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A diet that’s rich in protein is known to be able to do wonders for muscles. Any professional athlete would elaborate the reasons why a protein-rich diet is quintessential for muscle growth. But just what are the actual benefits of supplying our bodies with appropriate amounts of these muscle boosters?
The Science Behind Proteins
Proteins are our bodies’ equivalent to building blocks. Tissues such as muscles, tendons, skin, as well as our very organs are comprised of protein. Additionally, proteins make up molecules, which are crucial for our bodies. Proteins consist of amino acids, tiny molecules, which are linked together. In order for these molecules to be produced, twelve amino acids, also known as nonessential amino acids, are formed by our bodies and nine, known as essential amino acids, we gather from food. Although the amount of protein we take in daily is the most important factor, which determines if we are getting an appropriate amount of amino acids, the quality of protein is also a hugely important factor. Perhaps the most efficient are those that we get from meat, eggs, fish and dairy products, which are for this reason essential parts of any athlete’s diet. This is why a diet rich in protein is the primary factor of muscle growth. When a person exercises, the muscle tissue is broken down and torn apart, which is exactly why proteins are necessary in order to replace these damaged tissues. Additionally, this is why weight training results in our bodies’ extended need for proteins.
But does it Actually Work?
- How much protein do we actually need? –When under a diet rich in proteins, you’re looking at more than 30% of protein-based calories, in fact, these numbers should go up to the highs of as much as 50%. It is recommended that teenage boys and men take up to three daily servings, totalling seven ounces, while women, as well as all children aged 2 through 6 are looking at an optimal amount of two servings of 5 ounces each, on a daily basis.
- How does it work – If you opt for a high-protein diet, you’re looking at cutting out large amounts of carbs, which causes you to lose weight extremely quickly, on account of all the water lost. Therefore, without as much carbs our body is used to, it needs an energy replacement, and this is where fat burning kicks in. However, in order to compensate the lack of carbohydrates, a replacement is easily found in protein-rich foods.
- Copious amounts of meat – Even though meat contains huge amounts of proteins, plenty of meats contain high doses of fat too. In addition to this being a risk enhancer for problems such as high levels of cholesterol, the risk of heart attacks is increased. This is why it’s crucial that you focus yourself towards ingesting low-fat meats, such as white meat, and lean meats, such as horse and lean beef, which is a lean-cut source of protein.
- Fish – On the previous note, fish is probably a category for itself – containing mind-bogglingly low amounts of fat, this food is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which undoubtedly will pay compliments to your heart, in addition to other numerous benefits.
- Supplements – Even if your diet is a high quality one, sometimes gym supplements are vital for a proper protein intake, without the risk of gaining on fats, by consuming large amounts of calories.
High-Protein Diet Benefits
One of the main reasons to get into one of these type of diets is, perhaps, the fact that they enable you to preserve more muscle, as time moves on. As your body ages, your muscles succumb to muscle wear-and-tear, and it gets more difficult to even do basic things such as daily tasks. What protein-rich diets do is help make your muscles more resistant to the aging process, causing you to feel significantly younger than you actually are.
So what is the bottom line? Should you embark on a journey with protein diets? Well, while there are certain downsides to it, such is the case with most things in life, let alone other diets. If you are reasonable with your high-protein dietary plan, the benefits will undoubtedly outweigh the downsides to it.