What is a Protein?


Photo by Stefan Weiss from Wikimedia.org

DEFINITION – What does Protein mean?

Protein is a large molecule that is made up of chains of amino acids. It makes up major body tissues including muscle, hair, connective tissue, and more.


Protein is necessary to build and repair muscle tissue, such as after injury or exercise. Yet, to build protein we need amino acids. Amino acids are small organic compounds. The body can only make 11 of the 20 amino acids required. The other 9 amino acids we have to get from our diets.

Protein in our diets is referred to as a macronutrient. We require a total of 3 macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, and fats. From these, we gain energy in the form of calories. Through this protein consumption, we gain the amino acids our body is missing.

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