Protein is one of the 3 main macronutrients we consume through our nutrition. And in case you were wondering, the others include carbohydrates and fat. Protein helps our bodies build muscle tissue, repair cells, help transport substances through our body, act as enzymes, and act as hormones.
The most important and relevant aspect of protein with respect to physical therapy and exercise is their muscle-building and tissue-building capacity and function. When you’re injured, you have incurred a certain level of tissue damage/insult, and when you exercise, your tissue (especially muscle tissue) undergoes micro-tearing. This micro-tearing causes the body to respond by repairing that area and making it bigger and stronger.
Protein consumption helps to rebuild your muscles and other tissue. This improves your recovery after exercise, helps rebuild tissue after an injury, and builds muscle to improve strength.
When it comes to consuming protein there are several things to keep in mind. Many of which will be based on your own personal preferences. But the one thing that we always recommend to our clients is to eat lean sources of protein. Ideally, ones that contain all essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 different amino acids; 4 are non-essential (since your body can make them on its own), 9 are essential (your body cannot make them on its own so you must consume them through your diet), and 8 are conditionally essential.
How much protein you need to consume will largely depend on your fitness goals. Here we examine the daily recommended values of protein for some of the more common fitness activities.
For body composition:
The importance of protein in our diet cannot be understated. It’s an integral piece for anyone looking to gain muscle mass, recover from an injury, or maintain a healthy weight. Following these tips can help you get more protein, maintain a healthy diet, and stay healthy!