A Protein is a complex molecule made up of amino acids which are responsible for specific and unique functions within the body.
Many people think that we simply need protein to build muscle, but in fact, there are many different proteins that perform many different functions in the body.
Proteins are often associated with strength and muscle power, and meat is often perceived as being the best source of protein. This is only partially true; many other foods, as well as meat, are good sources of protein.
Proteins from plant and animal origin are equally good; there is nothing special about meat protein. In fact, it is possible to make a case saying that meat protein is not as useful as other foods to an athlete because in most cases meat contains a high proportion of fat, which is much less likely to be the case with sources of plant protein.
The word ‘protein’ is derived from the Greek language and means ‘of primary importance’. Strength athletes – bodybuilders in particular, would agree that protein is very important in their diet.
Proteins are nutrients found in a large number of foods; they perform many very important roles within the body. One of the main roles of proteins is to supply amino acids. These are a major source of nitrogen and are the building blocks for all protein synthesised in the body.
Globular proteins are soluble in water and tend to be involved in metabolic processes such as transportation and controlling biological processes.
Fibrous proteins are virtually insoluble in water. They tend to be involved in ‘structure’ and are usually involved in the creation of connective tissues, tendons and muscle fibres.
Facts about Proteins
– 50% of the human body’s dry weight consists of protein
– Enzymes are made up of proteins and control all bodily functions including the creation or repair of muscle tissue and the blinking of the eye
– Brain cells and genes are structured from pure protein
– A complex structure of proteins goes to make up hormones