A diversified diet usually covers all the essential needs of the body. Therefore, why take proteins if you’re not a professional athlete? Because any person doing sports makes their body work with a particular intensity, and this body needs appropriate maintenance for long-term, optimal overall health.
Proteins for sport
Grow: Repeated strength gestures, flexions, movements and pressures help build muscle cells, thus increasing overall muscle mass. This is true, but only provided that these cells are allowed to feed and build. This expansive phenomenon, anabolism, is facilitated by protein absorption.
Repair: Gestures and efforts made during sport are also the cause of lesions, tears, and loss of muscle cells. Protein absorption, in the form of peptides or amino acids, allows the body to repair damaged cells by drawing and building according to immediate biochemical needs. Indeed, two specific muscle molecules, actin and myosin, undergo contractions and slides which cause damages to muscle cells. These damages are worsened by the lactic acid produced by the muscle cells which are heavily solicited. This acid eats through the muscle cell walls, which can feel like a burn.
These interdependent phenomena, enhanced by exercise, are countered by protein intake.
Proteins for health
Maintain: Proteins are not only important for muscles. All of our body tissues benefit from them. Even more so, they play a major role in enzymatic processes (our digestion), but also in hormone production, the neural system, the immune system, oxygen transport, and to some extent, in energy production.
Build: Proteins are combinations of the twenty existing amino acids. Among them, eight are considered essential, that is, our body cannot make them itself. These eight amino acids must thus be brought in via nutrition. Among these eight, three are invaluable for athletes of all levels: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are precisely found in BCAA preparations. Leucine is the most anabolising amino acid, meaning it actively contributes to muscle building; but it’s also the one which oxidises fastest with effort intensity.
Growing, repairing, maintain and building are the main roles of proteins in the body. A BCAA intake during effort, and a protein intake after it, can prove to be two easy, efficient reflexes to maintain good shape.
To know more, read our article on the different types of proteins.