Protein is considered a macronutrient that helps the body produce usable energy. It is this energy that can help build muscle and help lose fat.
Protein is similar to both carbohydrates and fat in that all three can produce energy. The main difference is that protein also helps the body create and repair tissue, while carbohydrates and fat cannot.
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What is protein's role in the human body?
Protein serves as the foundation of the body’s tissue. Certain parts such as all the muscle, nails and hair are developed from different proteins.
Any sort of physical activity you participate in can cause several small rips in your muscles, and protein helps repair those tears and fix the muscles. When those tears are fixed, the muscles become bigger and stronger.
What is protein made up of?
Protein is created by certain amino acids that are strung together in the body. Amino acid can be put into two different categories, either essential amino acids or non-essential amino acids.
Amino acids that are categorized as essential cannot be manufactured by the human body, so certain foods that contain the amino acids must be consumed in order to give your body the proper amount.
On the other hand, non-essential amino acids are created by the body, and in turn, are not required to be consumed in a diet.
What types of proteins exist?
Complete proteins and incomplete proteins are the two different types of proteins that are available to the body. The difference is that complete proteins contain every essential amino acid required by the body.
On the other hand, incomplete proteins are missing at least one of the essential amino acids
The importance of differentiating between complete and incomplete proteins is that in order for the body to be able to repair broken tissue or build new tissue, it must have all the essential amino acids.
This does not, however, mean that you can only consume foods that have complete proteins. A balanced diet of both complete and incomplete proteins is best.
However, it is always best to speak to your physician or another qualified health care professional like a nutritionist when determining the best course of action for consuming protein.
It is not necessarily a good practice to eat as much protein as possible, or to take protein supplements. It is best to balance the types of food you eat. Eating a balanced diet will most likely provide you with the right amount of proteins that your body needs.
What are different sources of protein?
The most complete proteins come from all types of animals. This does not just include red meat, but dairy such as yogurt, milk, sour cream, and cheese, poultry, fish, and eggs.
How much protein do I need to eat each day?
Depending on your age and activity level, you can most likely get your entire daily recommended amount of protein simply by eating certain foods. This includes fruits and vegetables.
Women should consume about 5 ounces of protein per day, while active women and teenage girls are best served consuming about 6 ounces of protein each day.
Grown men and teenage boys need to consume anywhere from 3 to 7 ounces of protein per day, with the higher amount reserved for more active individuals.
Young children from ages 2 to 6 can have up to 5 ounces of protein per day, but should never consume more.
Can I consume too much protein?
Yes, you can consume too much protein. Doing so can be extremely dangerous. Consuming too much protein often means that you are not getting enough carbohydrates and fats.
Even if you are trying to lose weight, it is best to eat a completely balanced diet. The problem occurs if you try to cut out carbohydrate, you are probably eliminating fruits and vegetable from your diet.
Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals, and are important to your overall health and fitness.
Be sure to speak to a doctor or nutritionist about how much protein you should consume, and whether or not you need to supplement your protein intake.
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