It should be no secret that Protein is (like every macro-nutrient) and extremely important macro-nutrient to consume. A paper by Escobar Et Al conculded that "Protein is an important nutrient that should be consumed in higher amounts by most individuals, particularly exercising individuals".
Protein is made up of chains of Amino Acids. There are 21 amino acids that the body uses and 9 of these are essential which means the body cannot synthesise them itself (this is a consideration for vegetarians and vegans who need to ensure that their diet includes these).
Below is a list of important functions that protein take care of in our body.
1) Muscle Synthesis - It is no secret that protein is required for the creation of muscle. Whether you are an endurance or strenth athlete, consuming adequate amounts of protein will be vital for muscle recovery and building. The table at the bottom shows the research on how much protein you should have from varying sources. So, it shows that an endurance athlete should get between 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein to bodyweight. So if a 70kg athlete, you should aim to consume around 100g of protein to be able to recover from training sessions. If however that same athlete needed to put more muscle on and went through a hypertrophy phase, he would need to raise that protein amount to around 175g to 210g depending on his training volume. This is because hypertrophy work leads to greater amounts of muscle damage, therefore more protein is required to not only recover the muscle, but also build more.
2) Injury recovery - Protein (amino acids) are responsible for repairing tissues that have been damaged.
3) Supports the immune system
4) Increases satiety - For those who are dieting, or planbing on embarking on a diet, protein has been shown to reduce levels of hunger. This will help stop cravings as you will feel fuller for longer.
Protein is clearly very important and it is crucial that you are eating enough of the stuff, even if you are a non-exercising individual. If you are Vegan or Vegetarian, you may need to supplement your diet with various sources of protein to ensure that you are getting enough protein and the correct variance of Amino Acids.
Below is a table showing differing amounts of protein needs depending on your sport/lifestyle.
If you have any questions on this or anything else please feel free to contact me!
Thanks, stay strong,