Proteins in their basic nature are bodybuilding nutrients. They do exactly as the name suggests, they help build mass and build the body. But people misunderstand this and think the consumption of a lot of protein gives them a bigger body or big muscles. This is not the case however as by building the body, proteins function in every cell of the body for a different purpose with their different types. They perform so many functions in the body thus extremely vital to the growth of the body and its processes and development.
A more detailed definition is that they are a series of large complex molecules that are made up of amino acids play multiple critical roles in the Human Body. These amino acids are arranged in a precise sequence and linked with peptide bonds that allow the protein molecule to exist in any particular 3-dimensional shape. To achieve this shape, the protein could be a combination of any of the 20 different types of amino acids. These amino acid structures are then linked to each other in chains. These proteins are thus applied to the particular intended function in the body. They are used to every cell and every tissue of the body for any specific role that relates to our healthy development. As the chains are linked to come up with different shapes, each of these shapes is adopted for a different function.
First among these, is structural proteins. These proteins give structure to the cells. In this way they shape cells. They are taken to be in highest number in the body whereby we see that Collagen, one example of these proteins, takes up about 25% of the total protein content in the body. Its essential function is becoming the adhesive for the different body parts from a structural and molecular level. We see that it connects to muscles, blood vessels, tendons, organs ligaments and even the skin and holds them all in place.
To show its value, if it lacks, one ends up with a medical condition known as Osteogenesis imperfecta which makes a person's bones very weak and brittle. Thus, one may not undervalue the importance of Proteins in the body. About support, proteins also aid in muscle movement and contraction. This may be seen in myosin and actin present in muscles which simultaneously work to contract muscles upon stimulation by shortening.
Also, proteins are also composed in the form of enzymes. In this form, they facilitate all of the biochemical reactions that occur in the body. They are contained in all cells but vary in number or composition depending on the type of cell it is. They are catalysts that facilitate the breaking down and construction of other molecules for the cells. They do this by making or breaking the covalent bonds between molecules thus influencing all chemical transformations. The average composition of enzymes per cell is approximated to be one one-billionth (109). A practical average is one drop of water which is stated to have an enzyme composition of 3000.
Enzymes include Amylase, produced in saliva to convert starch to glucose or lysosome that cuts down polysaccharide chains in the process of hydrolysis.
Proteins also form antibodies, also known as Immunoglobulins, which are produced in response to invading foreign microorganisms. They function by identifying the antigen/ invader and adjusting to being complementary to some part of the antigens molecules then through its two binding sites, binding tightly to the antigens to destroy them. In this way, they protect us from diseases and germs.
Finally, there are messenger and transport proteins. Messenger proteins facilitate the exchange of information or general communication between cells, tissues, and organs. These include hormones such as insulin which regulates glucose use and absorption from the blood and oxytocin which facilitates uterus contractions during childbirth. Transport on the other hand bind to and ferry atoms and other molecules within cells and across cells or organs. They are also called transmembrane pumps and exist as both cations and anions to facilitate active and passive transportation. They include ferritin which transports iron in the blood around the body.
On average, the human body needs 0.8grams of protein per every kilogram of body weight. Thus, to calculate how much protein one needs, they should convert their bodyweight to kilograms and multiply it by 0.8. The figure produced is surprisingly lower than most people expect or consume on a daily basis. These ratios are achieved for each mineral to be applied on a global scale and referred to as the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). The recommended sources of protein are white meat, poultry, and seafood, dairy product, and Eggs with a recommendation for a person to eat an egg a day. The proposal is to have protein at breakfast and for meal replacement drinks, to ensure they have at least 6 grams of protein.
Judging from this, it is more than possible to meet our daily protein intake needs. This is because as we have a lot of affordable replacements for sources of protein other than meals. And with a daily requirement of at least 54 grams for men and 47 for women, then this highly achievable. As such, even vegetarian people or lactose intolerant people can acquire protein from other sources and meet their daily requirement for protein.
Thus, it becomes surprising that some people deem it necessary to take protein supplements. Unless for the necessity of muscle building, then there is no need for people to consume supplements. The same may also be absorbed by professional athletes who consume a large mass of proteins in regularly as they train. However, these supplements are merely amino acids thus they may be obtained from the balanced meals for ordinary people. Only professional athletes need to take supplements.
One misconception about proteins supplements is that people think they are used as steroids. Due to the advertising campaigns, people associate supplements with bigger muscles or bodies. They assume that by consumption of these supplements, they are assured of naturally gaining larger muscles without putting in the effort. This is however false as the real purpose of supplements is to help repair muscles after training. This is because one will have depleted their protein content and due to the constant tear and rebuilding of muscles for them to get stronger during practice, this is what necessitates protein supplement use.
Jahan Mihan, Alireza. "The Role of Source of Protein in Regulation of Food Intake, Satiety, Body Weight and Body Composition." Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering 6.6 (2017): n. pag. Web.
Dickmann, Nancy. Protein. Chicago, Ill.: Heinemann Library, 2012. Print.
The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2014. Print.
"Dietary Proteins: MedlinePlus." Medlineplus.gov. N.P., 2018. Web. 3 Apr. 2018.
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