What are proteins and why are they so good for you?
Yes, now we know. If you want a healthy and balanced lifestyle, you have to take in enough nutrients and get enough exercise. It seems to be impossible to make progression without proteins, the building blocks your body needs to make healthy cells. Proteins are indispensable in a healthy and balanced lifestyle. But what exactly is it and why are they so good for you? Read all about it below.
What exactly are proteins?
Proteins are nutrients that are part of the macronutrients, just like carbohydrates and fats. These three building blocks are necessary for the body to function. These nutrients can be found in our food and is broken down into amino acids in our body. Protein provides calories (energy) and amino acids. Each protein is unique, as protein from food can contain a total of 22 different types of amino acids. These amino acids are needed to build, repair and strengthen cells.
Why are proteins so good for you?
The protein you get from your daily diet stimulates the production of the body’s own protein: the muscles. It also ensures that the muscle mass does not break down and that the muscles can recover better after a workout. That’s why many protein supplements are also referred to with terms such as ‘after workout’. This recovery is necessary because, after intensive exercise, there are small tears in the muscles. The recovery process is accelerated due to the protein. As an athlete you must also continue to maintain the muscle mass you built up.
But make sure you don’t overdo it. It is important to have the basic nutrition under control before you start taking supplements. If you get too much protein, it can be at the expense of other nutrients. Eating the right proportions and ingesting carbohydrates and fats have a positive effect on sports performance.
Where can they be found?
In general, you get protein from your daily diet. They can be found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese and diary products. But also, in vegetable products such as bread, legumes, nuts and grains (rice, pasta). Normally you can easily get your protein requirements from the daily diet. But athletes have a higher protein requirement.
How much protein do you need?
Adults need an average of 0,8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, someone who weighs 75 kg would have to eat 60 grams of protein (75 x 0,8= 60). But athletes are an exception, because the ‘damaged’ muscles require an increased amount of protein after exercise. If you do endurance sport, such as running and cycling, you need somewhere between 1,2 and 1m4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. A power athlete, such as fitness or boxing, will need somewhere between 1,5 and 1,8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.
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