Posted on 21/06/2018
Protein has long been recognised for its health benefits, especially amongst those leading an active and healthy lifestyle. BCAA Energy boasts 14g of protein per 500ml can as one of its main ingredients, made up of 7g collagen protein and 7g essential amino acids. Lets take a closer look at what makes protein such an important part of our diet.
Proteins are organic molecules made up of amino acids. There are two main categories of amino acids. Essential and non-essential. Despite the name both are equally important. The term essential and non-essential is referring to our bodies ability to be able to manufacture them. Essential amino acids are a class of amino’s that our body is unable to make on its own and so must be introduced through our diet. Non-essential amino acids are referring to those that our body can synthesise on its own.
There are 9 essential amino acids. Isoleucine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Lysine, Histidine, Leucine, Tryptophan and Methionine
Protein is made up of 20 non-essential and essential amino acids. Each protein contains a different variety of some or all of the 20 amino acids and the combinations in each will categorise it accordingly. The two categories are complete and incomplete proteins. A complete protein is made up of all 9 essential amino acids. Whilst an incomplete protein will contain 8 or less of the essential amino acids.
Protein is an integral building block of every cell within the body, responsible for repairing and building tissue and for constructing hormones and enzymes. It is the second largest compound in the body, following water. Without protein our bodies wouldn’t be able to function.
Protein also has a range of other health benefits including:
The amount of protein we should be consuming per day will be greatly affected by your age, gender and how much exercise you do or how active you are throughout the day. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) recommends eating 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. However, your goals may affect your protein consumption also. Those who are wanting to build good quality lean muscle may want to consider increasing how much protein they have per day.
Research indicates that it is better to space this out over the day rather than having large amounts of protein in just one or two of your meals throughout the day.
There have been people who have raised concerns about large amounts of protein being hard on the liver and kidneys however there isn’t much research to support this. Protein, although it can help to reduce weight when dieting and exercising, still contains calories and an excess of calories consumed per day will contribute to weight gain rather than assist in weight loss. Really excessive levels of protein can cause constipation and increase your blood sugars as it will eventually be broken down into glucose.
Protein is an essential part of our diets. A fully functioning healthy body requires good quality protein from a variety of sources. As well as being used by every part of the body to grow and repair it can also play a part in our energy levels, reducing mood swings, stabilising blood sugars and increasing satiety after eating.