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What are proteins? Everything you should know, from types to benefits
Each cell in the body contains protein, because it is very important to keep bones, muscles, skin and all tissues in good condition. Obtained through food, the protein requirement of one person is not the same as another. High quality protein can be of both animal and vegetable origin. Proteins are amino acid molecules linked by peptide bonds. They are present in all cells of the body. Therefore, they participate in all their functional processes. The composition of proteins is oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and match. The function that proteins perform is of vital importance. Thanks to their nitrogen content, they benefit body growth. They also help the maintenance of tissues, allowing transportation of essential compounds.
What kind of proteins exists?
There is no single classification system for them. You can classify protein diet powder according to their shape, solubility, their chemical composition or their origin.
According to its origin
Proteins can be of animal, plant or microbial origin. Proteins of animal origin are those that we obtain from the ingestion of tissues or organs of animals or from products derived from them. Proteins of plant origin are those that we obtain from the ingestion of plant tissues or plant-based dietary supplements. Perhaps less well known, proteins of microbial origin are those protein molecules synthesized by microorganisms, including bacteria and single-celled fungi.
According to its biological function
According to its biochemical composition
According to its organic form
For what do you need proteins?
Eating ideal protein to meet our body's requirements is important for many bodily functions. However, there is evidence to suggest that increasing protein intake above required levels could provide additional health benefits. Proteins are the most important components for our body since they are found in all cells and participate in the formation of organs, brain, glands, nerves, hormones and enzymes.
Proteins are essential nutrients for the maintenance and increase of muscle mass, because for the muscle to grow it is necessary to have an adequate consumption of good quality proteins. People also consume protein powder to lose weight.
Who should take them?
It should be taken into account that the human body does not store proteins in the same way that it does with fats, therefore, it is important that the protein ingestion is daily. It is common for people who want to eat a diet rich in protein foods to ask what the proteins that the human body needs are. Alternatively, what are the most important proteins? In this case, it should be known that the human body requires a different amount according to various parameters – age, physical activity, health status, etc.
Taking protein for women of animal origin should be done in moderation since meat is usually high in other nutrients such as fat. There are protein preparations for average and extreme situation. These preparations are preferable to use under the recommendation of a specialist and with the appropriate amount. For an average adult, a daily protein intake of 0.83 grams per kilogram of body weight is recommended. During the development of children or the period of pregnancy and lactation, the consumption of protein foods should be relatively high since in these periods metabolic activities increase. Protein provides the essential amino acids necessary for the growth and maintenance of our cells and tissues. Our protein requirement depends on our stage of life and most of us consume enough to meet our requirements. The necessary amount of protein to eat per day varies according to the person's weight and physical activity.
It means that a bodybuilder weighing 70 kg needs to ingest 105 g to 140 g of chocolate super food powder.
How do proteins work?
When eating a food with proteins, whether of animal or vegetable origin, the body breaks down the amino acid chain into individual amino acids and thus forms new proteins. The proteins are commonly associated with meat since it is a rich source of these molecules. However, vegetables also contain protein. At least 10,000 different proteins make us who we are and keep us that way.
Do you know how protein works? Let us give you a short note.
Protein degradation produces 20 different amino acids, of which nine are essential and, therefore, must be provided through the diet. These amino acids are absorbed in the stomach, and pass into the blood and from there to the liver. They are used to synthesize body proteins. They are transformed into non-protein molecules and are used to produce energy. It is estimated that a healthy adult weighing about 70 kg has a daily protein turnover of about 300 grams of body protein. In a diet containing about 80-90 g of protein, the other 200 g will come from the recycling of body proteins. It is important to ingest pea protein powder in different daily intakes since our body does not store proteins for a long period.
Regarding the quality of dietary protein and its relationship with body protein, factors such as its essential amino acid content, the presence of limiting amino acids or values such as the amino acid reference standard determine the capacity of the different protein sources to meet the requirements. If we have to say which foods have the highest quality protein in terms of amino acid ratio, they are those of animal origin such as fish, meat or eggs.
Nutrition experts insist that you do not have to demonize any type of protein, but rather consume protein powder for coffee in its proper measure. Proteins contain amino acids. These amino acids can be non-essential or essential. For this reason, the quality of the protein is given as a function of the presence of essential amino acids and their ability to be absorbed. This is also called biological value.
Difference between animal and plant based protein origin
The nutritional quantity and essential protein concentration make the difference between animal and organic protein powder. The first contains all the essential amino acids that our body is not capable of creating by itself. In addition, for that reason it is considered of high biological value. On the contrary, the vegetable does not have this quality. In addition, to achieve all the essential amino acids when consuming them you have to mix different foods. However, the level of concentration in some vegetable proteins is lower than in proteins of animal origin. It is important to bear in mind that, although 100 grams of animal protein and 100 grams of vegetable protein have a 20% protein concentration, it will always be easier to consume 100 grams of meat than 100 grams of legumes in a meal.
It is also important to take into account the nutrients that usually accompany animal and vegetable proteins. In the former there is usually more saturated fat, with the exception of oily fish (omega 3), and they do not usually have more than 200 Kcal / 100 g. However, vegetable proteins from legumes, cereals or nuts are accompanied by antioxidants, fiber, hydrates and other micronutrients. The difference between vegetable and animal protein lies in its nutritional quality, in the protein concentration of each food and in its saturated fats.
Now that you know the differences between animal and vegetable protein, it will be easier to achieve a balanced diet that provides the appropriate protein quantity and quality.
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