You probably heard it before how important it is to consume enough protein if you want to build muscle. But how does it actually work? Protein is one of the three energy sources of your body known as macronutrients, the other two being carbohydrates and fats. It has made up of little organic compounds known as amino acids. Besides, water 75% percent of your body is made up of amino acids. When we consume more proteins then our body can absorb only limited amount of proteins.
What can Amino Acids Do?
Healthy brain function
Healthy heart, regulates stress, prevents certain diseases, produces cells, are required amino acids.
Now, you probably get the point. Amino acids are pretty important. There are over 500 different types of amino acids. But the human body only uses 21 known as proteinogenic amino acids.
Of the 21, the body can create 12 them by restructuring other amino acids the. Other 9 known as essential amino acids can only come from the food you eat, specifically from protein. And unlike fats and carbs, your body cannot store these essential amino acids away.
When it comes to building muscle, providing a body with enough leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are essential amino acids, is pretty important. These three are known as branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs for short. And of these three BCAAs, by far the most important is leucine. It’s directly linked to the activation of mTOR, which activates multiple enzymes in the body that promotes muscle protein synthesis.
Wonder how muscles become stronger?
When your muscle fiber proteins actin and myosin act on one another, muscle contraction is produced. The more actin and myosin protein filaments you have, the stronger the muscle becomes. And this is where getting enough protein your diet becomes important to not only maintaining or building muscle, but also preventing your body from breaking the muscle down.
But how much is enough?
It’s typically recommended to get about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That’s roughly 65 grams for men and 50 grams for women. If you’re an athlete, add about 20 grams more. Take this with a grain of salt, though, since there’s no absolute consensus on the right amount of protein intake. But regardless of the actual amount, it doesn’t take away the importance of having protein in your diet. And continue with macro-nutrients the following next article will be covering another vital energy source, carbohydrates.