Adequate protein supply must always be ensured
Proteins usually make up more than half the dry weight of a cell. They are, as it were, “molecular special tools” that, depending on their structural structure, perform very special tasks. In addition to all the vital functions in the organism, protein also provides muscle building and fat loss at the same time. Even the antibodies in our immune system are made up of proteins.
The basic building blocks are 21 proteinogenic ("protein-producing") amino acids, from which proteins are built. Eight essential amino acids are particularly important for the human organism and have to be constantly supplied to the body from the outside because we cannot synthesize them ourselves. These amino acids are called:
How big is our protein requirement?
The scientific literature shows a value of 0.34 grams per day and kilogram of body weight. The German Society for Nutrition recommends the significantly higher value of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for adults who do rather light physical work.
In fact, our protein needs are not so easy to shear together, because the athlete or tree feller has completely different energy sales than a little grandmother who mainly crochets in an armchair. In their growth phases, adolescents need more protein, a pregnant woman is in the process of building a child in her body, and the protein requirement can also be increased in certain diseases.
The endurance athlete needs about 1.3 g / (kg + day), the strength athlete up to 1.7 g / (kg + day), although not all sources always give exactly the same values. This increased protein requirement can also be met through a balanced diet. We know that fish and meat contain high levels of protein. Anyone who deliberately refrains from doing it, such as vegetarians and vegans, has the opportunity to meet their protein needs with protein supplements.
Vegan protein is not the same as proteinWhen it comes to protein intake, it's not just the quantity that counts, but also the quality. The more similar the structures of the amino acids of the food are to those of the body's proteins, the higher the biological value. This value indicates how much body protein can be made from 100 grams of food protein.
A high biological value can be expected for dairy products, eggs, lean meat and fish. In the case of plant-based foods, although not quite as high, they are cereals, potatoes, bread and legumes. It is best for our body to combine animal and vegetable food proteins, as the different proteins complement each other.
High quality nutritional supplements follow biological standardsOf course, everyone can eat healthy without animal food. In this case, however, it will not be possible without a control of the nutrient supply. Special dietary supplements for vegans provide important nutritional components that a strictly vegan diet does not provide to a sufficient extent.
Not all products that are commercially available as dietary supplements are put together in a meaningful way. Therefore, everyone is well advised to pay attention to quality, for example by deliberately choosing high-quality nutritional supplements according to biological standards.