What Does Protein Do For Your Body?

The benefits of protein for maintaining a healthy lifestyle...

Every cell in the human body contains and uses protein. From your hair to your nails… bones to your muscles. Protein forms one of the core building blocks of a healthy, functioning human. There is a misconception that protein’s sole purpose revolves around muscle growth and body-building - when in actual fact its benefits are much more wide-reaching than that. The purpose of this article is to offer a comprehensive and digestible overview of protein’s role in any healthy lifestyle.

First of all, let's start with the basics...

What is protein?

  • Put simply, protein is the catch-all term for the long chains of amino acids that are vital to the function of every cell in your body. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the sequence in which they chain together essentially dictates the role of a different protein - from transportation of nutrients throughout the body to the repairing and creation of cells.

What does protein do...

...For your organs?

Protein is responsible for the repairing and building of the tissue that makes up every single one of your organs. It is what gives organs their shape and ensures they keep functioning as they should. For example, getting the right amount of protein from nutritious sources can help prevent fatty build up or damage to the cells of your liver, allowing for healthier filtering of your blood (source).

...For your metabolism?

A protein-rich diet can help boost your metabolism, helping you to burn more fat. Incorporating more protein into your day does not mean that you are bulking. In fact, it is often cited as the single most impactful nutrient for weight loss. It is much easier for the body to break down proteins and metabolise your food than a diet reliant on carbohydrates or fats. What's more, a satisfactory protein intake helps you to regulate a much healthier balance of weight regulating hormones. It boosts levels of hormones like Cholecystokinin and Peptide YY - which reduce your appetite - and then reduces your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin (source). It's a win-win!

...For your muscles?

It is widely known that protein is a key dietary requirement for anyone looking to build and grow muscle. However, even if you're not after gym gains and arm-wrestling victory, the benefit of protein for healthier, stronger muscles for everyday life cannot be understated. Muscles are completely dependent on Amino Acids - which are what make up a protein (source). From your biceps to your heart (yes, your heart is a muscle), proteins are essential for growth, maintenance and repair for every single muscle in your body. So whether you're preparing for a HIIT workout or a stroll to the shops, you simply wouldn't be able to do that without protein. 

...For your bones?

If you haven't spotted this trend already, protein is super important for so many of your body's processes - and the maintenance of healthy bones is no exception to that rule. Proteins give your bones structural integrity, help with calcium absorption and are required for gaining bone mass during childhood and adolescence (source).

Did you know...?

  • The body can't store protein - unlike other nutrients like carbohydrates and fats, your body doesn't 'build up' protein over time. The lifespan of a protein in the body is approximately 2 days. That means that a truly protein-perfect diet has to include regular (daily) intake of protein-supplying foods (source). 
  • Approximately 20% of your body weight is protein - That adds up to approximately 100,000 different proteins! To maintain healthy levels of protein, it should make up about 12-20% of your total daily calories (source). 
  • Keratin is a protein - Keratin is the protein that makes up your hair, skin and nails, with sulphur bonds holding it together. The more sulphur bonds in the Keratin in your body, the curlier your hair will be! Protein is also pivotal to hair growth, so if you're after luscious curly locks... you know what you need to do! (source) 
  • Protein is key to a more effective immune system - Protein helps to fight off viral or bacterial infection. So if you want to prepare yourself against flu season, make sure to incorporate protein into your day-to-day (source). 

PROTEIN FAQS

Boost your protein with For Goodness Shakes

For Goodness Shakes' mission is to offer a tasty, low-fat, on-the-go protein boost that fits into the daily routine of anyone and everyone just looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Our protein shakes come in three delicious flavours - chocolate, salted caramel or strawberry - and can be bought through our online store or at the majority of supermarkets near you.