There is too much hype about protein. You will find it in every discussion when it comes to nutrition, fitness or weight loss. Even everyone having a lean and toned body claim it to be the by-product of high-protein diet. But is it really a secret to losing fat and slimming down? Do you know the actual quantity of protein your body needs? Read on the write-up and use your knowledge to leverage all health benefits of proteins.
Protein is the building block for skin, hair, muscle and cellular function. It is one of the three macronutrients that facilitates the growth and repair of cells, balances the production of hormones and lets the metabolism work at its best. The other two macronutrients are carbohydrates and fats.
Proteins and their Types
Before we begin with the significance of proteins, let’s tell you a little about the proteins and their types. Proteins are built of total 22 amino acids which are known their building blocks. These amino acids are divided into three groups:
- Essential Amino Acids: 9 of the total amino acids are essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own and thus, are gained from the diet only. Protein in your body is considered incomplete if any of these essential amino acids are missing.
- Conditionally Essential Amino Acids: These amino acids are also gained through diet but are required only under certain circumstances, like when you are stressed.
- Nonessential Amino Acids: The non-essential amino acids are the ones that our body can produce on its own.
All these amino acids work together to ensure proper metabolism, fluid balance, energy and immunity in your body.
Why Protein is important for your Body?
As mentioned above, proteins play an important role in the proper functioning of our body. Whether it is the immunity, weight management or enhanced metabolism, proteins play a crucial role in all of these. The main functions performed by proteins are:
- Help in the Growth and Maintenance of Tissues.
- Aid in biochemical reactions (for digestion, energy production, muscle contraction, blood clotting).
- Facilitate communication between cells, tissue and organs.
- Fibrous proteins provide strength, structure and elasticity to different parts of the body.
- Help in maintaining pH value in the blood as well as other body fluids.
- Regulate body process in order to maintain a fluid balance.
- Protect your body from viruses and bacteria, thereby enhancing immunity.
- Ensure proper transportation of nutrients throughout the bloodstream.
How much Protein your Body Needs?
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance, you need to intake 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight, per day. And the recommended percentage of calories that should come from protein is 10-35%. Also, the requirements of protein vary depending on the lifestyle. Here are some additional guidelines for knowing the recommended protein intake as per your lifestyle:
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Should get 11-15% of total daily calories from protein.
- Active Lifestyle with the Regular Workout: Should get 15-20% of total daily calories from protein.
- Competitive Athletes: Should get over 20% of total calories from protein every day.
- Bodybuilders: Should get up to 35% of total calories from protein every single day
Facts related to proteins.
There are a number of Facts Related to Proteins and their Intake. Below we have discussed these Facts:
1. Proteins help you Burn more Calories
When you eat something, your body uses energy to break down the food and absorb all its nutrients. This boosts up the metabolism in your body. In case you eat fat or carbs rich food, about 5-15% calories are used for digestion. However, with protein, this percentage increases to 20-30%.
It is because of the reason that proteins are made of amino acids which are held together by peptide bonded aminos. As the body needs amino acids for different functions, it needs to break those peptide bonded aminos in order to use the amino acids. And for that, the body needs to work harder and consume more calories.
Though protein helps in burning more calories, it does not mean that you can consume as much protein as you want. Protein can still make you fat if you overeat.
2. Protein helps you Get Better Results from your Workout
Though proteins help you get better and fast results from your workout, the results can really be amazing if you take protein afterwards. The logic behind this is that the muscles become like a sponge for about 30-45 minutes exact after the exercise, no matter you were involved in the strength training or cardio training. When you give your muscles a particular amount of protein in that period, it works like a magic. The protein then is used for repairing and rebuilding the microtears in the muscle tissues. The entire process lets you experience less soreness the next day you do workout and increases the lean mass, thereby helping your body to burn calories effectively.
3.Too Much Protein can Harm your Body
An excess of everything is bad and same is the case with proteins. You are likely to take more proteins after knowing their benefits or after discovering that you are not taking the recommended amount of proteins. However, still, you need to focus on the protein. Eating more than what is recommended can lead to trouble, research shows.
Your body produces nitrogen when it digests protein. And the kidneys need to work hard to process that nitrogen and eliminate it as urine. Thus, when consumed in a large amount, the proteins put make a negative effect on your kidney. Also, some sources of protein can harm your heart. So, you need to ensure that your body gets protein in the right amount and from safe sources.
4.Proteins can Help you Stay in Shape
Most of the gym hitters and the ones who have their body in shape give the credit to protein-rich foods. When consumed in the right amount and at the right time, the proteins not only help you maintain your body weight but also help you stay in shape. The various health benefits of proteins include:
- Fast Recovery after injury and Workout
- Reduced Muscle Loss
- Help in the Maintenance of a Healthy Weight
- More Lean Muscle
- Appetite Control
- Make you Feel Full
Though proteins help in the proper functioning of your body, too much protein can result in a bad mood, weight gain, dehydration, constipation, bad breath, and can also damage the heart health.
So, in addition to including proteins in your diet, you need to ensure that you are taking them in the right amount. Too less and too much, both can harm you. It would be a good idea to consult your physician or fitness trainer for monitoring the amount of protein you intake.