If you’ve ever spent more than 30 seconds talking to a fitness fanatic, then chances are protein was mentioned at least a dozen times in the conversation.
What’s with all the hype about protein’s role in health and fitness?!
Protein is stressed because in most cases, there is a huge lack of protein in people’s diets. The following explains why protein should be consumed in at least 4 meals a day.
1. Protein Builds Muscle
When you exercise, you muscle tissue experiences microscopic tears, is broken down, and can even be consumed for energy. This is called catabolism.
Later, when you rest, your body will repair the damage and rebuild the muscle. This is called anabolism.
Without significant protein the body can not repair it’s muscle, meaning you will lose muscle. And if you lose muscle that will slow down your metabolism.
2. Protein Increases Your Metabolism
Directly after you consume meal, your metabolic rate is temporarily increased.
Each macronutrient (fat, carbohydrate, protein) has a different rate of digestion in the human body. Studies have shown that a carbohydrate rich meal increases your metabolic rate by only 4%, while a meal high in protein increases your metabolism by up 30%.
Why? Protein is very tough for the body to digest and it requires a greater amount of energy to break it down for absorption.
3. Protein Boosts Your Immune System
The amino acids derived from the digestion of protein are the components of antibodies, which fight disease. Studies have shown that people who do not consume enough protein have a lower resistance to bacterial invasion.
4. Protein Increases Overall Health
Protein is necessary in the production of new cells. The human body is constantly repairing and rebuilding injuries and strains – protein helps to repair your skin and causes new hair and nail growth. This applies to muscles, ligaments, and tendons as well.
Most personal trainers recommend that an active person consume 0.8 grams to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight.