What does protein do for your body? The answer may surprise you. While you probably know that this powerful macronutrient is a favorite fuel for body builders and a popular choice for people trying to lose weight, protein does far more than help people strive for their desired physique. It is a crucial building block that is involved in countless bodily functions and plays a major role in achieving and maintaining wellness.
What Does Protein Do for Your Body?
If you were asked to find a place where protein exists in the body, you wouldn’t have to look hard. Protein is in every cell. It’s found in the skin, hair, nails, bones, muscles, and connective tissues. It’s also used in enzymes, hormones, DNA, and other body chemicals. What does protein do for your body?
Protein Supports Muscle
Simply downing a protein shake won’t allow you to sprout muscles like Popeye after a spinach binge. Exercise and movement are obviously necessary if you want to increase your muscle mass. However, sufficient protein is also needed. That’s because protein provides your body with the materials it needs to repair tissue and build muscle. Interestingly, consuming protein also helps you maintain muscle, especially when the body is breaking down components the way that it does during weight loss.
Protein Boosts Immunity
Protein isn’t a magic potion that will keep all illness at bay, but it is an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet that provides the body with the nutrients it needs to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other germs. In fact, the antibodies that the body manufacturers to fend off the things that make people sick are actually large, Y-shaped proteins. While these proteins are different from the kind that you eat, consuming protein does stimulate the immune system and provide raw materials that the body can draw on to produce these important defenders.
Protein Helps You Heal
What does protein do for your body? In addition to supporting the immune system, protein helps the body heal from injuries and speeds recovery after exercise. It makes sense. After all, protein provides the body with the resources it needs to repair damage to its tissues.
Protein Curbs Hunger
It’s frustrating, but it’s true. Eating some foods simply makes you hungrier. Consuming protein has the opposite effect. Eating protein has been shown to reduce ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger, and increase levels of peptide YY, a satiety hormone, so people who eat protein feel fuller for longer (source). As a bonus, protein has also been shown to curb those hard-to-resist food cravings that have wreaked havoc on many a healthy diet. How does it do it? Dopamine is a brain chemical linked to addiction. Getting more protein can lead to improved dopamine function, which may result in reduced cravings.
Protein Revs Your Metabolism
Generally, people think about eating as a way to take in calories and exercising as a way to burn them, but there is a bit of an overlap. The digestion of food and the usage of the nutrients within it both require energy, which means that your body burns some calories as it processes the food that you’ve eaten. However, certain types of food demand more energy than others, so processing them burns more calories and gives your body’s metabolism a temporary boost. Protein is one of these foods. Therefore, simply eating protein revs your metabolism and prompts your body to burn additional calories.
Protein Supports Weight Loss
Being overweight increases a person’s risk of a host of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, breathing problems, and even certain cancers. For those who are trying to shift the scale to a healthier zone, protein is a fantastic ally. After all, protein reduces hunger, resulting in a natural decrease in calorie intake, and it prevents cravings for unhealthy treats. Protein also boosts the metabolism temporarily because it requires more energy to process. In addition, it helps you to build and maintain muscle mass, and more muscle results in a metabolism that works more efficiently. With this combination of factors, protein has the ability to help people shed excess pounds to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Protein Assists in Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but aging gracefully can be tricky. Fortunately, protein can help with healthy aging. Much like it helps dieters hold onto their muscle mass, consuming protein wards of age-related muscle loss. A protein-rich diet can also help people maintain their bone mass as they age, reducing their risk of dangers like osteoporosis and fractures.
So what does protein do for your body? Clearly this macronutrient supports human health in many significant ways. Despite its importance, the body doesn’t store protein. For optimal health, you need to continually provide the body with plenty of quality protein. That’s why many people opt to incorporate protein supplements into their daily routine. They’re a convenient way to ensure that you’re providing your body with the protein that it needs to function well.
Are you ready to add more protein to your diet? Chicken is an excellent source of protein, and today’s innovative chicken protein powders make enjoying its benefits easy. Whether you prefer a tasty protein shake, a crunchy snack, or a low-calorie broth, products built around chicken protein are a smart choice. Stop by BarnDad Nutrition today to learn more about our high-quality, protein-packed products.