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What Are The Main Functions Of Proteins?

Proteins are nutrients in a wide range of foods, formed by the union of two or more amino acids. There can be hundreds of combinations for a protein structure, so that each protein source can have specific metabolic implications.

Purpose Of Proteins

In general, we can say that the purpose of proteins is:

– Structure: Proteins comprise muscle fibers, hair, bones, skin, and teeth. They are the ones that appear in more significant numbers in our organism. Some examples:

Keratin is the best-known structural protein; it is present in the tissues that cover animals. The hair, skin and nails in humans and the leather, wool, claws, hooves, horns, scales, beaks and feathers of many animals.

Actin and Myosin are already known to the person who practices physical activity. They are present in muscle fiber. Collagen is a protein that forms tendons, ligaments and nerves.

– Catalytic enzymes: “Every enzyme is a protein, but not every protein is an enzyme”. This is a trick taught in biochemistry classes; enzymes are proteins capable of accelerating the body’s metabolic processes and reactions. Enzymes are synthesized through genetic predisposition; without them, the responses would not happen promptly.

The participation of enzymes in biochemical reactions occurs between substrate-enzymes; this relationship is associated with the key-key model, where for each “key” (enzyme), a single “key” (substrate) would be able to bind. Existing enzymes are subdivided into the following groups: Oxidoreductases, Transferases, Hydrolases, Lyases, Isomerases and Ligases.

– Metabolism regulators (hormones): Some types of hormones are proteins and can regulate metabolism; we can cite insulin as an example that governs the process of nutrient absorption and transport. Mixed.

– Immune system/anti carp production. Gamma Globulins are a class of proteins present in the highest concentration in blood plasma. They are complex structures produced by vertebrate animals to defend the body by fighting antigens. They are participating elements of humoral immunity. Thus, they support the body’s humoral immunity.

We can see proteins present throughout our body, from head to toe. Starting with the hair, which is made up of proteins, the fibers of the muscle tissues of the face, the salivary amylase enzyme present in the mouth, the hormone insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, blood hemoglobin, which is a protein, the toenails are proteins…

Protein Before Or After Training?

The question is, should I consume protein before or after workouts?

The answer is, should I consume protein before and after workouts?

Weight training is a powerful stimulus to muscle tissue hypertrophy; such an effect is achieved through the factors “training” added to “proper nutrition”. Strength training can directly influence energy metabolism, endocrine metabolism, and the central nervous system, among other effects on our body. The individual engaged in strength training has particular nutritional demands; in this case, we can mention that the need for proteins increases compared to sedentary individuals.

In recent years, much research has been carried out on this nutrient to improve the body’s response. Research on proteins shows that the benefits of this nutrient to the body are due to the regulation of metabolism, transport of nutrients, formation of enzymes, immune system, and participation as membrane receptors, in addition to other metabolic implications.

Several researchers defend the use of proteins as a supplement both before and after training; such supplementation is justified by the increase in athletic performance, supply of energy by amino acids, improvement of the metabolic process, and increase in the concentration of essential amino acids. This factor results in increased muscle mass and improves post-training strength recovery.

To understand how it works, proteins are made up of subunits called amino acids; the cells in our body receive amino acids from the blood; the genetic factor determines whether there will be protein synthesis according to cell needs; an example is muscle cells that will synthesize new muscle cells through the supply of amino acids that occurs through the blood from the diet.

As we have already mentioned, the exercises produce alterations in all metabolism; the activities’ intensity, duration and resistance determine such alterations. During strength exercise, muscle proteins are broken, which increases the concentration of amino acids, particularly those of branched-chain; leucine is oxidized in large quantities during exhausting exercises; for this reason, proteins constitute a crucial energetic substrate and must be available during the training.

The post-exercise period is marked by the synthesis of new proteins when nutrients are available for such an effect; in this case, proteins exert power over anabolism due to the supply of amino acids, primarily essential ones. The time between the end of the exercise and protein intake is considered the most critical factor for muscle anabolism.


Protein supplements are used by bodybuilders due to their fast digestion and supplementation when appropriately practiced. This is because the intake of low biological value protein sources will bring a different benefit than high biological value protein sources and branched-chain amino acids; how much and which proteins are consumed at the end of training influences the anabolic response.


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