WHAT DO WE NEED PROTEIN FOR AND HOW DOES IT HELP OUR BODY?
Protein is responsible for an array of functions within the body and if our diet is lacking in the right proteins, we soon feel the effects.
When I say the right protein, I mean complete proteins. Complete proteins are made up of 9 essential amino acids which assist the body in maintaining health and aiding in recovery.
Vegans and vegetarians are sometimes at risk here due to plant-based proteins not having all 9 essential amino acids present. This is easily rectified through a balanced diet of different proteins to make a complete protein or by taking a protein supplement.
People with protein deficiency could show symptoms of…
- Lack of concentration
- Weight gain
- Or trouble losing weight
- Blood sugar up’s and down’s which can lead to diabetes
- Difficulty learning
- The 3pm brain fog
- Constant tiredness
- Weak immune system
- Muscle, joint and bone discomfort
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss
Why is Protein So Important?
Without protein, you don’t exist!
Protein is designed to repair you on a daily basis.
Protein is the building block to every part of your body, your hair and nails are made of protein, they are structural components of your cells and tissues, they boost your metabolism to help burn fat, they repair muscle breakdown after physical work or exercise and many other essential jobs.
What Exactly is Protein?
There are 3 types of proteins…
- Complete proteins (the best kind)
- Incomplete proteins (Needs to be blended with other proteins to make complete)
- Complementary Proteins (This is a blend of plant-based proteins to make a complete protein).
All 3 are made up of amino acids which can be found in most foods. The highest source of amino acids come from animals.
Plants-based proteins have a lower amount of protein than animal products. These are also classed as incomplete proteins and need to be mixed with other foods to make up the complete protein. There is nothing wrong with this and is considered balanced eating.
You still have to be careful though, to make sure you attain the right amount of proteins per day for optimum health.Proteins cannot be stored in the body for later use which means the constant topping up to maintain, develop and grow our bodies.
Protein isn’t just for just for the exercise crowd or body builders, every person on the planet needs protein daily. After all our lives depend on it.
Here are some benefits of consuming a good protein…
1. Lose Fat
Studies have proven participants given whey protein lost more weight than other participants who were given a placebo drink.
2. Preserve Muscle Mass
The same participants preserved muscle mass compared to the placebo group who did not.
3. Manage Stress Levels
Feeling stressed? Avoid the comfort foods or something harder and change your mood with some exercise and whey protein instead. Research has shown, subjects who consume protein showed less symptoms of stress and seemed happier overall.
4. Boost Your Immunity
Strenuous cardio activity can affect immune and nervous systems. If you like to “bust a gut” when you exercise, whey protein can lower this potential negative impact on your body.
5. Increase Muscle Size and Strength
What’s the point of working hard at the gym if you don’t really benefit as much as you could from it?
Protein supplements have been proven to increase muscle size and strength.
6. Beating the Hunger
Studies have proven whey protein can reduce levels of a hormone that tells the brain you are hungry, so instead of reaching for some junk food, fill up on a protein shake as an alternative.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
The recommended daily intake of protein for an average sized person is…
- 46 grams per day for women aged 18 to 70 years
- 64 grams per day for men aged 18 to 70 years
- 57 grams per day for women over 70
- 81 grams per day for men over 70
The amount of protein required also depends on a person’s weight, build, activity level, age and sex. It is ok to exceed these numbers during times of heavy exercise, physical labour, growth spurts, after sickness or during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. Don’t go overboard though.
An easy way to calculate how protein you need is to multiply .8 grams x your body weight in kilo’s. so, if you weigh 80 kilos’, you need 64 grams of protein for men and 10 grams less for women. Adjust your protein supplement requirements to match your weight.
So, get more protein in your diet and for the next 5 days, track what you eat and calculate how much protein you are getting each day.