Likened to oxygen, the human body requires a balanced diet in order to purpose appropriately. A balanced diet, therefore, is comprised of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and vitamins. However, it is worth noting that proteins remain the most essential food nutrient in the human body explaining why it constitutes 75 percent of the body excluding water. The roles of proteins are diverse and they handle the normal healthy living conditions. It is from that rationale that this paper will be endeavoring at elucidating and giving further details on the components of protein in bodybuilding. Equally, the paper will elaborate the various functions of proteins in the diet, the various sources of proteins, and the implications of protein deficiency in the human body.
The various roles the proteins play in the body is the reason I chose to write about the protein. People are often encouraged to take balanced diet, but of all the food nutrients, proteins are often given less attention in the diet. People still do not have adequate knowledge on some of the available sources of proteins. Some still think beef or chicken products are the only sources proteins that are at the end expensive to acquire. The knowledge of other sources of proteins is essential to this group of people (Widmaier et al, 124-126).
Proteins are comprised of building blocks known as amino acids, which are attached in patterns that are distinct to form particular proteins with disparate characteristics. There are twenty different amino acids in the body, eight of theses amino acids are considered essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be generated by the body but are necessary for survival. Hence, they must be supplied from the diet. The body synthesizes nonessential amino acids from essential amino acids or a customary breakdown of proteins. The body utilizes amino acids flowing in the bloodstream, disseminated from the analysis of tissues, or devoured from the diet to generate proteins (National Academy 55-57).
Divergent from carbohydrates and fat, the body, is not capable of generally storing proteins; thus, it is important in the diet. The qualities of proteins vary and are found in an assortment of foods. A high-quality protein can also be called a complete protein; such proteins encompass all eight essential amino acids. A low-quality protein also known as incomplete protein lacks one or more of the essential amino acids. Complete proteins are frequently found from animal sources such as poultry, beef, fish and many more, whereas incomplete proteins include vegetable, fruits, and nuts (National Academy 57-60)
Nevertheless, consuming complete proteins raises a lot of concern since they are comprised of saturated fats. For instance, beef and pork that are rich sources of proteins contains many saturated fats. Hence, for health precautions one should consume lean meat in moderation. Healthy sources of meat proteins include chicken, ostrich, or turkey with the skin removed, buffalo meat, and fish that have few saturated fats. On the other hand, red meat is also rich sources of iron as opposed to white meat. Iron contained in red meat is necessary for oxygen binding and maximizing physical executions (National Academy 57-61).
Being a vegetarian entails additional precaution and knowledge to consume a range of protein sources to attain the body's requirements. The total proteins derived from incomplete proteins are referred to as complementary proteins. There are various benefits associated with these incomplete proteins. Research shows that consuming nuts on a regular basis reduces the probability of having heart attacks or perish from heart diseases. Nuts contain healthy unsaturated fatty acids, which assist in alienating the harmful cholesterol LDL and inflate the good cholesterol HDL (National Academy 60-63).
Additional good sources of proteins include but not limited to pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split beans, nuts, and seeds, tofu and other soy protein products and low-fat dairies such as milk and eggs. However, one should not consume more than four eggs in a week. Eggs are very rich in cholesterol. A person may use a recipe of white eggs only since they have lower cholesterol level. Soy protein is encouraged by health nutritionists since it has shown the potential for reducing hot flashes, cholesterol levels, prostate and breast cancer and osteoporosis. It can also lessen the risk of heart diseases if consumed daily (Shils 105-107).
Protein intake in an individual may depend on the occupation, age, health condition, or sex. Proteins are essential in children since they grow so fast. Vegetable low in protein or high proteins in soy instead of meat and eggs may pose many growth challenges to children. Pregnant women also require adequate proteins for proper nutrition of the baby's and growth. Nursing women also strictly follow a food program suggested by a food nutritionist for the proper brain development of the child. Older people find it hard to digest proteins hence provision of digestive enzyme are critical for some older people (Shils 107-109).
Proteins is an essential food for most athletes since they have the notion that excess proteins will increase their muscle mass. Conversely, this mindset is wrong. Muscle strength and mass can only increase due to frequent physical exercise. Excess proteins in the body can be converted and stored as fat in the body. Protein consumption plays a crucial duty in the post meal practices where it increases glycogen compaction and facilitate muscle repair and restoration. Furthermore, athletes tend to devour more proteins since they consume many calories (Shils 100-110).
Protein consumption has health implications depending on whether it is deficient or in excess. Higher consumption of proteins leads to excretion of excess urea due to increased amino acid oxidation. A high level of protein consumption inflates the activity of branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase. As a result, oxidation is enhanced, and the amino group of the amino acid is excreted in the liver. The extra workload on these organs can at times lead to kidney complications. Researchers have also found out that over consumption of proteins lead to excretion of excess calcium in the urine to maintain normal body pH. Calcium is required for bone formation hence this situation can lead to osteoporosis. Excess intake of proteins can also lead to kidney stones (Widmaier et al, 128-131).
Protein deficiency and malnutrition can steer a variety of ailments such as mental retardation and kwashiorkor. The symptoms of kwashiorkor entail inactivity, apathy, diarrhea, stunted growth, fatty liver, scaly skin, and swelling of the stomach and legs. Swelling is caused by the activity of arachidonic acid or lipoxygenase to form leukotrienes and the customary functioning of proteins in fluid equilibrium and transport of lipoprotein. PEM is passably frequent in both adults and children and is accountable for approximately six million deaths yearly (Widmaier et al, 130-133).
Shils, Maurice E. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.100-110. Print.
The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, D.C.: National Academy, 1999. 50-60. Print.
Widmaier, Eric P., and Hershel Raff. Vander's Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function. 11th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008. 120-130.Print.