May is National Mental Health Awareness month and it got me thinking about how important fitness is to maintaining mental well-being. Getting outside in nature, moving to get your heart rate up, breathing deeply and letting go of the re-run ruminations in our heads can increase blood flow and energy levels, boosting feelings of wellness.
Of course, healthy nutrition plays a role, as well. Proteins are made up of amino acids which can only be ingested–they are not naturally made by our bodies. The amino acids tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine are the precursors for the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are involved in nervous system functions like mood, sleep, motivation and concentration, anxiety, immune function, and more. Whey protein contains the amino acid building blocks needed for developing the neurotransmitters used by our brains, as well as for building muscles and maintaining healthy organs. It also contains high levels of 9 essential amino acids our bodies use. Our protein blend of whey isolate and concentrate make a powerful source of amino acids. Here is an interesting chart comparing protein sources:
|COMPARISON OF AMINO ACID PROFILES IN COMMON PROTEINS  AMINO ACID (mg AA/g protein)|
|Amino Acid||Human Milk||Cow Milk||Egg||Beef||Soy||Whey|
Source: Hammer Nutrition
Exercise and eating right become medicine when feeling anxious or depressed. Mental Health America has a nice list of tips for mental health to remind you of your center. Of course, reaching out to your health care provider is always the right thing to do when you are feeling low for extended periods and none of these things help. #builtonstrength