Protein is made of amino acids, which form the basic building blocks of muscle tissue. This makes protein very important to athletes and others who are physically active, either professionally or recreationally.
Protein is also vital to people at certain stages of life. For example, protein is very important during adolescence, when young bodies are growing quickly. It can also be critically important to older adults. Muscle tissue can diminish as we get older, and adequate protein intake can help keep us strong.
Protein is important to anyone who wishes to lose weight, for a couple of reasons:
First, because our bodies break down protein slowly, it provides us with a steady, long-lasting supply of energy so that we are less likely to consume snacks that can cause weight gain.
Second, this slow rate of breakdown tends to prevent blood-sugar highs and lows-generally associated with high carbohydrate consumption-which trigger the insulin reaction and cause excess blood sugar to be converted to fat.
Third, increasing muscle tissue elevates the body's metabolic rate. An increased metabolic rate burns more calories even when we are at rest. It also provides us with more energy to be active, which furthers goals of fitness and weight control.
Whey protein can be a good source of protein; however, the protein content in ordinary whey protein can vary from 29 to 89 percent protein. Whey protein isolate is a purer and more concentrated form of whey protein, typically containing 90 percent or more protein and little fat or lactose.