Most people refer fats and carbohydrates as the only major sources of energy required by the body but this is not the case as proteins that contain amino acids are essential elements in the body of a sportsperson. Proteins are responsible for the repair of body cells and are very vital in sports nutrition.
What are Protein?
To answer this question it is important to note that proteins are among the major macronutrients required by the body for muscle building. These proteins are majorly found mostly in animal production and also plants crops legumes such as beans and nuts. Proteins, as stated earlier, is composed of amino acids which are organic compounds made up of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.
Types of Protein
Proteins are of two types namely:
Complete proteins; for example fish, meat, poultry soya and dairy products which are a special type of proteins that contain all the amino acids that the body needs.
Incomplete proteins; which includes mostly plant proteins such as beans, grains, vegetables, and nuts. This category of proteins are the foods that lack or have very little quantities of one or more essential amino acids required by the body.
Benefits of Protein
Enhances improved muscular health i.e. they are the ones responsible for contraction and coordination of the muscle.
- Strengthens the immune system; through the antibodies which are special proteins, the body can detect the presence of foreign agents.
- Improved body nervous system; the receptor proteins are responsible for the transmission of the various nerve signals in the body cells and also the regulation of the central nervous system.
- Fluid balancing and regulation in the body.
- Proteins enhance the availability of energy in the body; the stored proteins in the body tissues are converted to energy especially during the weight –loss or starvation programs.
- Increased hair care as the proteins is responsible for maintaining and protecting the hair from damage.
- Enhance balanced hormones for better performance of chemical processes in the body; proteins hormones such as growth hormones, insulin, and glucagon contain amino acids.
- Proteins ensure enhanced skincare by providing mechanical support to the various body tissues which suffer from wear and tear. An example of such protein is collagen.
- Regeneration of cells and tissues where the body uses the amino acids in the formation of proteins that are used to manufacture the needed new cells and tissues.
- Proteins enhance improvement of the bone health; the collagen helps in strengthening the body cells that prevent the various body joints from injury especially due to heavy exercises.
Importance of Protein for Sports Nutrition
Proteins are of great help in sports either for athletes or various body exercises due to the importance outlined as follows:
- The amino acids which are the proteins are broken down in the body hence avail the necessary needed energy that the body requires to function well and effectively carry out the exercise thus plays a very great role in sports nutrition.
- The body activities are performed accordingly as it requires the amino acids for various functions as it requires other hormonal signals.
- In sports nutrition, proteins are very vital in the provision of energy for muscle reconstruction.
- Proteins are responsible for the maintenance of body PH of the blood and various body fluids as a result of vigorous exercises.
- A sportsperson needs great nutrients supply and it is the function of proteins for transporting the various needed body nutrients.
- Whatsoever there is nothing on earth that has advantages without disadvantages? Proteins just like other foods have their shortcomings if consumed little or more:
- High intake of certain proteins such as red meat and other animal proteins enhances the growth of kidney stones thus leads to the health risk of a sports person.
- Proteins diets, when taken in large amounts usually also result in various health risks such as heart diseases and colon cancers thus, inhibits the performance of the body of a sports person.
- There is always the danger of overweight as a result of a high intake of protein diets since the excess proteins are usually converted into fats in the body thus unhealthy in sports nutrition.
- Due to the low fiber content in most proteins diets, there is always the risk of digestive problems thus making a person uncomfortable to perform effectively.
Proteins are a major type of macronutrient required in the body among others such as carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats and need to be eaten proportionately.
There are two types of proteins namely the complete proteins mostly animal proteins as well as the incomplete proteins i.e. plants proteins.
Proteins are of great importance in sports nutrition just to mention a few such as; strengthening muscular health as well as the provision of energy to the body.
The stated benefits proteins if not proportionately consumed results in various health risks such as for overweight as well as enhancing the development of kidney stones thus hindering great body performance.
In conclusion, it is vital to consume a well-balanced diet with sufficient protein intake since it’s of great importance in sports nutrition.
Stay healthy and fit!