The Benefits and Necessities of Protein Consumption

Protein – we know it’s good for us, but do we actually know why?

From a nutritional standpoint, protein is a macronutrient, (a nutrient that contains calories). Proteins are comprised of amino acids, which governs what type of protein will be created.

Protein is needed by the body to serve as a catalyst for metabolic actions, but they are also involved with every process that the cell goes through.

Needless to say, we need protein. Fortunately, there are many products that boast about having ten grams of protein or thirty percent more protein than the leading product.

Adam Fisher, a sophomore from Charlotte, is one of many that knows just how good protein is for you.

“I know that it’s one of the major food groups,” Fisher said. “We need it to function.”

However, even though many know that protein is a power food, it is equally important to know why.

Logan Kroll, a Zeeland sophomore, admitted to not knowing the nutritional facts behind protein (and he is not alone in this).

“I don’t know too much about it,” Kroll said. “But, I know it comes from stuff like eggs and meats, and it can help you gain weight.”

Why We Need It

Some say, if calories are king, then protein is queen.

Studies show that with having a good amount of protein in your diet, you are more likely to achieve your body composition goals.

It is also known for helping maintain and producing lean mass.

According to a study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein is more saturated than fats and carbohydrates.

Simply put, protein can give you that lean and defined look sought by many, while keeping you full at the same time.

How to Receive It

Protein comes from a variety of sources.

These include: meats, fish, dairy, beans, tofu, nuts (to a degree) and protein powders made from different sources (whey, soy, pea, casein, etc.)

Protein contains 4 calories per gram, so you will also want to see the protein calorie to other calorie ratio in foods to make sure you are not consuming an excess amount of calories.

For example, about 3-ounces of cooked chicken breasts is about 120 calories, with 22 grams of protein.

Another thing to look for in protein-based bars and powders is the sugar content. There is added sugar in most of these types of products and sometimes it may be too high or count for your full daily sugar.

How Much We Need

So, how much protein should you have on a daily basis?

The recommended minimum, according to the USDA, is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight or .36 grams per pound of bodyweight.

If you are more athletic (i.e. you work out, play sports, etc.), you may need more protein than the recommended amount.

Many sources say that one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is recommended, but that is on the higher range of the spectrum.

Protein should be a mainstay in a person’s days of eating, as it does wonders for maintaining a healthy body. You need it to maintain your metabolism and your body composition and aids in keeping you full and focused.

Now, is there really any reason not to include it in your diet?