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Understanding Protein/ Amino Acids, part 1

At this time of year, we all take a hard look at our movement and our protein intake.

You have likely either been told we eat too much protein, or that you need more and given a specific recommendation of where to get it the best kind.

Realize with eating protein your body only uses about 5% of it for muscle growth. The body needs amino acids to do many other functions, not just muscle.

  1. Protein Synthesis: Amino acids are used to build proteins through a process called protein synthesis. 20 different amino acids can be combined in different sequences to form a wide variety of proteins. These proteins are involved in structural support, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and more.

  2. Cellular Structure: Amino acids contribute to the structure of cells. They are involved in the formation of cell membranes, organelles, and various cellular structures.

  3. Enzyme Function: Many enzymes, which are biological catalysts that facilitate biochemical reactions, are proteins made up of amino acids. Amino acids play a crucial role in the structure and function of enzymes.

  4. Hormone Synthesis: Some hormones are protein-based and are synthesized using amino acids. For example, insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, is a protein made up of amino acids.

  5. Neurotransmitter Production: Amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that transmit signals in the nervous system. For example, serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters synthesized from specific amino acids.

  6. Energy Production: In certain situations, amino acids can be used as a source of energy. This typically occurs when the body's carbohydrate and fat stores are insufficient.

  7. Immune System Function: Antibodies, which are key components of the immune system, are proteins made up of amino acids. Amino acids contribute to the formation of these antibodies, helping the body defend against pathogens.

  8. Transportation of Molecules: Some amino acids are involved in the transport of molecules across cell membranes.

A lack of amino acids/proteins can create real health issues for you. Plus a lot of times it is not just about if you eat enough protein but how the body can utilize the protein. Protein is something the body uses or gets rid of, granted with whey it uses it fast and meat it is a slow-digesting food. You have to eat more than 2 grams of meat protein per body pound to have it converted into sugar or fat.

People with hormone issues, bone issues, sick often, get injured often, have a lot of sagging skin, or have muscle loss and are usually deficient in protein. Proteins are essential for many functions in the body. You need the right amount to support health and muscle growth.

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