You may know that protein is the go-to macronutrient to gain muscles, but did you know it has many other amazing benefits too? In fact, protein is the superhero of macronutrients that has many important functions! We’re talking about hormone production, tissue repair, immune system support, normal metabolism, etc. So, join us to explore the wonderful world of protein and its incredible benefits you did not know.
Importance Of Protein For Overall Health And Wellness
Think protein, and you think muscle. That’s right. Protein is always associated with muscle building and muscle repair! However, its benefits extend beyond muscle building and repair, with a role in hormone production, bone health, immune function, and wound healing in patients with chronic illnesses. Listed below are five important health benefits of protein.
i) Helps in hormone production
Protein is an essential nutrient critical to maintaining overall health and wellness. One of its key functions is its role in hormone production and regulation. Hormones are vital for regulating various bodily functions, including growth, metabolism, and reproduction, and protein is necessary for synthesising some of them.
ii) Important for bone health
In addition to hormone regulation, protein supports bone health and can help prevent osteoporosis. Research shows that adequate protein intake is crucial for maintaining bone density and strength, particularly in older adults.
iii) Enhances immunity and helps in wound-healing
Protein is also important for immune function and wound healing. Leucine-rich protein sources, such as meat, fish, and dairy, have been shown to enhance immune function, helping to protect your body against infections and diseases. Additionally, protein plays a critical role in wound healing, particularly in patients with chronic illnesses.
iv) Plays a key role in weight management
Protein can not only help in muscle gain but in maintaining a healthy weight as well. It keeps you feeling full longer and hence can reduce your appetite, making it a valuable nutrient for weight management. This is because protein usually triggers the release of hormones that signal fullness to the brain, helping to regulate hunger and prevent overeating.
Additionally, protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fats, meaning the body burns more calories digesting and metabolising protein. Furthermore, high-protein diets for weight loss can also help to increase metabolic rate.
Further, if you are into calorie-restricted diets for weight loss, preventing lean muscle mass should be a significant concern. During calorie restriction, the body can break down muscle tissue for energy, which can decrease metabolic rate and hinder weight loss efforts. However, consuming adequate protein can help to prevent muscle loss and maintain a healthy metabolism.
v) Benefits Of Protein For Muscle Growth And Repair
And, lastly, comes the most important, muscle growth and repair. Protein’s role in protein synthesis is especially important. Protein synthesis is the method by which the body builds new muscle tissue, and sufficient protein intake is necessary to support this process.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), found in protein-rich foods like dairy, meat, and legumes, play a critical role in muscle recovery and repair, making them an important part of any muscle-building diet.
In addition to promoting muscle growth, protein intake can help reduce muscle soreness after exercise. This is because protein can help repair muscle damage caused by activity, leading to less soreness and faster recovery times.
Proteins offer a range of benefits beyond just muscle gain. They play a critical role in various bodily functions, such as supporting the immune system, regulating hormone levels and contributing to a feeling of fullness, which can aid in weight management, and enhancing metabolism. The recommended intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kg, and by adding some protein to all meals in a day, you can space it out throughout the day and maximise the benefits.