Could Eating Protein Help Your Reaction Time?

If you want a faster reaction time, you might get it by consuming a high protein diet, a study from the University of Copenhagen finds. The research compared a diet with the amount of protein that people typically consume to a high protein diet and then compared grip strength, reaction time and the concentration of various substances in their blood.

The difference between the diets was either 1.5 grams of protein versus 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150 pound person, that’s 102 grams versus 204 grams. To find out your weight in kilos, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.

What does that much protein look like? Here’s a handy guide on what might be on our plates:

  • Meat, fish, or poultry: 3 oz. (the size of a deck of cards): 21 grams
  • Egg; 1 large (with or without the yolk, the protein’s all in the whites!): 6 grams
  • Beans: 1/2 cup: 7 to 9 grams
  • Tofu / Soy:  1/2 cup: 10 grams
  • Milk: 1 cup or 8 grams
  • Yogurt: 6 oz. or 5 to 13 grams (regular vs. Greek)
  • Peanut butter: 2 tbsp. or 32 Almonds: 8 grams

Whole grains and vegetables provide us with a little bit of protein as well, but the above are the main sources.

Keep in mind that this study was very small, only used healthy men, and was conducted only over three weeks, so the effects are unknown for long-term use and what negative effect it might have.

However, there might be other benefits. More protein might help with weight loss, and more soy protein might reduce breast cancer risk. For a more veggie version, check out the Eco-Atkins diet, which is also associated with a lower risk of death. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting a high protein diet. It could be harmful for people with kidney problems, as well as other conditions.



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