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  • Writer's pictureSomnath banerjee

Understanding Protein

Updated: Oct 1, 2020


We have discussed the two main macronutrients, that is about fats and carbohydrates. We know that where we go, it may be a weight loss program or a muscle building, we always heard that take enough protein.


What is protein?

Protein is basically a macro nutrients combined with 20 Amino Acids, where 9 are Essential Amino Acids i.e, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Protein also has 4 calories per 1grams as carbohydrates do.


Protein is an important macro nutrient in our body because it not only helps in taking care of skin, hair and nails but also stimulates muscle growth.


Protein is the basic and the very known macro nutrient in fitness and for a good sense as well. If you don't take enough protein that you get difficulty in muscle growth or sustaining those muscles mass. Protein also helps with fast muscle recovery after breakdown and save from injuries.

Protein also reduces fatigue, increases mood and cognitive functioning, regular colds and infections.


If you're not having enough protein then you're missing out on these benefits. Talking about weight loss or fat loss protein also play a role there as well. It's hard for the body to break down protein so our body has to work more to break those proteins and use them than fats and carbohydrates.




Protein Rich Foods:

Animal products like chicken, fish, eggs, meat.

Dairy products such as curd, milk, paneer, cheese, butter.

For vegan protein like Tofu, soybeans, lentils, nuts, plant milk, seeds etc.

Why Is Protein Important?

Completing all your micronutrients is the key to get a healthy lifestyle and skipping any one of the carbohydrates may get you our as well.

As we have discussed above that protein, which most of them know but protein also has a role in several hormones in the brain as well.


Protein is the need to produce several enzymes, and brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which impact how we feel and function as well as immune molecules known as antibodies.


Protein is also necessary for regeneration as well as replacement of cells, something that can impact any area of health. As mentioned earlier, symptomatically some of the things you see initially with a protein insufficiency are poor skin, hair and/or nail quality. Adequate protein intake is well established in supporting metabolism, helping with your weight management goals as well as good immune function.


Like carbohydrates and fats, when we eat less carbs or fats our body uses them by our own cells to generate energy and use it in different ways to keep the body in a working state. This is the same with protein as well. We have to eat enough protein so that the body does not replenish protein Stores this might mean breaking down muscle tissue or other parts made up of protein.


Don't worry about your protein intake though, because it's not hard to complete your protein intake because vegetarian and vegan can also give you enough protein requirement so that the body can use it to keep muscles. Though it's pretty hard for the body to break down protein from our own muscle tissue.

The protein becomes challenging to someone when they become more active throughout the day and use their muscles, they need more protein in their body as they are challenging their body to be in a stress situation.


How Much Protein Do You Need?

It is very difficult to say the exact protein requirements for the body. It can differ from one person to another because of their height, weight, muscle mass, activity levels also.


The more muscle you have and the more activities you do the more amount of protein you need to sustain by your body. So let's look at what science says about.


For sedentary individuals without goals relating to reducing body fat or increasing lean mass the minimum requirement is said to be around 0.8gram to 1gram per kg of bodyweight per day.



For example: if you weigh 70kgs and have a sedentary lifestyle and you have no plans of losing fat or gaining muscle mass then you need around 56 grams to 80grams of protein per day as per your activities.

As we increase activity levels protein requirements also increase. Very active individuals, such as those training most days and performing high activity may want to eat more amounts of protein like around 1.2gram to 2gram per kg of body weight.

For example: if you weigh 70kgs you need around 84gram to 140 grams of protein per day according to your activity levels.

If you're someone losing body weight, protein can help here as well. The body needs a lot of energy to digest those proteins. For them they need to manage their macros according to their BMR (basal metabolic Rate). To lose weight all you need to care about calories in vs calories out. Having too many proteins high in calories will not help to lose weight.


In our next blog we will discuss the benefits of protein in detail and will know that too much protein can harm our body.



Conclusion:

Protein helps in nitrogen balance in our body and can be beneficial in very different ways. Never miss your protein and always add a protein rich foods in your daily diet and in your every meal. So add a minimum of 0.8 grams per kg of body weight of protein per day in your diet.


The more you exercise or more muscle mass you have the more amount of protein you need.


For obese people try to have enough protein and keep your protein intake in a ratio of 1:1 to carbs to protein ratio to see results in losing weight.

Always consult your doctor while having high protein intake if you have any kidney issues going on.

Stay away from animal protein as they are high in unsaturated fats, and choose plant protein.

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