So, everybody knows that you need protein don’t they? From the religious bench presser to that particularly wonderful dead-lifter, building muscle requires protein.
Literally every function in each cell and organ in your body is controlled by proteins. So when it comes to working out and building stronger muscles it’s obvious we are going to require an uplift in our protein consumption.
There are three types of muscle:
Cardiac and smooth muscle are responsible for unconscious or involuntary contractions. Skeletal or ‘striated’ muscle contracts on demand. A muscle’s job is to provide force, motion and stability. When you are lifting a proportionally heavy weight, you are going to stress your muscle fibres. If you are training properly you will stress your muscle to the point that tiny micro-tears appear throughout the muscle. Now, your body recognises tears and sends proteins to repair them. The torn fibres are replaced with stronger, tougher and larger versions. This is called adaptation, a process that is designed to prevent your body tearing at the same level of stress previously.
So why can’t you just continue with a normal, balanced diet and watch those muscles grow and the fat burn off?
Well, that’s like expecting your car to drive the same distance faster and not needing more fuel than if you were driving sedately. Not only is your fuel intake increased, the type of fuel becomes more important than ever, especially if you want to keep driving fast in that top of the range sports car! If you’re eating predominantly carbs, your body won’t be able to complete the recovery process. This is without the protein required for the ‘day to day’ upkeep.
Did you know, that 30g of Whey Concentrate contains the same amount of protein (25g) as 100g of steak, chicken or fish?
On average, you grow half an inch of new hair each month. In fact as scary as it may seem we lose 50-80 hairs on a daily basis. New strands of hair have a life cycle that can range from 2-7 years. In a similar fashion to your muscles, your body will repair and create new hair using protein. This protein helps produce keratin, a protein itself and the substance which helps to protect the hair you have.
As your skin covers the whole of your body, you know how important it is to help keep it in top condition. Poor diet, lack of quality sleep and lack of exercise can lead to tired looking skin such as dark circles or dry patches. Good hydration is vital to maintaining clear skin. Again with all cells throughout the body, protein is crucial in the upkeep and regeneration of skin tissue. Skin renews itself every four weeks, with cells moving from the bottom of the epidermis to the top in about two weeks, then ‘sloughing off’ during a further week. These cells are replaced by ‘young’ cells, created using our good friends proteins.
As you may know, well we’re going to assume you do, nails are the very strong covering on the tips of your fingers and toes. Made from keratin, nails consist of the ‘nail plate’, the ‘nail matrix’ and the ‘nail bed’ below it, and the grooves surrounding it. For us humans, nail growth averages around 3mm per month. Your index finger nail grows faster than your little finger, and your finger nails grow up to four times faster than your toenails. Protein is the building material for new nail growth, with low protein consumption leading to anaemia. This can be reflected in lighter nail beds and lighter shades of pink in the nail and white nail beds. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to darker, dried out nails and insufficient consumption of vitamin A and B can lead to fragile nails with horizontal and vertical ridges. Supplementing with Vitamin B complex and Multivitamins will help these issues.