Getting Enough Protein In Your Diet Is Crucial For Maintaining Overall Health And Well-being.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and fats, that your body needs in relatively large amounts to function properly and feel your best.
Here's 6 important reasons to ensure you're getting enough...
1. Muscle Growth and Repair
Protein plays a critical role in building and repairing tissues, especially muscles. When you engage in physical activities like strength training or endurance exercises, you create microtears in your muscle fibers.
Adequate protein intake provides the necessary building blocks (amino acids) for your body to repair and rebuild these muscles, leading to muscle growth and improved strength.
If you exercise regularly and intensely, paying close attention to your protein intake will help you perform better and recover properly.
2. Enzymes and Hormones
Proteins are involved in the production of enzymes and hormones that regulate various physiological processes in the body. Enzymes are essential for facilitating chemical reactions, while hormones act as messengers that help control metabolism, growth, and other functions.
3. Satiety and Weight Management
When you consume protein-rich foods, they can have a significant impact on your appetite and overall eating behavior.
The thermic effect of food (TEF) refers to the energy expended during the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning that it requires more energy to be broken down and utilized by the body. This means the body burns 20-30% of the calories in protein just to digest it!
4. Wound Healing
Protein is necessary for proper wound healing, as it contributes to the formation of new tissues and collagen, which is essential for the strength and integrity of skin and connective tissues.
5. Blood Sugar Regulation
Protein can help slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to more stable blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
6. Immune Function
Proteins play a crucial role in supporting immune function by participating in various processes that contribute to the body's defense against pathogens and foreign invaders.
The immune system relies on a complex network of cells, molecules, and processes to recognize and eliminate threats to the body. Proteins are involved in virtually every aspect of this immune response.
How much protein should I be consuming?
We've linked the Protein Intake Calculator from Examine.com below. This can give you a good guide as to how much protein you should be consuming per day*
*Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help you determine your specific protein needs and create a dietary plan that meets your individual requirements.
There you have it. 6 compelling reasons to ensure you're meeting your daily protein intake requirements!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian, or qualified health care professional.
Muscle Growth and repair
Reference: Phillips, S. M. (2014). Dietary protein requirements and adaptive advantages in athletes. British Journal of Nutrition, 108(S2), S158-S167.
Reference: Leidy, H. J., Clifton, P. M., Astrup, A., Wycherley, T. P., Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., ... & Mattes, R. D. (2015). The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(6), 1320S-1329S.
Reference: Calder, P. C., Carr, A. C., Gombart, A. F., & Eggersdorfer, M. (2020). Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections. Nutrients, 12(4), 1181.
Calder, P. C., Carr, A. C., Gombart, A. F., & Eggersdorfer, M. (2020). Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections. Nutrients, 12(4), 1181.
Mora, J. R., Iwata, M., & von Andrian, U. H. (2008). Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nature Reviews Immunology, 8(9), 685-698.
Enzymes + Hormones
Reference: Nelson, D. L., & Cox, M. M. (2017). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. W.H. Freeman.
Neurotransmitter and Enzyme Production
Reference: Fernstrom, J. D. (2013). Branched-chain amino acids and brain function. The Journal of Nutrition, 143(6), 1060S-1067S.
Reference: Demling, R. H., & DeSanti, L. (2003). Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss in overweight police officers. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 47(3-4), 99-104.