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  7. Proteins: building blocks of the body

NutritionProteins: building blocks of the body

Body composition

Excluding water and fat, the human body is made up almost entirely of protein. Protein is the main component of muscles, bones, organs, skin, and nails. Excluding water, muscles are composed of about 80% protein, making this nutrient especially important for athletes.

How is protein used?

The body breaks down consumed protein into amino acids, and absorbs it. It is used to build muscles and organs, to make hormones and antibodies, to be stored as fat, and to be burned as energy.

Types of protein supplements

There are many different types of protein supplements. Whey protein is rich in BCAA*, making it easily digestible and highly efficient.

  • BCAA (branched chain amino acids) is a general name for the essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine. BCAA are essential amino acids converted to energy in the muscles.

Protein is an essential part of the body’s composition.

How much protein does the body need?

The daily maximum amount the body can use for protein synthesis is said to be around 2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. Consuming more protein will not increase synthesis, but increase the amount consumed as energy, and lead to an increase in body fat. Too much protein can also burden the liver and kidneys.

Recommended daily protein intake

The daily maximum amount used for protein synthesis is around 2g per 1kg of body weight

Therefore, it is important to adjust the amount of protein you consume.
If you eat three well balanced meals a day, you should easily be able to acquire the amount of protein your body needs. The important thing is not only how much you eat, but also when you eat it.

Consume protein and carbohydrates together

When protein is consumed along with carbohydrates (sugar or glucose), blood sugar rises and insulin is produced, promoting amino acid synthesis.
Carbohydrates are also used as the first energy source, preventing the use of amino acids. After exercise, it is a good idea to have something like a jelly drink that allows you to consume both carbohydrates and protein at the same time.

Simultaneous intake of sugar and protein

When to consume protein

It is important to consume protein at the right time. The ideal time to consume it is immediately after exercise.
The body breaks down protein faster immediately following exercise, and also synthesizes it more actively, leading to more amino acids being absorbed into the muscles.

The relationship between exercise and body protein synthesis & breakdown

Protein consumed immediately after exercise is synthesized better than protein consumed 2 hours after exercise.

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