well known as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine can keep you energized because they promote alertness and activity.”
Fennel, Diane. "Eat More Protein at Breakfast to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes." Diabetes Self Management. 1 May 2015. Web.
H. J. Leidy, L. C. Ortinau, S. M. Douglas, H. A. Hoertel. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, 'breakfast-skipping,' late-adolescent girls. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013; 97 (4): 677 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053116
Larson, Willow. "Brain Power: Why Proteins Are Smart." Psychology Today. 3 Jan. 2003. Web.