Why do people need protein in their diet?
Protein is essential for the growth of muscles and the development of the human body. It is a macronutrient that enables the body to make cells and repair old cells. Proteins have amino acid chains, which are the building blocks of a person’s body. People who want to lose fat and increase muscle strength take whey protein. It is a mixture of proteins separated from the whey, the liquid part of milk. It has all essential amino acids and a high nutritional value. Athletes, bodybuilders and people who want to include more protein in their diet take it as a dietary supplement. It helps them to have a speedy muscle recovery after an intense workout session.
Amino acids link together, forming proteins that are used by the body to produce enzymes and hormones. The human body can make eleven amino acids known as non-essential amino acids. It cannot make the nine essential amino acids. The nutritional value of proteins depends on the number of essential amino acids in them. Amino acids are energy sources used to repair and build muscles and bones.
Complete and incomplete proteins
Meat, fish and dairy products are complete proteins because they have all the essential amino acids. Whole grains, nuts, beans and lentils are incomplete proteins that lack any one essential amino acid. People who eat only vegetarian food must include a variety of protein sources in their diet to ensure they get all essential amino acids.
Reasons to include protein in the diet
It supports the growth and maintenance of muscles.
It helps to lose fat.
It enables the stabilisation of blood sugar levels.
It helps in better absorption of nutrients.
It enables muscles to recover quickly after a workout.
It prevents long-term disease.
People need to eat small amounts of protein each day because the human body can’t store protein and excretes the excess. If the body doesn’t get sufficient protein from food, it can lead to edema, anemia, shrinkage of muscle tissue and slow growth. However, a high-protein diet damages the kidneys and liver and leads to osteoporosis.
The protein needs of growing children and teenagers are different from that of adults. Active people require more protein. Generally, people require 0.75 grams of protein for every kilogram of their body weight.
Foods that are rich in protein are more satiating and reduce hunger. Choosing a meal with a variety of proteins ensures that a person gets the required amounts from their diet. Insufficient intake leads to obesity, poor bone health and muscle loss.
Benefits of taking protein supplements
Taking protein powder is practical because a person gets 70 to 90 g of protein from a 100 ml shake, equivalent to eating 400 grams of turkey. The powder provides the same amount of protein to vegetarians and vegans, and it is a quick way of getting the required amount of protein.
Whey protein is made from milk and has more calcium and potassium. Casein and whey are the proteins in milk that separate when milk is pasteurised. Whey is low in lactose and contains all nine essential amino acids. Protein is an important macronutrient required by the body to function properly, and taking a supplement helps people to meet their dietary requirements. Choosing the best supplement helps to get the maximum benefits.