Protein is one of the three major macronutrients found in the foods we eat. Fats come from the fatty tissues found in animal products and from the nuts and seed, and the oils produced from them. Carbohydrates are found in a lot of foods, but are most prevalent in plant foods. Protein is found in the lean tissue of animals, and in those same nuts and seeds mentioned earlier.
Function of Protein
Protein is vital to the body for many processes and vital functions. Many of the structures in the body have protein frameworks. The blood, skin, organs, and muscles all have structures made from protein. Many of the messenger hormones and enzymes in the body are built from the proteins we take in. The blood cells that fight infections and transport oxygen and other important nutrients in the blood are made from this same protein.
Protein is also used to repair, rebuild, and build new muscle tissue. The body breaks down the proteins ingested during meals into their amino acids, then those amino acids are put back together to form muscle tissue. When the muscles are worked beyond their normal capacity the tissue is damaged and the structural proteins are broken down. The body needs new protein, more specifically amino acids, to repair those structures. So, the protein we eat is essential for repairing the muscle to maintain muscle mass.
The human body is very adept at adapting to challenges. It does not like to be damaged. Because of this, after a strenuous, damage causing, workout it will build extra muscle to prevent the muscle from being damaged (or at least to the same degree) the next time the same workload is experienced. The additional fibers make the muscle stronger, and subsequently larger, which prepares it for the next tasks asked of it. This additional muscle is built from the amino acids that come from the protein in the diet.
If adequate protein is not taken in during meals the body will not have the amino acids necessary for muscle repair and building. This can become problematic in two ways. First, the body will only repair vital structures with the limited amino acids. The body must repair the vital organs, produce messenger proteins, build immune functional pieces, and keep the body’s structural proteins in tact. This means that the damaged muscle fibers may not be repaired. Since the damaged fibers are not repaired the muscle becomes weaker and shrinks in size.
If the protein intake is inadequate for the repair and restoration of the vital organs and structures then the body will begin to break down additional muscle fiber to release amino acids needed in those vital areas. The body sees excess muscle as unnecessary for survival and will rob protein from this area if it senses a lack of protein coming in through the diet. This also results in a weakening and shrinking of the muscle.
Protein and Muscle Building
This is why protein intake is essential for building muscle and repairing muscle that is already there. Muscle cannot repair from intense workouts without adequate protein intake. The body may rob protein from the muscles, resulting in shrinking size, if enough protein is not taken in through the diet to support all the vital functions within the body. Remember, besides water, protein is the most prominent nutrient in muscle tissue and without it new muscle cannot be formed. If you are looking to get some quick protein into you body you might looking buying some protein bars. You can see the top rated protein bars here.