Why Is It So Important To Eat Protein?

It is important to consume protein on a daily basis. We will tell you more about this important macronutrient and its functions in this article.
Why is it so important to eat protein?

It is crucial to know what proteins are. These nutrients that come from our diet are essential and perform many different functions in the body. Therefore, it is very important to consume proteins.

Below we tell you in detail everything you need to know about them. Once you are aware of the health implications of protein, you are likely to pay more attention to meeting the requirements of this nutrient.


There are three types of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. We call them macronutrients because we find them in large quantities in various foods and they allow us to satisfy our body’s energy needs.

The specific functions of proteins are different. We find them in animal and plant-based foods, and they form part of cellular structures and tissues. Ensuring proper intake therefore helps prevent muscle loss.

Current scientific literature states that not consuming the necessary proteins is one of the risk factors that can cause sarcopenia. This disease causes progressive destruction of muscles and loss of strength throughout the body.

In addition, proteins have many other physiological and anatomical implications. They can act as enzymes that catalyze internal reactions in cells and the internal environment. This will be an acceleration of processes that are usually slow. It is even possible to convert them to glucose at a hepatic level to produce energy.

One of the most important functions of protein is the formation of muscle tissue, which can be seen here

Be sure to consume proteins for proper body composition

Protein deficiency can lead to disease. Until recently, experts believed that an excessive intake of proteins was also harmful. Today, however, it is considered more worrying to get too little than too much protein.

Despite the fact that proteins in the body are able to perform very different tasks, their most relevant function is structural. For athletes, it is important to guarantee the right amount when it comes to muscle growth.

Sedentary individuals should consume 0.5 grams of this nutrient per half a kilo of body weight per. day. At the same time, the recommended intake in athletes is close to 1 gram.

A recent review of studies published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition even recommends increasing your intake to 1.4 grams per serving . half a kilogram of body weight per day in those people suffering from increased muscle wasting.

But it is not only in connection with sports that it is important to monitor the intake of proteins. Protein helps prevent and reduce cachexia processes associated with cancer, according to experts. This condition consists of a progressive weight loss and muscle loss that increases the risk of death in cancer patients.

Also read: The right diet for people with cancer

Does protein intake affect kidney function?

One of the arguments used to limit protein intake was that its excessive intake could cause liver and kidney damage in the medium term. For this reason, experts recommended no more than 0.4 grams of this nutrient per half a kilo of weight for people with a high degree of sedentary lifestyle.

However, a review published in 2017 analyzed the results of several studies involving the administration of high doses of dietary protein over a long period of time. The results of most of these revealed no damage to the kidneys. For this reason, experts now consider diets high in protein to be safe.

Not all proteins are the same

So now you understand the importance of consuming proteins. However, not all dietary supplements are of the same quality. Protein is divided into two basic classes based on their origin: Animals or plants.

Animal proteins constitute a greater biological value. This means that they contain all the essential amino acids for the human body (those that the body is unable to produce itself) and also constitute an acceptable level of digestibility.

In contrast, vegetable proteins usually lack some essential amino acids. In addition, their digestibility is lower, which conditions their absorption. They are also necessary for a varied diet, but experts recommend ensuring that at least 50% of the proteins in the diet are of animal origin.

In order for you to understand the importance of essential amino acids, we highlight that some of them are involved in the maintenance of muscle mass. This is the case with leucine. It is able to stimulate the body’s anabolic pathways and increase the formation of lean tissue.

Recent research published in The Journal of Nutrition assures that supplements with this amino acid in an isolated way are able to prevent muscle loss in the elderly. Nevertheless, food will always be the best way to incorporate it.

Plant-based proteins should also be included in our diet, but they are less digestible than animal protein

Be sure to consume sufficient amounts of protein

We have looked at the importance of protein in the diet. Inadequate intake of this nutrient will have implications for muscle health as well as other physiological reactions, such as the formation of certain hormones.

Also read: 7 signs that you are not eating enough protein

To ensure that you are consuming the amount of protein you need, it is important that you analyze your diet. If animal-based foods occur at every main meal, you are unlikely to get too little protein. In any case, also try to guarantee the presence of vegetable proteins in your snacks.

Until a few years ago, experts believed that it was right to consume 0.4 grams of protein per day. half a kilo of body weight in one day. But today, the recommendation has increased. If you take care not to neglect the intake of protein, your health will reap the benefits in the long run.

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