The University of Illinois McKinley Health Centre recommends that between 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories should be from proteins, which are considered vital for the human body. You get four calories from every gram of protein, and if your daily requirement is 2000 calories, you will need to take in between 50 to 175 grams (to meet 10 to 35 percent of your calorie requirements). The importance of protein lies in the fact that it is a building block, used typically for growth and repair.
As mentioned earlier, protein is mainly used as a building block, responsible for the growth and repair of cells and tissues. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are very useful for muscle repair and development. Branched-chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs are considered to be very helpful in preventing muscles from breaking down after an exhausting workout. Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are the three branched-chain amino acids.
A study by the University of California Los Angeles showed that protein intake is directly related to your immune system. The lower your protein consumption, the weaker your immune system is. This is because protein is vital for the production of white blood cells, which are, for all purposes, the human body’s soldiers. White blood cells are responsible for attacking any foreign particles in your body, including viruses and bacteria. Moreover, your body has various antioxidants, which help fight harmful microorganisms, and these are also boosted by certain protein sources.
Hormonal production and secretion
Hormones are the human body’s messengers, taking messages from one part to another in order to cause certain reactions or promote certain actions. Some hormones are also made up of proteins, and amino acids are especially helpful in their secretion. For instance, testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) are highly dependent on protein for their release. In a study by the University of Memphis the relation of amino acids to the release of certain growth hormones was also confirmed.
Most of the time, the human body burns carbohydrates for energy, because they burn fast and give a moderate yield. Protein is not the body’s preferred source of energy release but protein can be transformed into glycogen when your body requires it. While the yield of energy is not as high as carbohydrates or fats, protein serves as an emergency reserve and is converted only when it is in excess.