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Protein

Although proteins are often associated with strength and muscle power, this is only partially true;

although an essential component of muscles, proteins play all sorts of roles in maintaining our health and functionality.

Different Proteins:

Here are some of the most common proteins, along with their functions in the body:

a-Keratin and Collagen: maintain healthy skin, hair and connective tissue

Myosin and Actin: involved in muscle growth and repair

Hemoglobin: transports oxygen in the blood

Fibrinogen and thrombin: provides defense against foreign bodies, and causes blood-clotting

Insulin: regulates metabolism

Myoglobin: stores oxygen in muscles

All hormones are proteins

Amino Acids:

All proteins are made up of smaller molecules called amino acids. The body is able to synthesize the majority of amino acids on its own; however, some amino acids cannot be built in this way and must be supplied by the diet. Amino acids that must be supplied by the diet are known as Essential Amino Acids.

 
 
 
 
Is meat the best protein for you?

People tend to think of meat as being the best source of dietary protein, but in fact proteins from plant and animal origin are equally beneficial.

‘Animal’ protein is found in:

Red meat

Chicken

Fish

Dairy Products

Eggs

Animal proteins are high in Essential Amino Acids in the right proportion, and are therefore known as Complete Proteins. However, the Complete Proteins can be high in saturated fat and low in fiber.

‘Plant’ protein is found in:

Fruit and vegetables

Nuts

Seeds

Beans

Plant proteins tend to be high in fiber and low in fat, but do not always have all the Essential Amino Acids, and so are known as Incomplete Proteins. It is perfectly possible for vegetarians to obtain sufficient Essential Amino Acids, as long as they eat a wide-ranging and varied diet.

 

How Much Protein Do We Require?

The World Health Organization recommends that an average person requires about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day, or approximately 10-15% of total calorie intake. For example, a person weighing 65kg requires 65g protein per day. If you do some research you will find different calculations of protein to weight. Some people think 1g of protein per lbs., whereas others think .5g per kg is ok. The NSCA recommends a dietary allowance of .8g per kg of body weight for healthy, sedentary adults.

Some studies have indicated that an endurance athlete requires approximately 1.2-1.8g protein per kg of bodyweight per day, with a strength/power athlete requiring up to 2kg protein per kg bodyweight per day.

Excessive consumption of protein can cause:

Osteoporosis

Arthritis

Kidney damage *

Excessive calories from protein can be stored as fat, just like calories from fats and carbohydrates *

Inadequate consumption of protein can lead to:

Prolonged recovery from illness

Low energy levels

Low stamina levels

Poor resistance to infection

Mental depression

Slow healing of wounds

However we are currently seeing a trend for high-protein diets, and far more people in the Modern Western World consume too much protein, rather than not enough!

*Protein Myths. Here's some urban legend on protein that you'll hear in gyms and probably also from friends and colleagues.

Protein Is Bad for Your Kidneys. There's no data suggesting that high protein intakes cause the onset of kidney dysfunctions in healthy adults. There aren't even correlational studies. Try to find them.

Protein Causes Weight Gain. Increasing your protein intake or drinking whey shakes won't make you gain weight unless you increase your daily calorie intake. Read how to gain weight for skinny guys.

You Can Digest Max 30g Protein/Meal. Your body can digest & absorb pretty much anything you give it. Read the post “how much protein can you absorb per meal” for more info.

 

 

Calculating Your Protein:

Here is a great way to find out how much protein per day you need. Even if you’re not working out, it is still important to take care of your body by eating right and avoiding deficiencies down the road.

 

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:

 

1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg

 2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm. /kg = protein gm.

 

Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

 

Example: 154 lb. male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights

 154 lbs. /2.2 = 70kg

 70kg x 1.5 = 105 gm. protein/day