What is Protein?
Protein is a macro nutrient made up of 20 amino acids that are necessary for proper growth, repair and function of the human body. They are one of the bodies main building blocks, and can also be used as a fuel source in the event of a lack of carbohydrates or fats. These can be split into two categories, essential and non-essential amino acids. Our body can process the non-essential amino acids we need to a degree without the need for external protein rich foods, but we cannot create the essential amino acids. We can only receive essential amino acids through certain foods such as meats & fish.
Why is protein so important for exercising?
We need protein primarily to build and repair muscle that is broken down during exercise and to help optimize carbohydrate storage (energy) in the form of glycogen. The more we exercise and stress our bodies, protein kicks in to help assist in getting our bodies repaired allowing us to perform our next training session sooner.
High protein diet & weight lose?
High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolise & use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The effect has obvious benefits for anyone who is wanting to lose weight.
As the calories you consume decrease, the more the calories need to be coming from protein, as protein is essential for making sure the weight you lose is fat and not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which will make you stronger and leaner.