Protein is a micronutrient that is very essential for your health. You can get protein from foods or drinks that you consume in your daily life. This micronutrient is responsible for various functions in your body. It is present in the mass of your body like organs, skin muscles, etc.
Eating protein-rich diets can give you enough value that can complete your daily recommended intake of this nutrient.
Many peoples have no idea about how much protein per day they need. Here this article will explain to you about the importance and about how much you need it per day.
Why protein is essential
It is a micronutrient that performs various functions in your body like it helps your body to perform essential chemical reactions that keep yourself healthy and stable. In the early time, peoples were unaware of this nutrient and its value. According to Britannica, there was a Swedish chemist named Jons Jacob Berzelius who discover the importance of protein regarding our body health and its functions.
Our body cannot survive well without this nutrient as almost all body parts are made with it and they need it daily to function well.(1)
It is present in almost all of your body parts. Your muscles, liver, bones, skin, and many other organs are made by this nutrient. Even your red blood cells are 30 percent protein. Here is the body composition of protein in your different body parts:
- Red blood cells contain 30 percent
- Your muscles also contain 30 percent
- Your liver may contain 20 – 30 percent
- Your hairs may contain 80 percent or more
- Your bones can contain 50 percent or more
Can you build muscles without protein
No, you can't build your muscles without protein because your muscles need it to build and recover. During exercise, you can see some boost or size gain in your muscles but after the exercise, it usually loses its shape and gain. When you eat protein and carbs from your diet after exercise then these nutrients build and recover your muscles. That is why it is recommended to eat protein-rich foods for benefits.
According to studies building, muscles alone with exercise without protein consumption is hardly or not possible to achieve. Exercises or physical activities target your muscles, those activities build, improve and shape your muscles with the help of protein.
Without it you may shrink your body muscles instead of the building because your body needs this nutrient after the physical activity to recover, not providing this can lead your body to consume your own muscles protein which may cause problems. (2)
Protein food sources
You can get protein from animal meat and by eating plant foods. Protein is also produced commercially as supplements, experts use the above-mentioned food sources to extract the protein value in the form of whey, casein, or other supplements.
Most peoples take protein by consuming animal food products.
Animal protein vs plant protein
There is a long discussion in vegan or nonvegan peoples about which type of protein food sources are best.
One says plant-based protein is best while the second one says no animal food is best. Scientific studies and researches have concluded that animal protein is superior in terms of quality, nutrients abundance, and effectiveness while plant protein lack many qualities that provide benefits.
Protein from animal foods is complete and has a full-strength value which can provide effective benefits to your body. On the other hand plant protein lack many benefits, it mostly has one or two amino acid qualities while animal sources have all.
Just like supplements made from Animal sources is more effective and beneficial as compared to prepared from plant food sources.
Protein-rich food sources from animals
- Eggs – 6 gram
- chicken (100g = 31g protein)
- Meat (85g = 24g protein)
- Milk (245g = 8.5g protein)
- Fish (170g = 44g protein)
- Yogurt (170g = 17g protein)
- Cheese (112g = 25g protein)
- One scoop Whey protein =18 to 30g protein
- One scope Casein 24g protein or more
Protein-rich food sources from plants
- Peanuts (112g = 29g protein)
- Lentils (198g = 18g protein)
- Soybean (172g = 31g protein)
- Almonds (20g = 4.5g protein)
- Chickpeas (164g = 15g protein)
Deficiency of protein
Lack of protein value in your body can cause health and fitness problems.
As your body does not store protein for a long time, it converts its value to fat or carbs. You also expel some reasonable protein during your bathroom time.
Here are some health problems that protein deficiency may cause:
- Brittle, or weak, ugly nails
- Weak bones
- Muscles loss
- Hair loss
- Dry, pale, or cold type skin
- Bone fractures
- Impaired body healing functionality
- Low blood pressure
- Respiratory problems
- Kidney problems
- Heart problems
- Weak body
- Fat and muscles loss
- Liver health issues
- Can cause death
Too much protein
- Kidney stones
- Cardiovascular issues especially high animal food sources
- Calcium lose
- Weight gain
Protein and Fitness world
Protein is widely consumed in the fitness world. Perhaps it is the only nutrient that gets the most attention of athletes.
Due to its efficiency to give a lean muscular body, many athletes consume it in high quantity. These micronutrients not only improve muscles but also helps the athletes to gain performance during workouts or exercises.
During researches, experts have found that protein foods or supplements help the athlete to perform well.
A study observes some cyclists who were on a 2 hours ride after their game when they consume protein their timing to cover distance improve very much. Studies say consuming 20 gram to 60-gram protein supplements can help experienced athletes to boost or improve their physical performance.(3)
Another study on hockey players found that eating or consuming 60-gram protein supplements per day improves the sprinting and performing capabilities of athletes.
In these studies, they measure the effects of protein supplements on players' performance not regular or natural protein food sources. (4)
In the fitness world, protein supplements are famous because a lot of people consume them after exercise. These supplements mostly come in boxes. The most used protein supplements are whey supplements which are mostly extracted from the milk of different animals. Casein and eggs are also athletes' favorite protein-rich foods. Most athletes eat a lot of eggs per day.
The protein business has great value in the fitness world. The market size of protein supplements is soaring with high speed.
Researchers say protein supplements' global business may reach 32.6 billion USD dollars in 2027. According to data supplement market was at $18.91 billion dollars in 2020. (5)
Experts have warned the people about risks that are associated with high consumption of protein supplements. In the market, huge numbers of unregulated and fake products are available which are usually added with unhealthy, toxic, and potentially risky material, ingredients, steroids, and drugs.
Many deaths are recorded by media that are associated with the high consumption of illegal substances and protein supplements. Researches say that most athletes who consume high protein supplements often get failed in drugs test before the event.
Moreover, the cost of these supplements is usually also very high. Their rates are very high along with maximum risks and low benefits. (6)
In developed countries, there are some strict rules and regulations for different food productions. They have also made strict rules to control the production of the fake supplement but currently, authorities have failed to expire the ugly business of fake protein supplements as it is still going on in developing areas or countries.
In poor or developing countries business of unhealthy supplements are touching the height of the skies.
Merchant there tries to sell bad toxic full material to peoples at a low price. Studies say unregulated or fake supplements not only affect the performance of athletes but these can cause serious health harm like may increase the risks of death. (7)
Always prefer natural foods over supplements. The biggest ugly lie in the fitness world is “you can't build without supplements”. This word has put a lot of people in the net of difficulties.
Getting protein from natural foods is good for your health. If you are willing to use supplements then buy those that are original and have clearance letters from authorities.
Original supplements mostly come in well packaging and they usually have good numbers of quality stamps and QR codes related things but fake product launchers are giving them good competition by copying their technique.
Buy your food or protein supplements directly from the stores of well-reputed companies.
How much protein you need
Usually, most athletes do not follow the daily protein recommendation value plan. Most of them try to consume as much as they get. Eating too much can cause issues and some are mentioned in the above part of the post.
According to health Harvard Health, a common person should eat 0.8 g/kg of bodyweight protein in a day. Like if your body weight is 70 kg then you may need to take 58-gram protein from your daily diet. (8)
For athletes, these recommendations can change because they do a lot of exercises and they need more to maintain their muscles and performance. 1.2 to 1.6 gram/kg bodyweight protein for athletes is best for benefits.
Facts about protein
Here are ten facts about protein:
Protein is the part of 3 main micronutrient list i.e: fat, carbohydrates, and protein
All of your body parts, organs, nails, hairs, etc are made of protein
Your red blood cells are 30 percent protein and the red color of your blood is also due to hemoglobin, these are made with protein
It is a false belief that too much protein is good for health but it is bad for your health
The deficiency of protein is also unhealthy and it contains mortality related risks
You can build awesome muscles by eating normal protein foods instead of supplements
Fake protein supplements are made with illegal, unhealthy steroids and toxic material that has high health risks.
Protein supplements are not substitutes for natural foods
Natural foods are more healthy and effective as compared to supplements because those foods not only provide the good value of protein but you also get the reasonable value of other essential nutrients by eating them.
Fake supplements business is bigger as compared to original product business especially in developing countries.
You can't build or improve your muscles and body health without eating a protein diet.
Most eaten protein food
- Peanuts etc