Monday, March 16, 2009

Protein is vital to the body and requires about one gram per day per kilogram of your body weight. “Your body synthesizes the protein molecules it needs by polymerizing amino acids from a pool of them that originally was part of the protein in your food” (Baird). Your body decomposes dietary proteins into amino acids, using digestive enzymes, which is the essential protein required by the body. Sources of protein in the human diet vary from culture to culture. Fish is a common source of protein that is easily digestible since it contains little connective tissue that is difficult for the body to break down. Meat is also a common source of protein, but sometimes it needs to be “tenderized” before it becomes pleasurable to consume. There are only 10 out of the 20 amino acids required to make proteins that are essential to have in your diet, which are called the essential amino acids. The other 10 are nonessential, meaning that they are not essential in your diet.

Unfamiliar Terms:
1) Synthesize: to combine into a single or unified entity
2) Polymerize: The bonding of two or more monomers to form a polymer
3) Tenderize: breaking down proteins into smaller, more tender, and more flavorful components using natural materials that contain enzymes
4) Essential amino acid: an amino acid that is required for human life and well-being but cannot be synthesized by the body from other compounds

This information is very useful to me and anyone else who is interested in lifting weights and building their bodies. Protein is essential in building muscle and the overall health of the body, but a lot of people these days don’t eat the right foods that contain it. Powered proteins and protein pills are sold in stores, but there’s no need to buy them if you eat correctly. Many athletes choose to buy protein supplements, but good eating habits will provide you with enough protein. Also, too many people rely on the protein supplements, because they think that as long as they are taking them then they are getting the protein they need, which is not true. If you are relying on protein supplements, then you are just wasting your money. I believe it is very important to understand this, because too many people are influenced by the media and feel that they have to buy a lot of supplements to maintain their health.

Baird, Colin. Chemistry in Your Life. 2nd ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2006. 349-50.

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