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Protein digestion and absorption is a bigger matter of concern than consumption. In the absence of them, you will end up experiencing a number of disorders like gas, constipation, gas, ligament laxity, trouble in muscle building, depression, and others.
Generally, people talk about the sources of protein, supplements, dosages, and benefits but ignore protein absorption completely. No matter which fitness regime you are in or the quality of protein supplements, if the protein is not digested and absorbed properly, you can’t see significant results
In fact, there may be some complications like those mentioned above, though. Let’s know about the protein and all about its absorption before jumping to any conclusion.
What is protein?
Protein is a group of amino acids that is crucial for the healthy growth of organs, muscles, hair, hormones, tissues, enzymes, and bones. Also, it helps in maintaining their health and repair. The body needs 20 amino acids out of which it can only make 11. The other nine of them, the body takes through protein-rich meals.
What Are The Nine Essential Amino Acids?
In the body, nine such amino acids are found that it can’t produce itself. So, the body needs them from external sources like meals. That is why these are called essential amino acids. Here are these:
Out of these nine essentials, there are three essentials which are called BCAAs, and that are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
What Are Protein-Rich Foods?
All the amino acids can be attained with a protein-rich diet. Here are some protein-rich meals you must consider including in your diet.
- Chicken, Eggs, Duck, Bush Birds, Turkey & Other Poultry
- Lamb, Pork, and Other Lean Meats
- Crab, Prawns, Scallops, Mussels, Fish, and Other Sea Foods
- Milk, Cheese, Curd, Yoghurt, and Other Dairy Products
- Whey, BCAAs, Isolate, Casein, and Other Supplements
How Does Protein Get Absorbed Into The Body?
The small intestine consists of microvilli which support protein absorption. These are finger-like small structures that increase the surface area where the process takes place in the small intestine. With increasing surface area, the absorption of nutrients, including protein and amino acids also increases.
After the process of absorption is completed, amino acids enter the bloodstream. In this way, these amino acids get transported to other parts of the body via cells and resulting in speeding up muscle building and tissue repairing process.
What Is The Role Of Enzymes In Protein Digestion?
The digestion of protein takes place in the body, as soon as people start chewing the meal. Actually, we have two types of enzymes in our saliva: Lipase and amylase which break down fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Some other common enzymes involved in breaking down these macronutrients are trypsin, carboxypeptidase, and chymotrypsin. For a better understanding, let’s break down the digestion process into steps.
- After breaking down in the mouth, protein sources enter the stomach
- Proteases like enzymes and HCL in the stomach break it down into amino acids
- Peptides join these small amino acids together
- Small amino acids make chains there
- These chains move to the small intestine from the stomach
- At the same time, the pancreas releases bicarbonate buffer and enzymes
- These aid the body to reduce acidity while digesting foods
- This reduction aids in increasing the number of enzymes
- Increased numbers of enzymes help in breaking down the chain of amino acids again to form individual amino acids
That’s how the digestion process takes place in the body. Let’s further inculcate how protein gets absorbed into the body.
What are the habits to increase protein digestion and absorption?
Only by following the right kinds of habits, people can avoid the consequences of undigested protein. All these habits are easy to perform but very effective in improving both digestion and absorption.
- Choose the right source of protein
- Eat throughout the day regularly
- Increase the whole protein meal which includes all essential amino
- Chew the food properly. Many people suggest chewing a bite 32 times
- No intense workout immediately after a meal
- Keep at least 30 to 45 minutes gap between training and meal
- A big no to smoking and alcohol consumption
- Take probiotics with a meal
- Follow an exercise routine daily
- Add fiber to your meal
- Don’t just eat protein once a day, in fact, eat it throughout the day
- Choose the right meal combinations for protein
What Can You Do To Increase Protein Absorption?
So far, we have understood the role of enzymes in digestion and absorption of proteins in the body and these are internal processes where we don’t have much space to do. But with some habits, the selection of protein combinations can support our body for faster absorption and digestion.
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( Our purpose is simply to provide you with information. Be sure to consult a specialist or your family doctor before consuming anything. )
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