Protein – Why do our bodies need it?*

Friday, 10 February 2017, By Dan Roitman

We constantly hear about how important protein is and how we should be having a lot of it every day, but what are the reasons behind it?

To keep it simple, protein has 3 main roles in the human body.

1: To recover from resistance training; When we train we tear and break down the muscles we are training. The protein helps to rebuild the muscles bigger and better for the next time we train. This is why over time the weights we lift gradually get easier, therefore requiring us to increase the weight to get the same impact.

2: Growth after exercise; The intake of protein must be enough for the muscle to recover and to grow. It is extremely important to have protein after a weights session to allow the body to begin its recovery. Over time, lifting the same weights over and over will cause the muscle to grow so it doesn't need to work as hard. This is visual proof of our muscles growing and adapting to the weights, which in turn means a stronger metabolism that is more effective at burning body fat.

3: Provides satiety; Protein is a fantastic macronutrient and our body knows it. Not only does it help us grow bigger and stronger, but it also keeps us fuller for longer as opposed to carbohydrates or fats. Protein is a great addition to any meal to ensure we leave the table satisfied and not hungry. The body is also smart enough to know when we don't need any excess protein that is in our system. When it recognises this, it will simply excrete the remaining protein through our urine.

So from what we can see, protein plays a massive role in our bodies' ability to recover and grow. This is why it is important that every individual has a different protein requirement and that they consume the necessary amount. The requirement depends entirely on gender, size, body type and the individual goal. 

As we know 70% of results come from sticking to our nutritional plan, so it makes it even more important to be hitting our protein requirements to make sure we are fuelling our bodies with the right food sources.

Some great choices of protein are:

  • Chicken ~ 22g / 100g
  • Tuna ~ 20g / 100g
  • Salmon ~ 20g / 100g
  • Beef ~ 28-33g / 100g
  • Lamb ~ 28-33g / 100g
  • Protein Shakes - ~20-30g / Serving
  • Chickpeas ~8g / 100g
  • Lentils ~9g / 100g
  • Almonds ~20g / 100g
  • Walnuts ~ 15g / 100g
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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