Protein and Your Health. Hutton Health

Protein and Your Health

14th June 2022

(This post may contain referral links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What is protein?

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Your body’s cells contain and rely on protein to perform effectively. Your body depends on protein to function properly.

what is protein?

How does our body use protein?


Protein is 1 of the 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein). Your body requires these nutrients to function properly. The body does not keep a store of protein, so it needs to be constantly replenished.

Protein has a role in nearly every bodily function and process.

Fats and carbohydrates are considered energy macronutrients, whereas protein serves as a structural and functional macronutrient, forming bodily structures and performing many important functions.

how does protein help with our fitness journey? Protein helps us recover after exercise or injury, reduces muscle loss, builds muscle mass, helps us maintain a healthy weight, and helps to reduce our hunger as part of a healthy diet

Protein is used in the body in the following ways:


Bodily Tissues

The physical structure of muscles and bones is composed of proteins. Proteins are also found in the skin, tendons, ligaments, and joints. A variety of proteins work together to provide elasticity so tissues can bend but not break, and also enable movement.


Digestion and Metabolism

The majority of enzymes are made up of proteins. The body contains enzymes in its saliva, stomach and intestinal fluids, blood, and in its cells. These are essential for effectively digesting the food that we eat. Another function of proteins is to transport nutrients throughout the body.

Adding more protein increases your metabolism so your body can more easily burn all calories.


Immune System

Proteins make up the framework of your cells, including the cells of your immune system, therefore, getting enough protein in your diet can help prevent illness and infection. Proteins are used by white blood cells to fight infections and disease. In response to sickness or disease, the white blood cell manufactures antibodies, which are proteins.

A diet low in protein leaves you open to tiredness, weakness and a low immune response, all the more reason to get the essential proteins from the food that you eat.



Hormones play a critical role in the regulation of physiological processes. These responses contribute to human reproduction, growth and development of body tissues, metabolism, fluid, and electrolyte balance, sleep, and many other body functions.

There are a number of hormones derived from protein, some of these include:

· Growth hormone – responsible for stimulating growth, cell reproduction and cell reproduction – key for human development!

· Insulin - regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood into the liver, fat and skeletal cells. It is essential in regulating our blood sugar levels.

· Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – this is a key hormone in stimulating our metabolism.

· Amylin – this helps to keep you feeling full and stops spikes in your blood sugar levels.

· Leptin – another key hormone that helps you feel full and regulates your energy balance by inhibiting hunger.

Download Hutton Health's free meal planner

How much protein do you need?


To function properly, the body needs adequate protein in the diet. Generally, individuals need between 0.8 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day.

Inactive individuals need less protein than active individuals. As well, those who exercise with a greater duration or intensity will require more protein than exercising with a lesser duration or intensity, and strength training also requires more protein than cardiovascular training.

Spreading protein consumption evenly throughout the day (as part of a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner) is the most effective.

As reported in their 2018 review on how protein should be distributed throughout the day, every meal should contain at least 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and at least four meals should be consumed throughout the day (Schoenfeld & Aragon, 2018).

Planning and preparation can be the key in creating healthy eating habits. Download Hutton Health's free Meal Planner to help you prepare for a successful week of mindful eating!

Find out more about Mindful eating and why it is important here!

Protein and Weight Loss

Protein, an important nutrient and fuel for the body, also aids in weight loss. Consuming protein will keep you full for a longer period of time.

Hormones that cause hunger are lowered by protein, while hormones that signal fullness are boosted.

Protein is essential to our bodies and can be a tremendous aid on your quest to lose weight.

Eating plenty of protein while dieting (or any time) will help keep your body from burning muscle tissue instead of fat. Also, it helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue.

If eaten properly, protein can be a great ally.

Do you struggle to eat enough protein? A good protein powder can be added to smoothies or oats for a breakfast that helps set you off with a focus on protein for your day.

Studies have shown that people eating a diet high in protein typically burn more fat than those eating a low-protein diet. One reason this occurs is because of the thermic effect.

The thermic effect is the energy our body uses to consume and process food. Calories are burned during the process of eating and digesting food.

Since protein requires more energy to digest, more calories are burned in the process and less fat is stored in the body.

On the other hand, carbohydrates and dietary fat are much easier to digest, but they are quickly turned to body fat and fewer calories are burned.


protein and weight loss? Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss. A high protein intake boosts metabolism, reduces appetite and changes several weight-regulating hormones.

You may also be interested in: