A wealth of information exists that reveals the importance of protein as a building block for a healthy body.
While most people are aware of the importance of protein in the building and sustaining of muscle mass, it also plays a vital role in cellular health. For instance, hair and nails are composed of mostly protein. Protein plays an essential role in the building and repairing of tissue.
Protein also supports the development of certain hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals that are essential to maintaining a balanced physical state.
Protein, as with carbohydrates and fat, is a macronutrient, which means the body demands large amounts of it. What separates protein from the other two macronutrients is that the body does not store what is not used.
Excess fat and carbohydrates are stored in fat cells which can be accessed when the body is at a carbohydrate or fat deficit. Protein is either used or discarded by the body, meaning that there is an almost constant demand for this macronutrient.
According to nutritionists, it is best to increase the quality of the protein consumed, rather than increasing the quantity. Where a person gets their protein is just as important as getting the right amounts.
As with fats and carbs, not all protein is created equal.
Incorporate Protein into Your Diet
The first focus in supplementing the need for protein is to ensure that it is incorporated into a daily nutritional plan.
In most instances, it is possible for the average man or active teenager to get an adequate supply of protein with three servings at 2.5 ounces each. A high-performance athlete or bodybuilder will have to consume more based on the amount of muscle mass they are looking to sustain and the type of activity they will be performing.
Sources of Protein
Meats are an excellent source of protein, but the manner in which the meat is prepared is key.
It is important to stay away from fried food, which can negatively impact cardiovascular health.
According to most nutritionists, it is a good idea to stay away from red meat as much as possible, focusing on poultry and fish instead.
In addition to incorporating protein into a daily diet plan, supplementation is a great way to ensure that the body is getting high-quality protein.
Importance of Protein
Protein also plays a role in the biological process of protein synthesis, a process whereby cells work to generate new proteins to replace proteins that have become degraded or expelled.
Protein synthesis is also vital to cellular reproduction and cellular respiration, something important to the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to meet energy demands. Even basic muscle contractions would not be possible without the presence of protein.
Protein synthesis not only helps the body create and form specific proteins, but it produces the proteins that are in demand at the time.
Ensuring that the body is consuming the right amount of high-quality proteins will provide optimal performances in a cascade of bodily functions. The key is monitoring the source and quality of the proteins to ensure that they are bioavailable and capable of supporting protein synthesis.