Eating enough protein is necessary for the immune system and a requirement for healthy organs like the brain, heart, and skin. Protein is made up of complex amino acids that require a lot of energy to break them. Some people associate large protein intake with athletes and bodybuilders, but that isn’t the case. As you grow older, your body’s ability to break down and absorb protein decreases, thus you need to make adjustments such as increase your protein powders and shake intake. Since protein powder has gone through processing in its making, it becomes easier for the body to absorb it. Apart from that, there are ways in which you can increase your protein absorption fast. Here is how to do it.
Consume Complex Carbohydrates
The body breaks down protein into the simplest amino acids, but that’s not all. The amino acids formed need further processing for the body to benefit from the proteins consumed. Therefore, you need to eat carbohydrate-rich foods, which helps the body release insulin. High insulin levels help the muscles absorb these amino acids, which are important for overall body functioning.
For bodybuilders, they are advised to eat carbohydrates right before an intense workout to help enhance protein absorption.
Take Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6 is also referred to as pyridoxine. Vitamin B-6 helps the enzymes in the body to break down protein and carry the dismantled amino acids to your bloodstream. This vitamin ensures your body obtains all the protein from the foods you consume. Fortunately, you can get vitamin B-6 from foods such as meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. These foods also contain proteins. Alternatively, you can opt for vitamin B-6 supplements which are more effective if you want to increase the absorption of proteins in the body.
Consume Acidic Foods
The body can’t be able to absorb protein in its natural state. The amino acids in proteins are broken down by certain proteases in the stomach. When the bonds are broken, each individual amino acid can now be absorbed in the body. To enhance this process, try eating and drinking more acidic foods like vinegar, orange juice, and acidic fruits. Such foods make your stomach a little more acidic in nature and help break down the proteins.
Consume Protein Before and After A Workout
In addition to eating all the above foods, it’s advised you eat protein immediately before and after exercise. By doing so, you give your body an ample supply of amino acids to absorb during and after exertion. There is no optimal window of time in which you should consume the proteins after a workout. According to ISSN, this is a personal preference since the anabolic effects are said to last at least 24 hours. But the effect tends to decline as post-exercise time increases.
Chose the Right Proteins
Depending on the kind of proteins you eat, your body will either easily absorb them or not. Some types of protein-rich foods are better digested than others, hence they increase the amount of protein your body actually absorbs and use. A publication in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin said that animal-based proteins like eggs, milk, and meat have the highest digestibility rate. Also, purified plant protein such as soy protein and wheat gluten have increased digestibility. You should always eat a salad before meals since it increases the production of digestive enzymes that contribute to fast protein absorption. Avoid other purified plant products like peas, cereals, and soybeans flour, which have lower digestibility, especially if you want to boost your protein absorption.
Eat Small Portions
If you aim to increase your protein absorption fast, you need to understand that the body uses a limited amount of protein at a time. Focus on eating small amounts more frequently to increase their absorption. Note that, the amount you should consume per serving depends on age and how frequent you do intense workouts. There is no ideal amount you should eat, although the ISSN recommends 20 to 40 grams per day. This amount should be distributed evenly throughout the day.
Reduce Excessive Coffee and Tea Intake
Excessive consumption of coffee or tea tampers with how the body absorbs proteins. Caffeine affects the pancreas involved in the breakdown of amino acids found in protein. If you consume coffee or tea on an empty stomach, it could be “disastrous.” But this doesn’t imply that you don’t consume caffeine at all, you should take it in limited amount only. Also, caffeine can elevate stress levels, consequently impacting the pancreas negatively. Stress causes pancreas inflammation, which affects the production of digestive enzymes.
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