What Does Protein Do For Your Body
Protein is a nutrient that has been heavily documented and regarded as the primary building block of the human body.
We are continually told to eat a lot of protein foods each day to keep our energy up, our metabolism working smoothly and our blood sugar level on par.
Many people eat protein in general, but the question is: what does protein do for your body?
I know, finding the right answer to this question is not easy because of the conflicting information available today. We have decided to delve deeper into this topic to correct the anomalies.
We also like to enlighten you about the many great benefits accrued from consuming the right kinds of protein so that you adjust your eating choices and live healthy and long.
Whey Protein Promotes Muscle Growth
Muscle mass naturally declines with age.
This usually leads to fat gain and raises the risk of many chronic diseases.
However, this adverse change in body composition can be partly slowed, prevented, or reversed with a combination of strength training and adequate diet.
Strength training, coupled with the consumption of high protein foods or protein supplements, has been shown to be an effective preventive strategy .
Particularly effective are high quality protein sources, such as whey.
Whey is rich in a branched-chain amino acid called leucine. Leucine is the most growth-promoting of the amino acids .
For this reason, whey protein is effective for the prevention of age-related muscle loss, as well as for improved strength .
For muscle growth, some studies show that whey protein may be slightly better than other types of protein, such as casein or soy (
A limited number of human studies have investigated the effect of whey proteins on blood pressure, and many experts consider the evidence to be inconclusive.
One study in overweight individuals showed that whey protein supplementation, 54 g/day for 12 weeks, lowered systolic blood pressure by 4%. Other milk proteins had similar effects .
This is supported by another study that found significant effects when participants were given whey protein concentrate for 6 weeks.
However, blood pressure decreased only in those that had high or slightly elevated blood pressure to begin with .
How Much Protein Should We Eat Every Day
EFSA has developed dietary reference values for protein. The DRVs for protein at different life stages are summarised in table 3. For an average adult, the recommendation is to consume at least 0.83 g of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day.1 In other words, a 70 kg adult should aim to eat at least 58 g of protein everyday day. This is the equivalent to the protein found in around 200 g of chicken breast or 240 grams of mixed nuts.
During periods of growth, such as childhood, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, protein requirements are relatively high. In addition, during old age, our protein to energy ratio begins to increase. This means we require the same amount of protein but less energy due to a decrease in metabolic rate and a more sedentary lifestyle.1
Table 3. Dietary reference values for life stages.1BW: body weight.
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Reduces Cravings And Desire For Late
A food craving is different from normal hunger.
It is not just about your body needing energy or nutrients but your brain needing a reward .
Yet, cravings can be incredibly hard to control. The best way to overcome them may be to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
One of the best prevention methods is to increase your protein intake.
One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60% and the desire to snack at night by half .
Likewise, a study in overweight adolescent girls found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced cravings and late-night snacking.
This may be mediated by an improvement in the function of dopamine, one of the main brain hormones involved in cravings and addiction (
more protein may reduce cravings and desire for late-night snacking. Merely having a high-protein breakfast may have a powerful effect.
Triggers A Healthy Diet
When you have enough proteins intake in your body, you also trigger a healthy diet. Why? Protein has been observed to curb the craving for hard-to-resist food that keeps you from a healthy diet.
It is because of a brain chemical called dopamine. This chemical in the brain is linked to addiction. Adequate protein intake means improved dopamine function, which may cause reduced cravings.
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What Are The Best Ways To Get It
Protein comes in lots of different forms. Reach for healthy, low-fat sources. Steer clear of saturated fats and highly processed options. Try to eat it throughout the day instead of cramming it into one meal. Keep up your fruit and veggie portions to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
How Protein Benefits The Body
Almost everyone can agree on the importance of protein. Because of this, cases of protein deficiency are very low. Protein benefits the body in many ways and is very crucial to good health. Biologically, proteins are made up of amino acids that join together in the form of a chain to form a larger compound. The work of proteins lies mainly in the cells.Below are some ways protein benefits the body.
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Does Protein Build Muscle
Does protein build muscle? Here are all of your protein questions, answered
Does protein build muscle? The answer to this question is a resounding, yes. Muscle tissue is composed of a repeating structure of two protein filaments: myosin and actin. Myosin and actin filaments interact with each other to initiate muscle contractions and, over time, mechanical stress caused by constant movement will damage these protein filaments.
As a result, your muscles need a daily supply of protein to rebuild themselves and stay functional. Mechanical stress from weight training is strenuous enough to make your muscles bigger and stronger, which is why bodybuilders tend to train with extremely heavy weights. Its also why they may use supplements like the best protein powder and the best protein bars its how they ensure their bodies contain enough protein building blocks to maintain their sculpted physique.
But it may take more than just drinking protein shakes to achieve the desired musculature. Many different factors affect the strength and size of your muscle fiber types , including the type and amount of protein you consume. So if you want to know how to gain muscle , read on. Here, well discuss the science behind effective bodybuilding and help to answer all of your protein questions.
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Is Protein Powder Actually Helpful
You might be wondering if protein powder is actually helpful or if its just another marketing gimmick to sell a new product. There are many health benefits to using protein powder as a dietary supplement. But let us be clear, adding a few protein shakes into your diet does not mean you can skip the rest of the food pyramid and binge on popcorn and diet colas all day. You should strive for a mix of natural, complete proteins and supplement with a well-made, high quality protein powder to help you reach your fitness and health goals.
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Protein Makes You Lose Weight Even Without Conscious Calorie Restriction
Protein works on both sides of the calories in vs calories out equation. It reduces calories in and boosts calories out.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that high-protein diets lead to weight loss, even without intentionally restricting calories, portions, fat or carbs (
In this study, the participants lost an average of 11 pounds over a period of 12 weeks. Keep in mind that they only added protein to their diet, they did not intentionally restrict anything.
Although the results arent always this dramatic, the majority of studies do show that high-protein diets lead to significant weight loss .
A higher protein intake is also associated with less belly fat, the harmful fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease .
All that being said, losing weight is not the most important factor. It is keeping it off in the long-term that really counts.
Many people can go on a diet and lose weight, but most end up gaining the weight back .
Interestingly, a higher protein intake can also help prevent weight regain. In one study, a modest increase in protein intake reduced weight regain after weight loss by 50% .
So not only can protein help you lose weight, it can also help you keep it off in the long-term .
Eating a high-protein diet can cause weight loss, even without calorie counting, portion control or carb restriction. A modest increase in protein intake can also help prevent weight regain.
What Classifies As A High
Well, the current Recommended Daily Allowance for protein is 0.8 g/kg .
So, a guy who weighs 180 pounds would need around 65g of protein per day. Its important to note though that the RDA protein guidelines were originally created to represent the minimum amount that we need to avoid malnutrition.
In actuality, we can consume more protein than that, and for people who want to lose fat and build muscle, eating a higher protein diet is very beneficial.
Actually, one of the biggest downfalls to most people’s fat loss efforts is under-eating the macronutrient, protein.
Many studies have been done on people consuming 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per POUND of lean body mass and the favorable influences it has on fat loss results.
If you dont know what your lean body mass is, no problem … you couldjust start with eating somewhere around 1g of protein per pound of goal weight.
That should get you headed in the right direction!
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What Protein Actually Is
Protein is one of the three macronutrients . Unlike carbs and fat, protein is not usually a major energy source, although we definitely get some of that from itprotein provides four calories per gram. But protein is often referred to as a building block in the body because of its central role in growth and development.
Almost all animal-derived productsmeat, poultry, eggs, dairy, fishcontain a significant amount of protein, so they get labeled as protein sources when were talking about our diets and nutrition. But protein is also present in a lot of plant-based foods. Theres a good amount in beansas seen in these lentil recipespeas, nuts, and seeds, for instance, while vegetables and grains generally contain smaller amounts, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Whole grains will have more protein than refined grains, though, which are missing the part of the grain that often supplies a lot of the protein content, as SELF previously reported.
Now when a protein is a good source of all nine of the essential amino acids, we call it a complete protein, according to the FDA. All animal products are complete proteins, and so is soy. When a protein is missing or pretty low in any of those essential amino acids, its considered incomplete. Most plant foods are considered incomplete proteins.
Cons Of A High Protein Diet
Like most diets, there are potential drawbacks to eating a high-protein diet.
While high-protein diets may have many benefits, there are some potential negatives. While this eating approach may be an effective strategy for losing weight, important food groups such as fruits and grains are often cut out, which does not provide a well-rounded diet.
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How To Get More Protein In Your Diet
Increasing your protein intake is simple. Just eat more of protein-rich foods.
Even though eating more protein is simple when you think about it, actually integrating this into your life and nutrition plan can be difficult.
I recommend that you use a calorie/nutrition tracker in the beginning. Weigh and measure everything you eat in order to make sure that you are hitting your protein targets.
You dont need to do this forever, but it is very important in the beginning until you get a good idea of what a high-protein diet looks like.
There are many high-protein foods you can eat to boost your protein intake. It is recommended to use a nutrition tracker in the beginning to make sure that you are getting enough.
What Is A High Protein Diet
Protein is an essential nutrient for health. It is responsible for several vital functions in the body, including hormones, enzymes, and cell repair and maintenance. High-protein diets encourage eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates and fat to boost weight loss, improve energy, and enhance athletic performance.
Diets high in protein help decrease hunger, increase satiety, boost metabolic rate, and preserve muscle mass. However, when it comes to diets, one size doesn’t fit all, and what works for one person may not work for another.
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How To Get Your Protein Needs
Your daily protein needs can easily be met by following the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines group foods into 5 different food groups, each of which provide key nutrients.
The 2 main food groups that contribute to protein are the:
- lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans group
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives group.
As part of a healthy diet, the Guidelines recommend particular serves per day from each of the 5 food groups.
The human body cant store protein and will excrete any excess, so the most effective way of meeting your daily protein requirement is to eat small amounts at every meal.
Daily recommended serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans and milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives for adults
|Person||Recommended average daily number of serves of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans||Recommended average daily number of serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives|
|Men aged 1950 years||3|
So, what is a serve? A standard serving size of lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans is one of:
A serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives could include:
- 250 ml fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
- 120 ml evaporated milk
- 40 g hard cheese such as cheddar
- 120 g ricotta cheese.
Boosts Brain Functions And Cognitive Capabilities
Proteins are vital for your body to develop enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones which are paramount for cognitive capabilities.
In the course of your growing up, your mother must have told you that eating healthy breakfast sets the rhythm of the day and gets you ready to learn, grasp and remember things.
For the brain to keep energy levels up and concentration, it requires a steady supply of amino acids. Scientific studies have constantly found that when the brain is deprived of essential amino acids, learning and coordination is immensely affected.
The good thing is the moment the essential amino acids are brought back to the diet the brain recovers and continues to work perfectly.
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Whey Protein May Have Beneficial Effects On Blood Fats
High cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, is a risk factor for heart disease.
In one study in overweight individuals, 65 grams of whey protein per day, for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction in total and LDL cholesterol .
Other studies did not find similar effects on blood cholesterol .
The lack of effect might be due to differences in study design. Ultimately, further studies are needed before any conclusions can be made.
Long-term, high dose whey protein supplementation may lower cholesterol levels. The evidence is very limited at this point.
What About Protein Supplements
Overall, it is best to get your protein from a variety of fresh, unprocessed foods such as those listed above. Protein powders and pre-blended protein drinks/shakes are considered dietary supplements and, as such, are not regulated by the FDA and may contain ingredients not listed on the label. In addition to causing digestive upset in some people, some protein supplements may also be high in added sugar and calories. There is no data to support the idea that taking in high amounts of protein through supplements will increase muscle mass or speed weight loss. And, they are expensive. Experts recommend sticking to natural protein sources for the best health benefits.
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How To Get Rid Of High Protein In My Body
Your body is a fascinating, well-oiled machine thats extremely effective at balancing the amount of protein in your blood and urine when everything is working as it should. However, certain health issues can arise, making it difficult for your body to handle excess protein on its own.
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In these cases, you may need a little help getting rid of that extra protein. Keep in mind though, that high protein levels typically only go hand in hand with kidney problems. If you suspect that you have high protein in your body, or if your doctor has already confirmed that you do, make sure you closely follow the instructions of your health care team. Never try to treat high protein in your body on your own.