What Do Proteins Do For The Body

How Much Diet Do You Need A Day

How does the body use protein?

There is no doubt protein is beyond compare. With protein playing so many crucial roles and all its healthful benefits, it is important you are getting enough through your diet. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that the average individual consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram or 0.35 grams per pound of body weight per day for general health.

So, for the average 198-pound man, that translates to a minimum of 70 grams of protein per day. For the average 170-pound woman, that means at least 60 grams of protein per day.

For people who exercise regularly, the recommendations are even higher at 0.73 grams per pound of body weight. As an example, a 150-pound person who lifts weights 3 times per week would consume 109 grams of protein per day.

Its All About The Protein Package

When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more. Its this protein package thats likely to make a difference for health.

The table below shows a sample of food packages sorted by protein content, alongside a range of components that come with it.

To call out a few examples:

  • A 4-ounce broiled sirloin steak is a great source of proteinabout 33 grams worth. But it also delivers about 5 grams of saturated fat.
  • A 4-ounce ham steak with 22 grams of protein has only 1.6 grams of saturated fat, but its loaded with 1,500 milligrams worth of sodium.
  • 4 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon has about 30 grams of protein, naturally low in sodium, and contains just over 1 gram of saturated fat. Salmon and other fatty fish are also excellent sources of omega-3 fats, a type of fat thats especially good for the heart.
  • A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

What about protein powders?

Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency And Health Risks Of Not Getting Enough

Protein deficiency occurs when you dont eat enough protein. The most severe cases result in a form of malnutrition called kwashiorkor. Usually, this affects people in very poor countries that dont have enough food to sufficiently feed the people. It rarely occurs in the United States, and when it does, its usually linked to some kind of abuse.

Symptoms of protein deficiency include:

  • Delayed growth

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How Do Proteins Aid The Biochemical Reactions Of A Cell

Cells rely on thousands of different enzymes to catalyze metabolic reactions. Enzymes are proteins, and they make a biochemical reaction more likely to proceed by lowering the activation energy of the reaction, thereby making these reactions proceed thousands or even millions of times faster than they would without a catalyst. Enzymes are highly specific to their substrates. They bind these substrates at complementary areas on their surfaces, providing a snug fit that many scientists compare to a lock and key. Enzymes work by binding one or more substrates, bringing them together so that a reaction can take place, and releasing them once the reaction is complete. In particular, when substrate binding occurs, enzymes undergo a conformational shift that orients or strains the substrates so that they are more reactive .

The name of an enzyme usually refers to the type of biochemical reaction it catalyzes. For example, proteases break down proteins, and dehydrogenases oxidize a substrate by removing hydrogen atoms. As a general rule, the “-ase” suffix identifies a protein as an enzyme, whereas the first part of an enzyme’s name refers to the reaction that it catalyzes.

Where Do The Amino Acids Come From

What are proteins and how much does our body need Them ...

The amino acids in our body come from the food we eat. We also make them in our body. For example, other animals make proteins and we eat those. Our bodies take that chain and break it down into the individual amino acids. Then it can remake them into any protein that we need.

Once the proteins are broken down into amino acids in the digestive system, they are taken to our cells and kind of float around inside the cell, as those little individual beads in our analogy. And then inside the cell, your body basically connects them together to make the proteins that your body needs to make.

We can make about half of the amino acids we need on our own, but we have to get the others from our food.

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How Much Protein Your Body Needs

Okay, so how much protein are we talking about here? The amount of protein your body actually requires for the purpose of tissue growth and repair is determined by factors like sex, age, height, weight, health, activity level, and overall calorie need, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. So its going to vary a lot from person to person.

A good starting point for roughly estimating minimum protein needs is the recommended daily allowance for protein, or the average minimum daily intake thats sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements for most healthy individuals . The RDA for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 0.36 grams per pound. For instance, the average 200-pound person needs at least 72 grams of protein per day to meet the RDA.

People with a higher activity level will likely need more. Individuals who work out and want to maintain and/or build muscle mass through diet and exercise definitely benefit from getting more protein than the RDA, Adam M. Gonzalez, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., assistant professor in the Department of Health Professions at Hofstra University, has told SELF.

Based on those recommendations, for instance, a 200-pound person would want to get between 100 and 180 grams of protein a day. Generally, the more active you arethe more frequent, strenuous, and long your workouts arethe higher in that range youll be, Dr. Gonzalez says.

What Do Proteins Do In The Body

Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Subsequently, one may also ask, what is the primary function of proteins in the body?

For example, enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions in the body and hormones, like insulin, are proteins that regulate the activity of cells or organs. Some proteins transport materials throughout your body, such as hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-transporting protein found in your red blood cells.

What are the major functions of proteins in the human body?

Protein functions in human body. Proteins are also used in membranes, such as glycoproteins. When broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules essential for life. Additionally, protein is needed to form blood cells

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A Source Of Energy And Nutrients

Most protein shakes contain more than just protein, and they also provide your body with some usable energy and micronutrients. One commercially-available protein shake, for example, has 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat, which can offer a subtle energy boost to keep you going between meals. The same shake also has 100 milligrams of calcium 10 percent of your daily needs and small amounts of zinc, B-complex vitamins and phosphorus.

What Is Protein And Why Do I Need It

Functions Of Protein In The Body – How The Body Uses Proteins

Protein is considered the building block of life and is found in every cell of the body.

Protein is made up of amino acids that are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the sequence in which the different amino acids are arranged helps determine the role of that particular protein.

Proteins play a role in:

  • Transporting molecules throughout the body
  • Helping repair cells and make new ones
  • Protecting the body from viruses and bacteria
  • Promoting proper growth and development in children, teenagers, and pregnant women

Without filling your diet with appropriate amounts of protein, you run the risk of missing out on those key functions. Eventually, that could lead to problems, such as a loss of muscle mass, failure to grow, weakened functioning of the heart and lungs, and even early death.

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Protein Functions In Human Body

Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, hair and skin. Proteins are also used in membranes, such as glycoproteins. When broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules essential for life. Additionally, protein is needed to form blood cells.

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Protein occurs in a wide range of food. On a worldwide basis, plant protein foods contribute over 60% of the per capita supply of protein. In North America, animal-derived foods contribute about 70% of protein sources. Insects are a source of protein in many parts of the world. In parts of Africa, up to 50% of dietary protein derives from insects. It is estimated that more than 2 billion people eat insects daily.

Meat, dairy, eggs, soy, fish, whole grains, and cereals are sources of protein. Examples of food staples and cereal sources of protein, each with a concentration greater than 7%, are buckwheat, oats, rye, millet, maize , rice, wheat, sorghum, amaranth, and quinoa. Some research highlights game meat as a protein source.

People eating a balanced diet do not need protein supplements.

Food source

Final Thoughts On Protein Synthesis

Protein synthesis is a natural process that your body is dependent on to perform daily functions, create enzymes, and for appropriate structural support.

Essential amino acids are needed in order for protein synthesis to occur, and you get these amino acids through your diet.

Including high-quality food choices like meats, eggs, and clean protein powders like Naked Whey or Naked Pea can help ensure that your body is getting the right amino acids to make the ever-important proteins that it depends on to survive.

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Different Types Of Proteins

There are many different types of proteins in our bodies. They all serve important roles in our growth, development and everyday functioning. Here are some examples:

  • Enzymes are proteins that facilitate biochemical reactions, for example, pepsin is a digestive enzyme in your stomach that helps to break down proteins in food.
  • Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to help remove foreign substances and fight infections.
  • DNA-associated proteins regulate chromosome structure during cell division and/or play a role in regulating gene expression, for example, histones and cohesin proteins
  • Contractile proteins are involved in muscle contraction and movement, for example, actin and myosin
  • Structural proteins provide support in our bodies, for example, the proteins in our connective tissues, such as collagen and elastin.
  • Hormone proteins co-ordinate bodily functions, for example, insulin controls our blood sugar concentration by regulating the uptake of glucose into cells.
  • Transport proteins move molecules around our bodies, for example, haemoglobin transports oxygen through the blood.

What Are Proteins Exactly And Why Are They Important

What Are Proteins and What Is Their Function in the Body?

Proteins, essentially, are made up of small units called amino acids which are attached to each other by peptide bonds, forming a long chain.

Amino acids are present in different food items including vegetables, but rich sources are derived from animals such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Amino acids, to a lesser extent, can be found in plant foods such as seeds and beans.

Even though amino acids are traditionally chemical elements stored separately in an array of diverse foods, they are bonded together in the human body by peptide bonds. It is essential that your diet contains different food protein sources.

Failure to involve the different protein sources may result in deficiency of some amino acid.

The consequences of amino acid deficiency are devastating including inability to build muscle mass, low concentration and cognitive capabilities, mood swings, memory lapses, fluctuating blood sugar levels, inability to gain or lose weight, fatigue and low energy levels, pain in joint, bone and muscle, low immunity and much more.

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Support For Growing Muscles

One of the most well-publicized benefits of protein shakes is their ability to help you build muscle. For the most part, though, the advertising claims around this benefit are only partly true. Your body does need amino acids the building blocks of protein that you get from protein shakes to build muscle. But you also need a stimulus to trigger muscle growth, which means you need to pair your protein shake with a progressive strength training workout if you want to see results. If you’re looking for muscle-building benefits, consider drinking a small protein shake after your strength workout so your muscles will get the amino acids they need.

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Although its not likely for Americans to be deficient, those who follow certain types of diets need to pay attention to their protein intake. Vegans and vegetarians in particular have to make sure theyre sourcing enough of the macronutrient. Meat is such an abundant source of protein that forgoing meat means these eaters will need to find protein elsewhere. Luckily, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources, including beans, nuts , and tofu, to make it easy for nonmeat eaters to get their fill. Dairy foods are also rich sources of protein for vegetarians.

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What Is A Protein

A protein is a basic structure that is found in all of life. Its a molecule. And the key thing about a protein is its made up of smaller components, called amino acids. I like to think of them as a string of different colored beads. Each bead would represent an amino acid, which are smaller molecules containing carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and sometimes sulfur atoms. So a protein essentially is a string thats made up of these little individual amino acids. There are 22 different amino acids that you can combine in any kind of different way.

A protein doesnt usually exist as a string, but actually folds up into a particular shape, depending on the order and how those different amino acids interact together. That shape influences what the protein does in our body.

Foods That Offer Good Sources Of Protein

What are proteins? – Healthy Eating for Kids

You can easily up your intake of protein by changing whats on your plate. The percentages listed here are based on the daily value of 50 g of protein per day :

When youre choosing your protein source, be sure to pay attention to the foods fat content. Skinless poultry and fish, for instance, are better choices than red meat because they dont have high levels of saturated fat, which can be dangerous in excess because it can increase the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in your blood.

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Protein And Food Allergies: What To Know

Food allergies occur when the bodys immune system attacks certain food proteins. Your body will fight back by making its own proteins, called IgE antibodies, or immunoglobulin E. If you have an allergy to a certain protein, the next time you eat or drink something containing that protein, youll experience an allergic reaction, such as itchiness or trouble breathing.

Many of the most common food allergies are associated with foods that are high in protein, such as eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish.

Red And Processed Meat And Cancer Risk

Protein is essential for good health, but some high protein foods may be better for our health than others. In particular, consuming high amounts of red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.8Red meat is a good source of protein as well as many other essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, and zinc, and does not necessarily need to be avoided altogether to reduce risk. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends we try to consume no more than three portions of red meat per week and very little, if any, processed meat.8

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Considerations For Drinking Protein Shakes

Unless your doctor has instructed you to limit your protein intake, or has recommended avoiding protein shakes, the choice to drink them is up to you. Protein shakes can fill any gaps in the protein content of your diet, and they can be an occasional meal replacement if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal. But they can also be high in calories especially juice-bar shakes that might pack in hundreds of calories. If you decide to drink protein shakes, make sure to count them toward your daily calorie intake, or you may accidentally gain weight and hide all those muscles you’re trying to build.


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