Protein: The Primary Building Block for Muscular Health

As promised, this article will explore the importance of protein as the primary building block for healthy muscular maintenance and development.  For optimal wellness, strength and alignment, a strong muscular-skeletal system is a necessity.  Exercise and regular chiropractic adjustments are important components of this system maintenance, but diet is critical, as well.  Protein is the single most important dietary element in maintaining and building muscles.

What Is Protein?

Proteins are composed of chains of amino acids.  These compounds come together to create structural body tissues, particularly muscles.  Broken down into the smallest parts, protein consists of the following:  

  • carbon

  • hydrogen

  • nitrogen

  • oxygen

  • sulfur

Protein in Your Body

The body requires different macronutrients to function and live: protein, carbohydrates and fat.  These macronutrients provide the fuel a body needs for operation.  The bulk of a person’s daily caloric intake, approximately 65%, comes from carbohydrates.  Fat makes up less than 10% of a person’s diet.  Protein intake should be approximately 15% of an average diet. However, other factors impact the amount of protein necessary for optimal performance.  People hoping to build muscle mass through workout regimes require more protein.  Further, as the body ages, more protein is required to maintain muscle mass.  

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Research shows an average individual requires a minimum of .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.  However, studies indicate these minimum requirements can fall short given a variety of factors.  Exercise and weight training require higher amounts of protein for greater synthesis and athletic performance.  High intensity exercise can require up to 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Further, recent scientific studies show older populations require between 1.0 and 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to maintain muscle mass.  


What Are the Best Sources of Dietary Protein?

Protein comes from the food you eat.  There are many animal sources of protein, but there are other sources, as well.  The following are high in protein and lower in fat:

  • lean meat

  • poultry

  • seafood

  • soy

  • eggs

  • beans

  • peas

  • seeds and nuts


Closing Thoughts from Dr. Tali

Our clients at Radiant Health are looking for optimal health and wellness.  While we seek to treat pain and illness, we also strive to build healthy practices for our patients.  This series on protein will continue next week.  We will discuss how protein works with metabolism and how it builds critical amino acids for optimal skeletal-muscular functioning.  Let us work with you to develop a healthy diet and exercise routine to support your chiropractic wellness.  Call today for a free consultation.

In wellness,  

Dr. Tali