Proteins are the building blocks of life that facilitate your body to grow and repair. Protein is found all over in your system: muscle tissues, enzymes which help in digesting the food, your skin cells, and even in your blood. Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are two kinds of amino acids-
- Essential amino acids - Body cannot manufacture these amino acids, hence, you must try and include these in your daily diet. There are a total nine essential amino acids.
- Others - Other amino acids can be obtained from food but your body itself can produce it by breaking down other proteins, hence, not important to include these in your diet. There are a total eleven of these amino acids.
How much protein do you need?
This depends on various factors.
For Adults - 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight daily.
On an average, males need 55g of protein every day and females need 45g of protein daily.
The portion specified above only prevents the protein deficiency. This all depends on how much is your activity level. Obviously, an athlete who does hard training will need more protein (1-2 g per kilo of body weight).
Meat is known as one of the best sources of protein. But those vegans here, no need to worry! You can get enough protein from plants too. Non animal sources can be buts, beans, almond milk, peanut butter, seeds, whole grains, etc. It is very important to make smart protein picks. Also, timing plays a big role for intake of protein. You should take a good amount of protein in your morning meal rather than night meals because when you sleep your body begins to break down protein, that is why you slowly lose muscles with age.
Protein is good for muscle building, but what if you want to lose weight? Should you take ample amounts of protein or not? In this case if you are intaking more protein than you have to take something out too. Protein burns out 10-20 extra calories per day. It also helps you full for a longer period, which helps prevent overeating.
High protein content in diet! A big NO! High protein foods generally have bad cholesterol in them which can cause heart and kidney diseases. More protein is stored as extra fat in the body. Therefore, there should always be a balanced diet. It is also important to take other essential nutrients as well such as fiber, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals.
For body builders out there, only eating protein will not work, you also have to exercise adequately to gain muscle mass and strength. You should prefer taking muscles in every meal and divide your protein take in every meal properly. Specially your post exercise meal should have protein content in it.
Is protein powder safe to take?
Protein powers are for sure considered as a good supplement for proteins. Few benefits can be:
- They help in increasing metabolism and hence aid weight loss
- They also have anti-cancer properties
- Improves immune system of your body
- Control blood pressure
- Lowering cholesterol
But it too has some risks along with it:
- Headache and nausea
- Contains great amount of toxins in them, causing health issues
- Can cause digestive distress
- Few are high in added sugars and calories
- Contains contaminants