If you are a Dr. Oz fan you probably already know he recommends protein with each meal. This is for a variety of reasons/benefits. Protein plays a large role in your diet and metabolism to help you reach your fitness goals, here’s how…
Proteins are an essential part of every organism and are involved in every process with your body’s cells. Most organisms and plants can synthesize all 20 amino’s. Every animal (including us as humans) must obtain some of these proteins (as amino acids) through your diet. This is because we cannot synthesize every amino acid needed so certain ones we call your essential amino acids must come from food. Once eaten these amino acids through digestion can now be broken down to be utilized by your metabolism.
Some of these Amino Acids ingested are used towards protein biosynthesis and others are changed over to glucose for energy. On a low-carb diet this is where more of your protein will be used and eventually to support life, especially the amino acids found in muscle tissue. Amino’s are also a strong source of nitrogen.
This means that when your glycogen stores (carbohydrates stored for energy) are used up your body will start to use amino acids. When the protein (which breaks down into amino acids in your blood stream) is no longer available from your last meal your body will start to digest it’s own muscle (made of proteins/amino acids). This is known as becoming catabolic which is the breaking down of muscle. Here is why bodybuilders consume protein meals every 2-3 hours to keep a positive nitrogen balance and a steady flow of amino acids to supply your muscles. This is called staying anabolic, a state of growth and repair. Keeping this balance allows preservation of muscle and a promotion of fat-loss. The frequent digestion is burning calories keeping your metabolism ramped up! Meals containing protein with carbohydrates will also lower the glycemic index of these carbohydrates. These proteins in a meal act as a natural appetite suppressant too.
After reading this do you need to change your protein intake to reach your fitness goal?