Although protein might remind you of weightlifters’ intense workout and mammoth-sized protein shakes, this macronutrient has far-reaching implications for everyone’s overall muscle health, irrespective of fitness levels. So, what makes protein so crucial for muscle care? Dr Timothy Ehn will discuss the nutritional science and unveil the story behind protein’s superstar status.
Protein: The Building Block of Muscles
Proteins, made up of amino acids, are essentially the building blocks of your body. They play a vital part in every cell, especially muscles. As muscles undergo a continuous wear and tear process, the replenishment and repair are backed by none other than protein.
Each day, the body goes through an elaborate dance of breaking down and rebuilding muscle protein, known as “protein turnover.” High-quality protein consumption provides the body with the necessary amino acids, particularly Leucine, to instigate muscle protein synthesis.
The balance between muscle protein breakdown and synthesis determines muscle growth. Consuming protein supports muscle hypertrophy (growth) by tipping the scales in favor of synthesis.
Recovery Post Exercise
Protein plays a pivotal role in the recovery process post-exercise. Strength workouts cause tiny muscle fiber tears. Consuming protein after workouts assists in repair and regeneration, strengthening these fibers, which results in stronger, bigger muscles.
Preserving Muscle Mass
As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. Consuming adequate amounts of protein combined with resistance exercise can help prevent and slow down the loss of muscle mass.
Optimizing Protein Intake for Muscle Health
Knowing the importance of protein is only half the battle. For Dr Timothy Ehn, implementing it strategically in your diet takes your muscle care to the next level.
Adequate & Consistent Intake
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for an average sedentary adult. However, individuals engaging in regular strength exercise might need up to 2.0 grams per kilogram.
When you consume protein, time greatly matters. So for you to maximize muscle protein synthesis, divide your total daily protein intake into evenly distributed meals throughout the day.
Quality of Protein
All proteins are not created equal. High-quality proteins, also called ‘complete proteins’, contain all essential amino acids in optimal proportions. They are efficiently used by the body for muscle protein synthesis. Complete proteins can be found in animal sources. For those following a plant-based diet, combining different types of plant proteins usually provides all the essential amino acids.
And lastly, consuming protein after a workout kick-starts the muscle repair and recovery process. For that, you must pair your protein with carbohydrates to replenish glycogen storage and enhance protein absorption.
Protein In Perspective: The Powerhouse For Muscles
The powerful role protein plays in muscle care cannot be overstated. It’s a key player in muscle repair, growth, and maintaining muscle mass as you age. Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or just someone trying to stay healthy.
For that matter, Dr Timothy Ehn believes that incorporating suitable amounts of high-quality protein into your diet is essential for robust muscle health. It’s time to power up your muscles with protein and unleash the potential for strength, endurance, and vitality. Here’s to making each muscle movement count, powered by protein!