WHY IS PROTEIN IMPORTANT TO YOUR DIET?


Bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, people fighting disease, and just the average Joe all require protein daily for normal body function. Proteins are composed of amino acids whether they come from a powder or a whole food, and once they are in the body, the body will utilize them the same way. The nutritional benefits of protein are essential for life, growth and repair. The recommended daily allowance of protein for adults is 0.8 to 1.7g per kg of body weight, depending on activity level.

GROWTH AND MAINTENANCE
Most every cell and structure of the body is composed of in part by protein. Proteins are referred to as the building blocks of the body. For example, the protein collagen forms the matrix for bones, provides the tissue for tendons and ligaments, and strengthens artery walls.

Muscle cells must synthesize protein from amino acids provided by dietary protein to grow bigger (hypertrophy) and stronger. The muscle proteins formed are called actin and myosin. According to the sliding filament theory, actin and myosin are protein filaments that work in synergy to produce force from muscle. According to "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning" by Thomas Baechle and Roger Earle, an increase in the number of these filaments is due to an increase in strength training and adequate protein intake.

Cell turnover is a daily process for the body. Cells are largely composed of proteins. Cells from the skin, hair, fingernails and the digestive tract die and slough off daily. Cells made mainly by or from protein replace the sloughed-off cells. This turnover of cells keeps the body in a continual state of repair and growth, and thus a need for protein.

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