Protein amino acid profiles

Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in your body. They’re needed for vital processes like the building of proteins and synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters. Some may also be taken in supplement form for a natural way to boost athletic performance or improve mood.

They’re categorized as essential, conditionally essential or nonessential depending on several factors. Amino acids are organic compounds composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, along with a variable side chain group.

Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are classified as essential. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Essential amino acids can’t be made by your body and must be obtained through your diet.

When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids, which are then used to help your body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function .

There are several nonessential amino acids that are classified as conditionally essential.

An amino acid that can be made by humans and so is not essential to the human diet. There are 11 nonessential amino acids: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

These are considered to be essential only under specific circumstances such as illness or stress.

For example, although arginine is considered nonessential, your body can’t meet demands when fighting certain diseases like cancer.

That’s why arginine must be supplemented through diet in order to meet your body’s needs in certain situations.

The nine essential amino acids perform a number of important and varied jobs in your body.

Though amino acids are most recognized for their role in muscle development and repair, the body depends on them for so much more. That’s why essential amino acid deficiencies can negatively impact your entire body including your nervous, reproductive, immune and digestive systems.

Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are referred to as complete proteins.

Complete protein sources include:

Meat

Seafood

Poultry

Eggs

Dairy Products

Soy, quinoa and buckwheat are plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making them complete protein sources as well .

Other plant-based sources of protein like beans and nuts are considered incomplete, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids.

However, if you’re following a plant-based diet, you can still ensure proper intake of all essential amino acids as long as you eat a variety of plant proteins each day.

For example, choosing a variety of incomplete proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables can ensure that your essential amino acid needs are met, even if you choose to exclude animal products from your diet.

Obsession with protein

In this rat race of fitness we are consumed by many protein supplement industry and are subconsciously forced to buy them. Not that they don’t work, supplement are great way to fill out missing macros but cannot be a replacement for actual meals.

Protein is found in every cell of out body and are necessary for the well being of our body

Protein contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. They are distinguished from carbohydrates and fats by the presence of nitrogen. Protein molecules which are made up of 100’s of amino acids are much larger than carbohydrates or lipids (fats) molecules.

Functions of proteins

  1. Basic body composition(forms muscle)
  2. Growth and repair of our body
  3. Muscle contraction
  4. Control body function through hormones
  5. Immunity
  6. Transport oxygen and nutrients
  7. Regulating metabolism
  8. Energy

However we don’t need as much protein as we think. Protein deficiencies are very rare.

HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?

Every person needs different amount of protein depending upon his health, genetics and physical work load.

As a rough guide:-

  • 0.75 grams/kg of body weight for adult women
  • 0.84 grams/kg of body weight for adult men
  • 1 grams/kg of body weight for pregnant women and men/women over age of 70

This is the recommended daily intake to meet you basic requirement, the amount you need to prevent you from getting sick.

Physically active people will need a bit more of protein than above cases due to wear and tear of muscles and other body component

  • Sports athletes need around (1.4-1.7 grams/kg of body weight)
  • Endurance athletes need around (1.6 grams/kg of body weight)

Elderly people, people recovering from injury and surgery need more protein.

RDA’s recommend taking 15-25% protein of your daily caloric intake. Going to a most of 35-40% protein of you daily caloric intake may be safe. Above that is unknown and may be harmful.

THE POTENTIAL RISKS

  • If you are consuming too much protein and have a low intake of carbohydrates, your body will start break down muscles to make glucose
  • High protein diet (like keto diet) usually lack fibre. Which may cause constipation, bowel disorders and increased risk of colon cancer
  • High protein intake from (predominantly animal products) with high cholesterol and saturated fats may be associated with chronic conditions including heart and type 2 diabetes
  • The liver and kidneys are put under strain because they have to detoxify and eliminate high quantities of protein by products
  • Greater loss of calcium may increase risk of osteoporosis as consumption of high animal protein products cause people to excrete more calcium from their kidneys

It is advised not to worry too much about your protein intake by spending large amount of money on supplements (protein powders)

Eating a wide range of whole foods will do the trick

Even if you are on a VEGAN or VEGETARIAN diet, if you get enough calories from your wide range of whole foods. You’ll get more than enough of good quality protein and will beneficial for you sports and physical goals.