What is protein?
Is it just for building lean muscle?
Proteins are complex organic compound chains made up of subunits called amino acids. They are linked together by peptide bonds to form chains that support various functions in the body.
There are 20 different amino acids that combine together to form polypeptides, also known as proteins. Some being essential and others non-essential. Our bodies can synthesise some proteins where others are obtained through our diet.
What role does protein have in the body?
Proteins are an integral part of building, repair and functionality of the body.
- Proteins come in different shapes depending on their function. They play a role in enzyme production, cell singling, immune defence, structural building, support and transportation of other nutrients.
- Proteins provide function to cellular membranes. Integral proteins can act as channels, pores and carriers of things in and out of cells. Peripheral proteins can bind chemicals and facilitate enzymatic reactions within the cells.
- Proteins can either be integral or peripheral.
- As enzymes they accelerate the rate of metabolic reactions.
- Create structural supports for inside and outside of the cells.
- Protein antibodies protect against infections by acting as a defence.
- Assist with regulating osmotic pressure of the blood.
- Fibrous proteins proved the structural support for hair, skin, nails and connective tissues.
- Oxygen transportation, via the molecule haemoglobin.
- Support the repair of damaged tissues in the body.
- Support muscle growth and development in the body.
- Assist in the regulation and gene activitation of hormones and growth factors.
How much protein do I really need?
Taking excessive amounts of protein can lead to extra stress placed upon the kidneys. This will be measure in through a blood test as Nitrogenous waste. As necessary as protein is in a healthy diet, be aware that understanding how much you need is key.
06-0.8gm multiplied by your body weight is the recommended daily amount. This may vary depending on stage of life, level of activity and body weight. This is the average requirement for most people. When supplementing with protein it is important to take these factors into consideration.
Sources of protein vary. All foods contain amino acids, so eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you get the right amount for your body. If you take protein supplements ensure you do so along side a healthy nutritional plan.
If you require support to do this, or would like to understand what your body needs based on your lifestyle, do not hesitate to ask one of Naturopaths or Nutritionists. We have extensive experience and can help you find what you need whether you are an elite level athlete as well as any stage of life.
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