Every cell and every tissue in the body contains proteins. They are found in muscles, bones, hair, nails, skin ...
PROTEINS MAKE UP ABOUT 20% OF TOTAL BODY MASS. PROTEINS ARE WHAT BUILD AND REPAIR THE BODY. PROTEINS HAVE A PRIMARY ROLE: GROWTH AND RENEWAL OF TISSUES.
The Role of Proteins in the Athlete's Body
Body proteins are the structural and functional elements present in all our tissues. It’s impossible to make an exhaustive list of all the things they do. These proteins have a variable lifespan, which makes it necessary to renew daily those that have been degraded or eliminated.
Structural role of proteins:
- At the tissue level, proteins promote tissue function. Collagen, elastin and keratin are examples. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and plays a role in tissue elasticity.
- At the cellular level, proteins also generate mechanical support. The shape of the cells is indeed directly related to proteins.
Functional role of proteins:
The role of proteins is vital in different functions
- In blood transport. Several chemicals are transported in the body by temporarily combining with a protein. As an example, we have albumin, which allows the transport of fatty acids and certain vitamins, haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, and myoglobin, which transports oxygen in muscle.
- In coagulation
- In membrane transport. Proteins control exchanges between cells and the extracellular environment.
- As hormones, such as insulin, glucagon...
- Enzymes are proteins that regulate the body's reactions.
- In the form of antibodies: They are manufactured by certain white blood cells for the body's defence against foreign cells.
- In movement thanks to the contractile proteins in muscles. Muscle contraction is due to interactions between two proteins, actin and myosin.
Energy role of proteins:
From a metabolic point of view, amino acids can also serve as energy constituents. However, proteins cannot be considered as an energy reserve comparable to carbohydrates and lipids. The use of energy-related proteins is relatively restricted in the body.
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