Do you really need protein? - Direct Nutrition

Do you really need protein?

Posted on December 09, 2015 by Ross McManus | 0 comments

Do you really need protein?

It is a common misconception that protein supplements are exclusively for body builders, yet this is far from the truth.  Indeed, Body Builders and Athletes do have an increased requirement for protein, due to increased energy expenditure, protein utilisation and to help repair torn muscle fibres. However, protein demands are also increased during growth, pregnancy, illness and any physical activity that places demands on the body. Increasingly, protein is also seen as important for weight management.

According to the Institute of medicine you should get between 10-35% of your daily calories from protein. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the average individual. For athletes/Body builders protein intake can vary from 1.2 - 1.8g/kg of body weight, depending on duration and intensity of physical activity.

Protein is made up of amino acid sequences.  For digestion, proteins need to be broken down into individual amino acids or chains of 2 or 3 amino acids, which are called di and tri peptides respectively. Muscle mass is mostly made up of protein (around one fifth of body weight consists of protein) so it is an important nutrient for growth, muscle maintenance and recovery. Protein has many uses and is also required for:- 

  • Bone Health - Protein combines with calcium to provide structural support to bones.
  • Muscle and Size – Protein can contribute to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.

    Other reported uses include:

  • Skin Hair and Nails – A protein called Keratin is responsible for flexibility, strength and water resistant properties of all three.
  • Hormone Function - Proteins that act as enzymes and hormones, which are involved in propelling of chemical reactions in the body.
  • Immune Function- Protein makes up disease fighting substances such as anti-bodies and white blood cells; these protect the body from invading bacteria responsible for causing illness.
  • Neurological function – Proteins are used to make neurotransmitters contributing to the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Energy – The primary energy source for the body is carbohydrate however, protein and fat can also be used where carbohydrate stores are lacking. Protein can also be useful in weight loss, as studies have observed greater weight loss when carbohydrate intake is reduced and protein intake increased.

 For the reasons above protein could be useful for:

  • Those with a physically demanding job.
  • Individuals training.
  • Have a physically active lifestyle e.g. walk, run, cycle or swim often.
  • Elderly population –
    • Demands are increased as you get older as absorption of nutrients decreases.
    • As we age we lose 1% of muscle mass per annum.
  • Recovering from injuries.

When protein intake is not sufficient in the diet, supplements can act as useful options. One of the reasons for the increasing popularity of protein supplements is down to protein powders acting as a quick, easy and convenient means to ensure your daily requirements are covered. Whereas in the past getting the same amount of protein would mean consuming large quantities of foods such as milk, eggs or chicken!

How is Elite Protein Beneficial?  

Elite Protein combines digestive enzymes and additional vitamins and minerals and contains the following blends to provide a quality protein supplement.

  • Protein synthesis blend- Contains Vitamin B12 which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue as well as normal function of the immune system. It addition,magnesium can contribute to normal muscle function and protein synthesis.
  • Peptide bound glutamine blend – L-Glutamine has anecdotally been known to buffer lactic acid build up, prevent muscle breakdown, build and maintain muscle mass, has a role in immune support and is thought to feed stomach cells increasing blood flow to the stomach.
  • Digestive blend – The digestive blend contains Bromelain, Papain, and lactase. These enzymes help break down proteins and the milk sugar lactose, enhancing digestion and absorption.
  • Immune system and energy blend – Contains Vitamin B6, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, Zinc and Potassium providing energy and helping maintain the immune system when the body is placed under extra physical stress.


From the above it’s safe to say protein is an essential nutrient needed in our diets. The amounts vary depending on your goal or requirements yet supplementing with protein can be beneficial.

Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements.    


Related products:

Elite Protein

Lean Whey+ Meal Replacement

Egg and Casein


Post Workout



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