Take a few minutes to learn how nutrition can help you achieve your fitness goals. If you want to lose weight, build muscle or get shredded, protein plays a major role. Let’s explore five major concepts related to protein— the powerhouse that builds muscle— and understand how the different components of protein can help you reach your fitness goals.
1. Amino Acids
For the first concept related to protein, we need to at look the stuff it’s made of. Amino acids are the biochemical building blocks of protein, and although there are hundreds that exist in nature, only 20 are vital to our daily health. Our bodies require several different types amino acids to be incorporated into our diet so that our bodies can function properly and remain in good health.
Macro-nutrients are broad categories of food types that are crucial to our health. There are three of them: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Even within the Paleo community, different philosophies exist regarding which combination of macronutrients is optimal, but all macronutrients are important for our health in their own ways. Fats contain essential fatty acids, carbohydrates provide energy, and proteins provide the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.
Potassium is a mineral that is necessary for our organs to function correctly. It is also the mineral responsible for regulating fluids and maintaining a healthy mineral balance within our cells. Potassium is most known for regulating the heart and helping muscles contract, which are key factors to consider for those who want to maintain a healthy diet that supports muscle growth . Although protein gets most of the credit for building muscle, potassium is an instrumental part for maintaining a healthy diet, so anyone trying to bulk up will want to keep that in mind. Potassium is most famously found in bananas, but can be found in many foods including milk, fish, broccoli and apricots.
About half of the protein you consume gets converted into enzymes, which are types of protein that perform specific vital functions within your body. Enzymes are responsible for things like proper digestion and correctly arranging molecules, so if you know anyone who skips out on proteins because they don’t care about gaining muscle, remind them that muscle-building is only one of protein’s many vital functions.
5. Muscle Tissue
And finally, the reason that protein is the rock star of macronutrients is that it builds muscle. While the previous five terms may have shed light on some of the other complexities of protein, it is best known by far for its muscle-growing properties. This is evident by the vast market for protein supplements that includes everything from powdered milk shakes to high-protein cookies, many of which feature images of muscle-bound men and women to imply the product’s results.
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