Maybe you’re like me and are crazy for protein….In fact, it seems like everyone at the gym is filling up on protein to bulk up those biceps. Maybe you buy it 6 pounds at a time and in every flavour available or you could be the person who only eats exactly the amount recommended and no more because you believe it can be hazardous to your kidneys and your liver and will put you at risk for different diseases.
There is way too much conflicting information out there making it hard for the average consumer to know what is or is not beneficial for them….So in this post I’ll try and address some of those questions we have about protein and then you, the consumer, can decide.
First of all, Protein – What is it? Simply put…Protein are molecules made up of amino acids which are considered to be the building blocks that allow us to live…allow our bodies to function properly. There are two types of amino acids: The essential amino acids which are the ones we can only get from food and the nonessential amino acids which the body actually manufactures.
The next question is Why do we need protein to build muscle? Most of us would answer by saying “we need protein to build muscle”. Essentially, this is correct….but let me explain. Protein is essential because it is made up of amino acids which are responsible for most of the reactions and processes in cells. Your main source of amino acids is through protein that you eat (essential aminos). After you eat protein, your body breaks it down into amino acid parts. When we stress our muscles with exercise such as weightlifting the muscle which actually causes damage to the muscle typically in the form of micro tears. These little micro tears are not seriously but the body still has ways of repairing them by stringing together amino acids into new proteins which surround the micro tears and start repairing them. The micro tears will also active satellite cells where they attach to the damaged area and start multiplying and as they repair the muscle it becomes bigger and stronger. So muscle growth only happens when you have enough protein to repair the micro tears plus extra left over which will result in “bulking up” of the muscle. lack of enough protein basically results in slower healing time, muscle loss and you will not see muscle gains.
Finally, How much protein do we need? Well this depends so much on gender, body size, hormone levels and activity levels. The following are some recommended levels for protein intake:
Average Health Person – 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass
Higher performance Person – 1.4-2.0 grams per kilogram of body mass
But Wait….Theres more!!!
How much protein is too much protein? Clearly protein is a very important nutrient; however, if our diets consist of high amounts of protein we are more than likely not getting enough of the other nutrients such as carbohydrates which are our bodies main source of energy. You may even experience a problem with “staying regular” because you may be lacking finer from grains and vegetables. Dehydration caused by the kidneys working harder to remove excess protein as well as the nitrogen waste can cause problems with your kidneys, over time. Finally, bad breath, which happens when your body doesn’t have carbohydrates to burn so it turns to burning fat as fuel which in turn produces ketones which makes your breath smell like nail polish remover.
In conclusion, I believe that a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats will provide the calories or energy to allow your body to function perfectly.
The following link will connect you with a site promoting more protein in the diet, for competitive bodybuilders which is completely different from the diet of the average person.
I’ve included another link connecting you to a site which indicates that there is such a thing as eating too much protein and suggests that when you are eating more of your calories in Protein you are reducing the daily calories that are supposed to be available for fats, fibre, fruits, vegetables, and grain which are an essential part of a healthy diet.
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