Benefits of Protein

By Mark Kiernan

What is protein?

Protein is a nutrient found in food which is made up of numerous amino acids that are joined together.

What does it do?

Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body It’s easy to understand the excitement. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Why is it so important when exercising?

During an exercise session our muscles are constantly challenged, their fibres sustain micro tears and begin to break down. To repair and rebuild they then go through a process known as protein synthesis which use the amino acids from protein to bring about a healthy recovery and growth.

This applies to everyone who exercises and not just bodybuilders! Those who exercise will require increased amounts of protein to people who don’t. Without this we can lose lean body mass through continued breakdown of muscle fibres when we want to be toning shaping and strengthening these fibres.


How much and when do i need protein when exercising?

While exercise science suggests specific grams of protein per body weight for male and female it can be labour-some to track this daily. When exercising its important to have a portion of protein with every main meal (Breakfast, lunch and dinner). Snack meals such as a small palmful of nuts or greek yogurt can benefit also. Ideally a portion of protein should be consumed approximately within an hour of finishing a workout.  A night-time snack of cottage cheese is also great as it contains casein, a slow release protein which the body will use when most growth and repair occurs during sleep.

 Mark is a personal trainer and boxing coach, here at Andy Kenny Fitness and is available for consultations and personal training.

author: Andy Kenny