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  • Writer's pictureEmmanuel Ofori

What is Protein?

Understanding Protein: The Essential Macronutrient for for Muscle Growth

You've likely heard about the importance of consuming sufficient protein for building muscle. But how does it actually work? Protein is one of the body's three main energy sources, alongside carbohydrates and fats. It consists of organic compounds called amino acids. In fact, aside from water, about 75% of your body is made up of amino acids. They play crucial roles in various bodily functions: from supporting brain health to muscle building, maintaining the immune system, regulating stress, preventing diseases, and even producing cells.

When it comes to muscle growth, ensuring an adequate intake of essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, and valine is crucial. These three are known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Among them, leucine stands out as it directly triggers mTOR activation, which in turn stimulates multiple enzymes in the body that promote muscle protein synthesis.

Ever wondered how muscles get stronger? It's through the interaction of muscle fiber proteins; actin and myosin, resulting in muscle contraction. The more actin and myosin protein filaments present, the stronger the muscle becomes. This underscores the importance of sufficient protein intake not only for building and maintaining muscles but also for preventing muscle breakdown.

So, how much protein daily is enough for growth and repair? Roughly translating to Most studies suggest 0.7-1.0 gram per pound of lean mass, which roughly is 65 grams for the average man and 50 grams for the average woman. Athletes may need about 20 grams more to support their higher activity levels. However, it's essential to note that there's no absolute consensus on the exact protein intake required. 

So regardless of the precise amount, the significance of incorporating protein into your diet remains paramount. It is essential for good health, strength and function. 

If you don’t know where to start on calculating your protein needs or need new options for protein sources to consume, reach out to your local fitness professional. 

Emmanuel Ofori - eMotivates 

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Fitness Professional

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