What Does Protein Do For Your Body?

What Does Protein Do For Your Body

You are constantly told that you need adequate protein in your diet and many people wonder what does protein actually do for your body.

Today, we’ll examine the role of protein in a balanced diet and see just what effects these building blocks have on your system.

You need to consume plenty of protein-rich foods to keep your metabolism ticking over nicely, stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain energy levels. As you will know if you enjoy weight training, protein is also essential for packing on muscle and increasing lean mass.

Protein can also assist with stopping you from piling on too much weight. Compared to refined carbs, protein makes you feel fuller for longer while also demanding more work for the body to digest it.

What Is Protein?

Proteins are actually amino acids in the form of long chains. These amino acids are present in many foods although most prevalent in meat, fish, eggs and dairy – all superb sources of protein.

Without enough protein in your diet, you risk becoming deficient in these amino acids. This causes a drop in energy, mood swings, problems concentrating, a difficulty in building muscle, volatile blood sugar levels and possible problems regulating your weight.

In short, proteins assist in the growth, development and maintenance of pretty much every body part ranging from the skin through to the immune system. These are continually broken down so need regular replenishment.

If you want some ideas on some great sources of protein along with some tasty recipes, check out our recent article here.

We will look now at several important functions of protein and what it does to your body.

What Does Protein Do For Your Body?

What Does Protein Do For Your Body

Helps With Weight Management

Whether you want to lose weight quickly or regulate your weight on an ongoing basis, the jury is out on high-protein or low-protein diets. As with much research concerning weight loss, there is conflicting evidence from studies and it’s hard to pin down what works best.

There is, though, ample evidence to show why eating plenty of protein keeps you feeling full and in this way can stave off overeating. This study outlines some of the reasons behind protein leaving you satiated.

When you eat proteins, your body feels fuller than if you take carbs or fats on board. This will help to prevent both snacking and overeating. It’s actually fairly difficult to overeat foods rich in protein.

Also, when you eat protein a bodily process called thermogenesis takes place. This just means that your body needs to use calories in order to digest food.

So, although you need to control your overall intake of calories and exercise well, eating a high-protein diet can certainly do a little to make losing weight and keeping that weight off easier.

Enhances Brain Function and Learning

For proper cognitive functioning to take place, your body needs:

  • Hormones
  • Enzymes
  • Neurotransmitters

Protein assists with making these vital components. In turn, your brain should be sharp and work optimally.

Also, proteins are composed of amino acids which are crucial for both focus and energy levels. Amino acids are also strongly linked to motor skills and general learning ability.

Boosts Muscle Mass

Perhaps the most well-known effect that protein has on the body is the way in which it can build healthy muscle mass and keep it there.

A diet lacking in the amino acids present in protein leads to the wasting of muscles known as muscle atrophy. In the absence of sufficient energy, your body goes into survival mode and the very fibers of your muscles are broken down to keep things ticking over.

The main role of protein comes after exercising. With any form of strength training, you deliberately damage muscles so that they are able to repair and grow. A solid dose of protein is just what you need after a workout to mend these tiny tears in the muscles efficiently.

Although consuming protein does not impact upon performance, you will see superior muscle recovery and synthesis.

When it comes to stacking on some lean muscle mass, protein rules the roost.

Good For Your Mood

Some of the amino acids present in protein-laden foods are necessary to control the mood and to balance hormones properly. They can also act as natural way to fight anxiety.

Proteins is key for making your neurotransmitters work and also synthesize serotonin and dopamine, both hormones which keep us calm and positive in the face of adversity.

Exercise itself is good for the mood and, when combined with eating a diet rich in protein, you should notice a distinct improvement in your overall mood.

Promotes a Healthy Heart

High blood pressure can ultimately lead to heart disease. Since protein is a natural remedy for this, a high protein diet can strengthen your chances of warding off any serious heart problems. This article explains the science behind this.

If you switch out carbohydrates for proteins, you should also see a drop in the bad cholesterol – LDL – as well as lower levels of triglyceride. This is also good news when it comes to protecting your heart.

Slows Down Aging

Glutathione is commonly known as the master antioxidant. Stored in your cells, glutathione is great for detoxing and also reducing the carcinogens responsible for aging. To maintain these levels, protein steps in to synthesize the glutathione.

If, on the other hand, you are suffering from a deficiency of glutathione, this can provoke oxidative stress which plays a key role in many age-linked diseases from Alzheimer’s through to Parkinson’s disease and even cancer.

As you age, you’ll experience muscle loss or sarcopenia. Eating enough protein is paramount to lessen the amount of this happening due to those handy amino acids. One of the main reasons that muscle decreases while fat builds up as you age is due to the body’s inability to synthesize amino acids without a helping hand. In steps protein to save the day!

Keeps Bones Strong

The link between eating plenty of foods with protein and having strong, healthy bones has been explored in many studies.

Getting ample protein along with the excellent bone-building nutrients magnesium and calcium can stop the weakening of your bones, heal any broken bones or fractures and even help with osteoporosis.

If you want good, strong bones as you start to get older, make certain to hit that protein hard.

Wrap-Up

We hope that you found this snapshot on what protein does for your body to be useful and informative.

Please drop us a line if you want any further information on any aspect of health and fitness. We are always very happy to help.

Feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

Now go and get a protein shake down you!

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My name is Harry Wilson. I'm the author of GoodHealthPlanning. Whether it’s workout routines, diet ideas or a guide to the equipment you need, we’ll help you get in the best shape possible. If you like this post, you can follow me on Twitter. Subscribe to Goodhealthplanning to receive instant updates.
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