Well if it isn’t a macronutrient that hasn’t taken any stick recently. As it stands protein is the king of the macros, casually having its name added to various products like its Justin Bieber.
While fats and carbohydrates have been criticised over the years, proteins have been treated like the golden child.
Proteins main function is to build, maintain and replace the tissues in your body. These are your muscles, your organs, and your immune system. It is essential to the structure of red blood cells, for the proper functioning of antibodies resisting infection, and for the regulation of enzymes and hormones.
Protein is an important substance found in every cell in the human body, it is manufactured by your body utilising the dietary protein you consume. It is used in many vital processes and needs to be consistently replaced which is why protein should be consumed daily.
One gram of protein contains 4 calories which is equal to one gram of carbohydrate. It is a favourite among bodybuilders, athletes, and pretty much any person who has an interest in fitness.
They are comprised of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are a total of 22 amino acids of which 9 can only be obtained through food sources. Similar to fats, these 9 are classed as essential amino acids as our body requests you to find them through food so it can do its job properly.
Its quite simple for you to consume these essential amino acids in the diet as foods such as Meat, Fish, Dairy, and Eggs all contain the essential 9.
If you are vegan then you do not have to be alarmed as foods such as Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Chia Seeds will also provide you with the same 9 essential amino acids.
When it comes to consuming the king of the macros, it is quite easy to consume the required amount for you body to do its job properly.
For the general population you would only need to consume 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight, so if you weigh 70kg you would need 70g of protein. For bodybuilders, professional athletes, and extreme gym goers then your body may require up to 2 grams per kg of bodyweight as their body would need to repair more damaged tissue than the average joe.
Compared to my articles on carbohydrates and fats, it seems like a bit of an anti-climax. It doesn’t get much bad press and most people consume sufficient protein through there diet for their body to function properly.
Yes it is a good macronutrient but so are fats and carbohydrates, they all just play a different role.
With it not being difficult to take in sufficient protein, I would just say that for most people there is no need to consume protein powders, protein cereals, protein bars etc. Stick to consuming real foods such as meats, fish, dairy, and grains.