If you are interested in weight loss, muscle growth, strong immune system, cognition, smoother skin, and a hundred more amazing things you have probably heard of protein. Protein approaches, and philosophies, are the most contested and debated in the fitness world. So, for arguments sake we are going to focus on what we do know and how that can affect your weight loss goals.
If carbohydrates and fat are the fuel/energy for our body to make all the wonderful things happen, then protein would be all the structural components keeping our body operating. Like bricks, and mortar to the oil and wind energy of the other macronutrients. Protein is building and repairing damage all across our internal systems.
What is Protein?
It comes in three forms:
Fibrous - Muscles, tendons, bones, collagen (This will be our focus for today)
Globular - play many biological roles, including acting as enzymes, hormones.Hemoglobin is a globular protein found in red blood cells.
Membrane - Layers of the walls of cells
Why do we need protein?
Well, because they make up almost everything in our body, and they are made up of even small and more important compounds known as amino acids.
When we consume protein from plant or animal sources our body can break those down into 9 essential amino acids. They are referred to as essential amino acids because we cannot make them internally. We can however make the other 11 non-essential amino acids because our body is amazing.
You do not necessarily need to know the specifics of those 9 essential amino acids because as long as you are eating a diet full of a variety of vegetables and/or meats your body can make them out of those proteins found in them.
If you're a nerd like me, here they are:
* The 3 essential amino acids with an asterisk are known as Branch Chain Amino Acids.