Protein Power

A joke is considered a good way in which to warm up an audience for a presentation or an article about a somewhat dry subject. Given the subject of this article is protein, the best food sources of protein and how to include them in your diet here goes:

What’s a pirate’s favorite amino acid? AAArrrrrginine.

Arginine is one of the 21 amino acids used by the human body to build protein. Of course, muscle is the first thing most people think of in relation to protein, and the majority of protein in your body is in the skeletal muscle, organs and bone tissue. Besides water, protein makes up most of the weight of the heart, muscles, the liver, the glands and the brain. Nonstructural proteins such as enzymes, antibodies, hormones and hemoglobin are made of only a small portion of the protein in the body, but are essential to good health.

Bodybuilder 1: “Hey, did you know whey protein is a bi-product of cheese?” Bodybuilder 2: “Really?” Bodybuilder 1: “Yup.” Bodybuilder 2: “No way.” Bodybuilder 1: “Whey.”

Good, high-quality proteins are those with an amino acid pattern similar to that needed by the body. These complete proteins include eggs, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products, including whey protein. Protein sources which are deficient in one or more essential amino acids include grains, beans, vegetables and fruit. However, quinoa does contain all the amino acids in low quantities and soy is an often-used substitute for animal products. All things being equal, the difference between animal and plant protein sources is animal sources contain higher quality amino acids essential to protein usage by the body. If you are reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet, remember to consume a variety of plant foods over the course of a day in order to obtain the necessary amino acids.

What’s the best source of protein a bodybuilder can eat? Another bodybuilder.

Although dietary recommendations refer to protein, amino acids are what are required in the diet because of the constant breakdown and regeneration of cells in the body. Amino acids are drawn from a pool, which is filled by recycled amino acids and ones drawn from the food you eat. In general, sedentary men and women require about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. Athletes or very active people may require 1.2 – 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Remember, more is not always better and like all excess calories, excess energy from protein will be stored as fat.