What Are the Functions of Protein? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What Are the Functions of Protein?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Your body needs protein to stay healthy, rebuild tissue, manufacture hormones, and function naturally.
  • Every healthy diet incorporates a balance of healthy proteins.
  • Determining how much protein you need in your diet depends on your body type and lifestyle.
Protein is what the human body uses to repair or rebuild tissue. In addition, protein can help manufacture hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that are part of the body.

Protein also helps the blood, muscles, cartilage, bones, and skin do their job in maintaining a healthy body.

The body needs extremely large amounts of protein each day, and unlike other minerals, the body has no way of storing protein to draw upon when there is a shortage. Therefore, it is important to make sure your body is consuming enough protein to function properly.

However, this does not mean that you should consume endless amounts of protein.

There is an amount of protein that is too much for anyone to consume, and although that amount differs between people, you need to always be aware of your protein intake.

Remember, exercise is also an important component of your overall health. If you are looking for an exercise routine, look no further. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

How Do I Know How Much Is Enough Protein?

Protein is actually quite easy to consume, as many foods contain enough protein to meet the recommended daily amounts.

The majority of women can get enough protein by consuming a total of five ounces per day of protein. More active women, including teenage girls, should consume up to six total ounces per day.

Men and teenage boys can get their daily recommended amounts of protein through anywhere from three to seven ounces per day. Children from ages two to six should not have more than five ounces per day.

Is Too Much Protein a Bad Thing?

Too much protein can be detrimental to the body. There is a large marketing effort taking place that emphasizes the importance of taking protein in order to build muscle.

The truth is that the only way to build muscle is by exercising. Taking too much protein can have a negative effect on your physical fitness.

If you take too much protein and cut out carbohydrates from your body, you are forcing your body to burn its own fat in order to create energy. This is dangerous and can lead to a severely suppressed appetite and an extreme water weight loss.

In addition, too much protein can cause you to release calcium through urine, and can eventually lead to a calcium deficiency. A substantial loss of calcium can have an end result of osteoporosis down the road.

If you are trying to maintain a protein-rich, low carbohydrate diet, you are most likely cutting out green vegetables and fruit. These are foods that contain an excellent amount of minerals and vitamins.

If you are looking for consistent protein sources, you may look to consume large amounts of red meats and other animal foods. This can lead to major problems like stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

Finally, too much protein can lead to consuming too much salt and not enough potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals are found in many fruits and vegetables.

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Can High Protein Consumption Be a Good Short-Term Idea?

A high protein diet is safe and can be extremely effective over a six month period. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • High protein diets can help the body burn fat and help you feel full even after eating a small meal
  • High protein diets over a six month period can diminish the number of calories the body feels it needs
  • A high protein diet can lead to weight loss

To keep the weight off, however, it’s best to have a good workout plan!

While protein is able to be consumed and converted into glucose by the human body, it takes double the effort for the carbs to be turned into glucose.

The reason the high protein diet only works well for six months is that the body slowly adjusts to the new diet and it no longer has the same effect.

What Are the Best Sources of Protein?

Since the type of protein you are consuming can play just as important a role as the amount of protein you ingest, make sure you are eating the correct and most beneficial types. This can help you continue to lose weight while staying healthy.

Protein supplements can be beneficial but do your research. These products are not regulated by the FDA.

It is not recommended to consume processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, and the like. These foods can lead to colorectal cancer and diabetes. These are simply not good proteins to consume.

The best types of proteins to consume are fish, chicken (preferably without the skin), grains, beans, and certain types of nuts. In fact, eating just one ounce of almonds can provide up to six total grams of protein. This is the same amount as one ounce of steak!

The bottom line is to be smart when consuming protein and make sure you are not overdoing the amount your body gets. Certain proteins are beneficial, and certain ones are not.

It is best to speak to a healthcare professional to determine the best mix of protein for you. And for total body health, combine your protein intake with an exercise routine and see great results. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

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