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Protein is one of the fundamental nutritional elements that are necessary to sustain life, and has special functions in the role of muscle growth and muscle cell production. If you are involved in any type of physical exercise, muscle-building is important. If you are new to working out or just looking for a way to boost your muscle mass through normal exercise, you may not be aware of the benefits of protein.
Below are a few of the reasons why you should be using protein to help in building stronger muscles.
Your Muscles are Mostly Composed of Protein
The cells of your muscles are made up of two-thirds water and the next plentiful component is protein. 20% of your muscle composition is protein. Because of this, you will need to have a supply of protein in your body to continue to develop and build your muscles. Without protein, you will have a difficult time sustaining the cells that already make up your muscles and you will not be able to sustain your muscle growth.
Protein Helps Rebuild Muscle Cells
During a workout, the process of lifting weights and performing other exercises actually causes your muscles in your body to begin to break down. The muscle cells begin to tear and become damaged. This activity causes your body to move into action and repair those cells. During the process of repairing and rebuilding those cells, your body will need protein so those muscles can be rebuilt slightly better and stronger than before.
Protein Can Help You Burn Fat
In addition to building muscle mass, many people workout in an attempt to burn off excess fat. Removing excess fat can help to improve your physique and appearance, even if you are not building significant muscle growth at the same time. As I’ve mentioned above, protein helps to build muscle and will effectively increase the speed at which your metabolism functions. Increased metabolism will allow you to burn more calories and more fat while at rest, if you have more muscle mass in your body.
Protein Can Help Suppress Your Appetite
One additional benefit of adding protein to your diet, for the purpose of muscle-building, will slightly suppress your appetite and you will be less inclined to consume excess calories. Losing the weight of excess fat and calorie reserves as a result of increasing your workout and suppressing your appetite is a good way to enhance your workout program.
Protein is the key nutritional element of most meats, as well as nuts and soy products. Below you will find a list of great foods that contain muscle-building proteins:
- Egg Whites — contain very few carbohydrates and are a source of vitamins and minerals
- Chicken / Turkey — excellent source of high quality protein and are extremely low in saturated and trans fats
- Fish — contains essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to help support the muscle-building process
- Beans and Legumes — highly nutritious source of protein and fiber
- Lean Red Meat — although it contains higher levels of saturated fats, it is an excellent mass building food source rich in protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins
- Water — serves as a medium in nutrient transport to your muscle cells