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The Importance of Protein


Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the body so it is an essential part of your diet and can influence your strength but probably not your energy. Your muscles are built with protein and in fact protein is made up of 20 amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and 9 are essential, they cannot be created and must be eaten meaning the other 11 amino acids can be created by our body.

Many times we here that you need to eat steak for energy but in actual fact as we learned earlier carbohydrates are the body's favored energy source. I always think of muscles as being made out of protein but really muscles are mostly water and protein so if you think about how people tend to diet they will cut out things like steak and carbohydrates so the body is not getting as much protein and carbohydrates as it needs to burn for energy so it will tend to burn protein and fat in equal parts to get energy. This is great for losing weight and good for losing fat but it is really bad to lose muscle. One of the ways to stop your body from burning muscle for energy is to do a fair amount of exercise, especially weight training to increase your muscle mass on a consistent basis.

So what kind of foods contain protein and how much do we need? Full proteins are found in steak chicken and fish and non-full proteins (those without all of the essential amino acids) are contained in lentils, beans, corn, peanuts. A can of Tuna has 20-25 grams of protein and if you look around you can probably get about 80 grams of protein a day comfortably. Some bodybuilders will eat 250-500 grams of protein a day but realistically if you have protein in a couple or three of your meals you are doing pretty good. One of the things to think about is that water is needed for your body to break down protein so if you are increasing your protein intake drink more water to gelp take the load off of your kidneys. Here are a couple links to protein resources here and here

Bill Nadraszky is a lifetime fitness and exercise junkie. Main website for more information is 30 days to fitness


MORE RESOURCES:

The New Republic

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Students Miranda Rodriguez, left, and Luving Reynosa sample the Chinese whole wheat spaghetti with vegetables that they prepared with the help of Christiane Meireles, a nutritionist at UT Health Science Center, at the Healy-Murphy Learning Center on ...



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KLEW

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More than 21 million American children and teens depend on free or reduced-price school meals during the school year, and when school cafeterias close, many of them lose their most important source of balanced nutrition and are at risk of going hungry.
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DCC: 'Top 10' nutrition trends challenge, create opportunity for dairy
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Nutrition trends expected to influence consumers during the next one to three years pose challenges and opportunities for dairy, according to the Dairy Council of California (DCC). DCC produces the “Trends” industry updates twice annually. The trends ...



Politico

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According to FAO data, 898 million people are undernourished and going hungry across the world, and more than one third of the deaths of under-45-olds are attributable to under-nutrition. At the same time, 1.4 billion are overweight, including 500 ...

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NPR

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