Protein has been considered as the main element responsible for having firmer muscles and a leaner body. It is the basic building block that comprises our human body. It forms the substance of our muscles, organs, antibodies and enzymes which are considered to be the compounds that control our interior chemical reactions. As these structures break down and are repaired, most of their protein is recycled and used again. But we cannot store protein, so the lost material which is the protein turnover has to be constantly replaced by protein digested from our food. While foods derived from meat have the highest proportion of protein, foods derived from plants can also supply a more than adequate amount. Certain parts of our body, such as muscles, use more protein than others. The large muscles that weight lifters and body builders develop represent large bundles of added protein. In addition to forming tissue, protein acts as a source of energy for exercise, although its role is secondary to that of carbohydrates and fats. The role of protein in the muscles: Since muscles are made of protein, athletes in search of extra strength and muscle size sometimes consume two to three times the recommended amount of protein. But eating a lot of protein does not improve power or endurance. The only way to make a particular muscle bigger is to exercise it. Consuming a lot of protein rich foods only causes the body to manufacture new layers of fat. When we eat protein, we do not absorb it directly. Our digestive system first separates it into amino acids the components of all proteins. After digestion, the body recombines these acids into the particular protein compounds it needs. Although amino acids are fairly simple structures, they join in an almost infinite variety of long, often complicated chains to create thousands of different proteins. Moderate exercise increases your need for protein. But most people eat more than enough to compensate for the extra demand. The average person requires slightly more than a third of a gram of protein per pound of body weight every day. Dividing your weight by three gives you your approximate daily requirement in grams. As long as you eat a balanced diet, it is the amount of carbohydrates you consume that allows protein to build muscle. While protein does play an important role in fueling exercise, adequate dietary carbohydrates enable the body to burn primarily carbohydrates and fat for energy.
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