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Protein is one of those things that your body simply cannot live without. Protein is in every organ, tissue and cell in the human body and without it, you would die. Protein supplements are sometimes used to make up for a dietary lack.
When you eat protein, the digestive process converts that protein into amino acids. Amino acids are an essential part of protein build up, replacement and use in the human body. In addition, amino acids play a role in how your metabolism works.
There are two different types of protein, complete and incomplete. A complete protein is a protein that comes from meat (including fish and poultry), eggs, and cheese. These products contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs.
What this means is that a source of incomplete protein won’t have all of the essential amino acids in them. Sources of incomplete amino acids are beans, rice, vegetables, tofu and nuts.
It is rare for people who have a diet that consists of both meat and veggies to have a protein deficiency; however, many vegetarians do suffer from a protein deficiency because they aren’t combining the right fruits and vegetables together to provide their body with the protein that it needs.
Symptoms of a protein deficiency include:
If you are a vegetarian, you need to ensure that you combine a variety of products that contain protein in your diet in order to stay healthy. In addition, protein powders, which are generally milk based, are an excellent source of additional protein.
It is possible for a vegetarian to have a diet with adequate amounts of protein, it just requires a little more work to ensure that you get everything that you need. If you are a vegetarian who will eat eggs, then you will find eggs are an excellent source of protein.
If you do have a protein deficiency, you are at risk for a series of medical problems. These issues include:
Interestingly, there is such a thing as having too much protein in your body. The body can only absorb so much protein, forcing the rest of the protein to go through the liver before it can be excreted from the body. Because of this, protein can cause liver problems. In addition, too much protein has been linked with:
Bodybuilders and weight trainers who go on a high protein diet, especially a diet that has them doubling or tripling their protein intake, are taxing their body. At the very least, you are causing your hard workouts to mean less because you will lose muscle and your body will retain more fat. At the most, you are causing irreversible health issues that could shorten your life span.
Children and adults require different levels of protein. In addition, boys and men need more protein than girls and women. Children under the age of 13 are not categorized as male or female, they all need the same amount of protein, regardless of their gender.
In order to prevent your body from having too much protein, you should not exceed 30% over the daily recommended amount for your body. What this means for men is that your protein intake per day should not exceed 73 grams a day; for women, you shouldn’t exceed 62 grams per day.
Protein powders are actually an excellent source of protein in the unlikely event that you aren’t getting the protein that you need in your diet (an 8 oz steak has all of the protein that an adult male needs). You will find that these come in a variety of flavors to make them taste better.
You can also purchase protein supplements in pill form; however, they will not be absorbed in the same manner that a protein powder supplement will be absorbed.
It is important to note that many protein powder supplements recommend that you get one gram of protein for every pound you weigh. This means if you weigh 200 pounds, then they recommend that you get 200 grams of protein a day.
This is where you may find yourself with health issues. Rather than following the advice of a supplement company that doesn’t have to meet any clinical or medical standards for their products, keep your usage at a safe level by following the FDA recommendations for your protein intake. Not only will this help you to achieve your muscle building and fat loss goals, but it will keep your body healthy as well.
Just eating a lot of protein doesn't seem so bad. However, the increase of protein can cause you to excrete calcium in your urine.
Also, side effects vary greatly depending on the source of the protein. Fatty foods like red meats could lead to fat and cholesterol issues. Whey protein shakes sometimes have effects like bloating and gas. The long term effects of high protein diets are not yet known.
The bottom line is to proceed with caution and awareness. You need protein. It's a question of how much and the sources you get it from.
If you want to take the extra protein for muscle building purposes, consult with both a personal trainer and trusted doctor for amounts. Then track your results and reactions. Use the supplement finder to compare protein forms and sources now!