What is protein? Protein is a macronutrient vital to the health and fitness of every person. However, he remains unknown to the majority. People massively take protein supplements in the form of fortified foods and shakes because they are looking for the effect of satiation and energization, as well as muscle building and weight loss.

The above misconceptions are not wrong, but they are based on a very basic awareness of the importance of protein as a basic building block in the human body.

In this article we will try to tell you everything you need to know about proteins:

  • What is protein;
  • How protein helps the body;
  • What types of protein exist;
  • How much protein do we need daily;
  • What is the difference between complete and incomplete proteins;
  • Where you can find protein;
  • Is it possible to “overdose” on protein;
  • Do you lose weight from protein;
  • Which is the best protein.

What is protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for the body. In fact, you can find it everywhere in the body, from the hair to the toes.

It is made up of 20 different amino acids. Imagine the protein molecule as a Lego figure – each amino acid is an individual Lego piece, but together they build something much bigger.

Like carbohydrates, protein has 4 calories per gram. In energy terms, this means that carbohydrates and proteins are equivalent, but are metabolized and used differently in the body.

How protein helps the body

Because protein is such an essential part of body building, it predictably has multiple functions. Here are just some of them:

  • is a building block for enzymes powering important biochemical reactions;
  • part of the cell walls;
  • makes up a large percentage of muscle, hair, skin, bone and nails;
  • turns out to be a structural component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood;
  • helps produce antibodies that fight infections;
  • “communicates” with key hormones in the body.

What’s more, when you eat protein-rich foods, you find that you’re fuller for longer. Protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates (but not as slowly as fat). This is why they are such an important component of balanced diets aimed at weight reduction.

What types of protein exist

The most common type of protein is of animal origin. Its sources are meats from herbivores, fish, eggs and dairy products. Animal protein is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is quickly absorbed and is a great source of quick energy.

Here’s how some popular animal protein sources stack up:

  • 90 grams of chicken contains 25 grams of protein;
  • 90 grams of salmon contains 20 grams of protein;
  • 1 large egg has 6 g of protein;
  • 1 cup of milk has 8 g of protein.

Plant-based proteins, on the other hand, are considered incomplete proteins because they do not contain all nine essential amino acids. Examples of plant-based proteins include nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. Plant-based proteins can be useful for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as for anyone who cannot eat animal products. Read more about vegan foods containing protein.

Here’s how some plant foods stack up when it comes to protein:

  • 1/2 cup black beans – 7,5 g protein;
  • 1/4 cup hummus – 5 g protein;
  • 30 g mixed nuts – 6 g protein;
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter – 7 g protein;
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds – 3 g protein;
  • a serving of tofu – 9 g protein;
  • 1 cup of raw broccoli – 2.5 g protein.

Other types of protein are whey and casein. They are derived from dairy products. Whey protein is especially popular among athletes and bodybuilders because it is quickly absorbed and has a high biological value. Casein protein is a slowly absorbed protein, making it great for providing sustained energy throughout the day.

Learn more about whey protein and protein shakes.

What is the difference between complete and incomplete proteins

Complete and incomplete proteins are two different types of proteins, and understanding the differences between them can help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your lifestyle.

Complete proteins, also known as complete proteins, are those that contain all nine essential amino acids. These amino acids are essential for the growth and repair of the body and cannot be produced by it. Therefore, complete proteins must be obtained from the diet. Examples of this type of protein include animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs and some plant sources such as quinoa and soy.

Incomplete proteins, on the other hand, are proteins that are missing one or more of the essential amino acids. These proteins are usually found in plant sources such as legumes, seeds and nuts. Although incomplete proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids, they are beneficial, especially if eaten in combination with other incomplete proteins. Combining legumes and grains (beans and rice, for example) creates a good protein balance for the body.

How much protein do we need daily

You may be wondering how much protein you should be taking on a daily basis. According to nutritionists, the daily reference intake of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

This means that a person weighing 70 pounds would need 55 grams of protein per day. And someone weighing 90 pounds should get about 70 grams of protein a day.

Note that the above formula is only a guideline. Your protein needs are influenced by your health, activity level, age, etc. If you want a personalized recommendation, be sure to consult a qualified nutritionist.
Learn more about how much protein per day it is recommended to take and a diet plan for increasing muscle mass.

Protein for weight loss

Protein will help you feel full for long, which will certainly prevent overeating at the next meal. Protein also requires more energy for the body to absorb, which means you’ll burn more calories. In addition, protein helps maintain muscle mass, which is important for burning calories.

However, if you are trying to lose weight, you should focus on maintaining a balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods – including proteins, carbohydrates and fats – will provide you with the nutrients you need while keeping your calorie intake in check.

Adding protein to your diet is a smart choice if you want to lose weight, but it’s important to consider the type of protein you’re eating. Choose low-fat sources of protein such as chicken and fish, and make sure to get your protein from beans and lentils.

Which is the best protein

Each of us has unique dietary requirements and preferences, so it’s important to take the time to figure out which type of protein works best for us. Animal-based proteins are generally higher in certain essential amino acids, while plant-based proteins are considered healthier and more environmentally friendly.

No matter what type of protein you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet. Protein is essential for building muscle, keeping bones strong and providing energy for the body. It is also important for the immune system and for helping your body heal and recover from injury or illness.
When it comes to choosing the best protein, the key is to find a balance between quality and quantity. If you don’t have the opportunity or desire to consume protein-rich foods at every meal, replace the meat or vegetable with a protein shake. Read more about the benefits of protein powder.

Active Choice products are formulated with high quality whey protein that is extremely fast absorbing.
When you want to support yourself before, during or after physical activity, try our great alternatives to your favourite desserts – protein bars and protein creams.

Take a look at ours too:
Vegan protein powder with vanilla flavor;
Vegan protein powder with cocoa flavor;
Vegan protein powder with cinnamon cookie flavor.

In this article, you have learned everything important about proteins, their function in the body and the ways you can get this invaluable macronutrient. For more information on issues important to every active person’s health, read the Active Choice blog.