Whether it's your bone, muscle, skin, nail, or hair; there is one thing that is common in all of them - the power of PROTEIN. In addition to the above-mentioned body parts, many other parts of your body also contain a significant amount of protein. Proteins are present in the form of hormones, enzymes or antibodies. They are generally referred to as building blocks of life. There are numerous benefits of protein for us; as a neurotransmitter, immunity protector, muscle developer or body rejuvenator. Discussed in length are 15 health benefits of protein that you need to know:
Table Of Contents:
The Powerful Protein And Its Function
Proteins are the most versatile macromolecules in the living system. Proteins cannot be stored in the body. This is in contrast to the other two macromolecules i.e. Fats and Carbohydrates. Proteins are present in every cell, tissue and organ of our body. It could be present in the form of antibodies, enzymes, hormones etc. There are various functions of protein in our body such as
‣ Protein functions as a catalyst.
‣ It stores and transports molecules such as oxygen.
‣ Protein regulates and repairs the body of each organism.
‣ It provides immune protection and mechanical support.
‣ An important protein function includes nerve impulse transmission and movement generation.
15 Health Benefits Of Protein That You Need To Know
There is a general consensus over the importance of protein for the body. Health benefits of protein are not debatable like fat and carbohydrates. Health benefits of protein can be reaped in various forms like protein powder, protein shake or simply as food. Let us discuss them in details under different heads.
[A] Protein Benefits When Taken Through Regular Diet
1. Stronger Immune System: The defence mechanism of our body rests on antibodies. Antibodies are nothing but specific proteins who fight with disease-causing antigens. Thereby, protecting our body from infection.
2. Fluid Equilibrium: Proteins are critical when it comes to regulation and balance of fluid in our body. Imbalance of fluid in our body leads to fluid accumulation in the tissue. This is called edema.
3. Skin Care: “Collagen” is a well-known protein. It is regarded for its ability to strengthen cells, tissues and organ which suffer constant wear and tear. Skin being one of such tissues revitalizes on a continuous basis with protein.
4. Hormone Balance: One of the important benefits of protein comes from it as hormones. Protein hormones include insulin, growth hormones etc. They play an important role in maintaining our body
[B] Do We Need More Protein In Our Diet? - Benefits Of High Protein Diet
Gone are the days when a high protein diet was followed by professional athletes and bodybuilders. Today it is followed equally everywhere. In addition to increased muscle mass; benefits of high protein diet include
5. Better Bone Health: People who eat more protein will have better bone health. This is true even when they grow older. They have a lower risk of osteoporosis as well.
6. Weight Loss: Some evidence has suggested that a high protein leads to increased weight loss and fat loss. This is in comparison to low protein diet. A high protein diet also reduces hunger thereby letting us consume fewer calories.
7. Increases Daily Burn Of Calories: Our body uses more energy to break down and digest protein as compared to carbohydrates or fat. As a result, more calories are burnt.
8. More Strength From Training: One of the incredible benefits of a high protein diet is for strength. If we expect a particular level of strength for an activity then we need to increase our protein intake.
9. Better Sleep: Higher-protein diets improve indexes of sleep in energy-restricted overweight and obese adults reveal study.
10. Lean Muscle Development: Lean is the weight of body minus the weight of the fat mass. Our body breaks and rebuilds muscle continuously. Especially in weight based activities. If we are on a high protein rich diet and provide body enough amino acids. After a period of time, the level of lean mass in our body will increase.
[C] What's There In Whey? - Benefits Of Protein In The Form Of Whey Protein
Milk contains two types of proteins majorly: Casein (80%) and Whey (20%). Whey is present in the watery portion of the milk. Whey is to be better than most other forms of protein. It contains a range of wonderful amino acids. In addition, it has various nutrients. Benefits of whey protein Include
11. Lower Blood Pressure: In people with increased blood pressure whey protein is effective in reducing the blood pressure.
12. Prevention Of Age-related Muscle Loss: Research shows that whey protein is quite effective in the prevention of muscle loss related to age. It makes the body look better and also improves strength.
13. Effective In Type 2 Diabetes: Whey protein when taken with high carb meals helps in moderating sugar level in people with type 2 diabetes.
[D] Shake It - Benefits Of Protein As A Protein Shake
There is no doubt in the fact that the best way to enjoy benefit from protein is through solid food. However, it is not always possible to get all the required benefits through food especially in the case of bodybuilders. Their protein requirements are high. And getting all their requirements through food with the paucity of time is difficult. Hence, protein shake comes to the rescue. Protein Shakes are very easy to prepare. Just mix a whey protein powder in some water. Shake it in a shaker bottle. Health benefit of protein in the form of protein shake includes :
14. Healing Of Micro Tears After Workout: After an intense workout, if you consume protein shakes, it will get delivered to your muscle. They would then start healing small muscle tears (microtears) caused during a workout.
15. Easily Digestible: Protein shakes take much lesser time to digest than solid food. It is idle to sip protein shake after a workout. Since it takes just half an hour to reach the muscle.
Whey Protein Side Effects - Word Of Caution
Whey Protein is generally safe when consumed in moderation. However, if it is over consumed:
‣ It may cause digestive problems if you have lactose intolerance. Symptoms include cramps, pain, diarrhoea, gas, bloating, reduced appetite etc.
‣ Be cautious and avoid whey protein if you have an allergy to cow protein. Chances are you will be allergic to whey protein as well.
‣ If you already have digestive issues then try replacing whey protein with non-dairy protein alternative.
‣ If you are pregnant or breastfeeding then try avoiding whey protein. They are not enough studies advocating the safety of whey protein in these cases.
As a building block of our body, protein offers numerous benefits. Such 15 health benefits of protein are discussed above in length. If you are someone who is into bodybuilding then in addition to dietary intake of protein, you should also include whey protein shakes. However, be cautious not to over consume. Whey protein may have side effects which might lead to bowel disturbances.