What is Protein and why do I need it?
There are a lot of misconceptions about protein since it is a supplement that is regularly used amongst gym goers and sometimes athletes. However, most of the stigmas attached to it are untrue and we're here to shed some light on the whole topic!
So, what is protein?
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building and repairing muscle and cells in the body. It is commonly found in animal products, and can also be present in other sources such as nuts, legumes and vegetables.
Chemically, protein is made up of amino acids. amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and protein is the building blocks of muscle and basically every cell in your body.
Amino acids can either be Essential (ones the body can produce itself) or Non-essential amino acids (derived from food, and mainly things like meat and animal products and sometimes small traces in vegetables).
When protein is utilised in the body it helps to fuel and repair muscle, which helps metabolism and helps you build and maintain immunity. Protein also helps you stay full so you don’t feel the need to binge eat as much because research has shown that protein rich foods have a satiety effect.
Why is it important from an exercise perspective?
Anyone undertaking any kind of exercise routine is definitely going to need more protein than someone who doesn’t. This is because when you exercise, you are effectively tearing and breaking muscle fibers apart, which then need to be repaired by the body, requiring protein to do so.
If you are exercising but find yourself with low energy or feel that you are not building any muscle, it may be down to not having enough protein in your diet.
Why is protein important in general?
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body, for example our hair and nails are mostly made of protein and your body uses protein to build and repair tissue. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscle, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a "macronutrient," meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called "micronutrients."
However, unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply and that’s why it’s important to consume it in your diet!
Hopefully this helps breaks some barriers about protein and its uses. If you have anymore questions feel free to contact us :)