Protein is the kind of all body building materials. It is vitally important to the body and responsible for processes such as the thermic effect of food.
Our bodies are in a continual state of renewal and repair. In one year the over 100 trillion cells that make up the body will all be new.
The body regenerates itself with the help of the building materials we supply. We are the general contractors. It is up to us to make sure this new body is built using only the finest materials, and these materials must come from the foods we eat.
King of Building Materials
Protein, derived from the Greek word protos (“to come first”), is the king of all building materials and second only to water in abundance in the body. Making up approximately 20 percent of body weight, almost two-thirds of the body’s protein is located in our muscles. The rest can be found in skin, hair, nails, tissues, and bones.
Thermic Effect of Food
Protein has the highest fat-burning effect of all macronutrients. When we eat, a certain amount of calories are burned as energy to digest the food. This is known as the thermic effect of food.
With protein this number is as high as 30 percent. If we were to eat 100 calories of protein, the digestive process would use 30 calories alone, leaving only 70 calories for the body to contend with. This thermic effect is a major reason why diets rich in protein trump high-carbohydrate or high-fat diets when it comes to fat loss.
The fat-fighting benefits of protein do not end with calorie burning. Consuming protein will stimulate the release of natural weight-loss hormones. Researchers from the University College in London have concluded that eating protein triggers the release of a hormone called PYY (peptide tyrosine tyrosine), which serves to regulate hunger.
Protein is also essential to the building and maintenance of the body’s greatest metabolic asset–the muscles. Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Robert Wolfe, PhD, chief of metabolism and professor of biochemistry at the University of Texas, states that “every 10 kilogram difference in lean mass translates to a difference in energy expenditure of 100 calories per day.”
Proteins Not All Created Equal
Protein sources differ in their amino acid composition. Choose protein supplements that mix easily and feature enzymes for optimal absorption. Rotate protein foods by choosing from a variety of animal and vegan sources. This will ensure your body receives all the amino acids necessary for optimal health and help to reduce the incidence of developing a protein allergy.
Remember protein for that new you.