Blog - Should I Only Eat Protein?
Protein is often billed as the golden child of the 3 macro nutrients, the other 2 being the “dreaded” carbs and fats. We are told continuously to up our protein intakes for various reason including, but not exclusively, to build big muscles and to lower weight as fats and carbs make you put it on.
It’s time to break this down and remove any confusion. Protein is very important as it builds and repairs muscles, thus making it essential for development. Not eating enough protein can be severely detrimental to essential bodily functions such as growth, cell building and repair, enzyme and hormone function, fighting illness and infection. Without adequate protein in our diets we would simply fail to function.
Despite the positives there are some alarming negatives to over consuming Protein. The body needs only small amounts to replenish the amino acid pool, all additional protein consumed will be used for energy, this will only occur if there is an insufficient supply of carbs in the body. The body will store excess protein as fat as it would with the over consumption of any other macro nutrient. Excess protein intake causes increased levels of ammonia in the blood; which is very toxic, particularly for brain cells. It can lead to liver and kidney trouble as well as compromising fluid balance. Over eating protein can also lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Proteins can be sourced from many origins in nature to fulfil our nutritional requirements. These are called amino acids and there are very many different ones. Some are referred to as essential as we need to ingest them as our bodies are unable to synthesise them. When a certain food has these 9 essential amino acids, it is referred to as a complete protein. Complete sources of protein are generally from animal origin with the exception of the soy bean, examples are:
Particular sources are more compatible with people, meaning the amino acids within them can be used more readily by the body. As with carbs there are particular times to eat protein which will maximise the benefit for the body. As a general rule increase your intake of Protein as the day progresses. General guidelines are to eat 0.8g of protein per KG of body weight.
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Thanks for reading.