UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROTEIN
Protein is a macro-nutrient found in Meat, grains, dairy, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Macro-nutrients provide calories which the body uses for energy. These calories come from Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, and Alcohol. The focus of this material is on protein. Check out our website for information on other macro-nutrients, and tips on putting them to work for you the right way.
What does it take to make Protein?
Proteins are used in every cell in our body and are made up of small units called amino acids. Amino acids are like the building blocks of life. There are 22 amino acids that can be strung together to make up various protein profiles.
There are three groups of amino acids, these groups are as follows; Essential, Nonessential, and Conditional amino acids. Essential amino acids are resourced from outside of your body. You get them from the foods that you consume. Once you consume resources that contain these amino’s your body goes to work breaking them down and reconfigures their structure to form Nonessential Amino Acids These amino’s together are used to create all of the different proteins that the body uses for cellular construction. The last group of amino acids are Conditional Amino Acids. These amino’s are usually not essential except in times of illness or stress. They consist of arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
All three of these amino acids are critical for building muscle mass, supporting neurological function, helping with digestion, and balancing hormones and mood. The sequence of amino acids gives each protein its “function” helping us to understand what the protein is and what it does for our bodies.
Whey, and Casein proteins are found in dairy. Whey is a quick digesting protein and is good for muscle growth and during training periods. Casein is a very slow digesting protein perfect for bedtime regeneration and repair.
Eggs are packed with different protein profiles but are mostly made up of Ovalbumin, Ovotransferrin, Ovomucoid, Ovoglobulin Lysozyme, Ovomucin, and Avidin. Most of the proteins found in an egg assist the body with anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant properties
Legumin, or vegetable casein protein is found in beans, peas, lentils, and hemp. The body’s blood, plasma, and globulin systems benefit most from this type of protein.
Collagen, and myosin proteins are found in meat. Collagen aides the body in the production of muscle, tendon, fascia, and bone. Collagen is also responsible for the structure and elasticity of your skin. Myosin protein plays a huge role in muscle contraction and formation.
Proteins Produced In the Body
Once you consume proteins from sources of food your body deconstructs the protein profiles into single and chained amino acids to create proteins that it will use for various functions within the body including; hemoglobin for assistance in oxygenating the body, Antibodies for a strong immune system, contractile proteins for muscle control and contraction, enzymatic proteins for digestion, hormonal proteins for mood and bodily function, and structural proteins for muscle growth and connective tissues.
Getting a good mix of protein sources in your body is important. If you eat the same form of protein only, it is easy to become deficient in amino acids that are necessary for the body to function properly.
Protein-rich food that we get from animals and animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy usually score highly on their amino acid profile and are subsequently regarded as “high-quality proteins”. Proteins from these food sources supply all of the essential amino acids.
Check out the links below to get information on how much protein you should consume, and to get a list of protein packed food options for any nutrition plan.