Since the 19th century, a chemist named Dr. Liebig discovered that the consumption of protein increases muscle mass. Moreover, if we look at the etymology of the word protein, we find out that it’s translated from the Greek language as being on the first place. Thus, proteins are essential in anyone’s life, especially for those who exercise regularly.
Currently, all bodybuilding practitioners know that a diet rich in protein is something without which muscle mass cannot grow. Proteins are equally beneficial for people who are always dealing stress or energy deficiencies.
What are proteins?
Proteins are organic substances made up of macro-molecular chains of amino acids - simple or complex; they are present in all living cells in the proportion of more than 50% of the dry weight.
What are the effects of the proteins on our body?
Protein has a very important role in the body, precisely because they are used in the construction of the cell, tissue and organ itself. They are extremely important due to their role of transporting more minerals and vitamins in the blood or cells.
Generally, a diet based on protein is recommended for those who work out regularly and aim at losing weight or building muscle mass. Carbohydrates, fats and sugars should be consumed in moderation. Whether you are an athlete or train 3 to 5 times a week, whether you want to lose weight, grow muscle mass (or both), the amount of protein consumed per day is crucial. Various surveys conducted by medical specialists have concluded that the level of protein required for the proper functioning of the body is located between the values of 40-60 grams per day, with little difference between men and women. Men should consume over 50 grams of proteins per day, while for women the amount recommended is between 40-45 grams per day.
Where to find these proteins
The best sources of protein are animal-derived foods: eggs (6-8%), milk (10-30%), lean red meat (20%), fish (20%), chicken/turkey (20%). These are full - containing the correct proportions of essential amino acids that the body can synthesize. The protein amounts needed by our body can be obtained from a combination of vegetables, nuts, grains and cereals during the day, but the consumption should be higher than 25% in order to get all the benefits out of the animal protein.
The difference to consider between the two sources mentioned above is that vegetables contain protein and carbohydrates - which is a slight disadvantage for those who want to lose weight.
If you go to the gym at least 3 times a week and train hard, it is imperative to pay attention to the amount of protein consumed during the day - especially after the workout sessions – in order to restore muscle mass afterwards.