Protein is one of the most important nutrients in the body. But how much do you really know about it? Find the answers here.
What Does Protein Do For Your Body?
Protein is essential for almost everything we do. It’s found in several parts of the body, including muscles, organs, bones and skin.
Protein is essential for:
- Fueling everyday energy needs
- Muscle repair and recovery^
- Cell maintenance and growth
- Regulating certain key body processes
- Helping you feel full longer
So How Does It Work?
Your body takes proteins from the foods you eat and breaks them down into amino acids that are used in nearly every vital function. Without adequate protein intake, your body may begin to break down muscle, which may compromise other areas of your health.
Getting enough protein is important, and you may need more than you think.
- Are you meeting your daily energy needs?
- Are you training for something?
- Trying to lose weight?
- Pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Are you over 50?
All of these factors play into how much protein you may need to assist in optimizing your health.
Protein Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Amino Acids And How Are They Related To Protein?
You may have heard of amino acids. But did you know they are the building blocks of proteins? Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms form amino acids and are linked together to form a protein chain. The body produces enough of some amino acids on its own. But there are nine essential amino acids that must be continually replaced with the foods we eat. That’s where protein comes in.
What Makes A Dietary Protein Complete?
While there are many foods that are high in protein, only complete protein sources contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Here’s how to get them:
- Animal-based sources like meat, dairy and egg protein are great examples of complete protein foods.
- Plant-based sources like beans, rice and corn fall short and are considered incomplete protein foods.
- Certain food combinations can also create a complete protein—like black beans and rice, peanut butter and wheat bread, or tofu, rice and vegetables. These are called complementary proteins.
What Is Nitrogen Balance And Why Is It Important?
Protein contains the component nitrogen. Nitrogen balance is a measure of nitrogen input minus nitrogen output, which may reflect gain or loss of total body protein. These factors have the potential to affect your nitrogen balance:
- Intense activity or working out
- Eating less or dieting
- Recovering from surgery or trauma
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Why Quality Matters
We know you have a ton of choices when it comes to protein. So, how do you make sure you’re getting the best one for your needs? Here’s what to look for:
100% Real Protein
Some protein products on the market are taking part in a practice called “protein spiking” or “amino spiking”—using added ingredients to make it seem like they contain more protein than they actually do.
Not GNC. We guarantee that every one of our GNC-brand protein powders and products:
- Contains the full amount of protein stated on the label.
- Is 100% real protein—no protein spiking ever!
We stand behind the quality, potency and taste of every protein bar, shake and supplement—guaranteed.
High-Quality Protein Options
Make sure your protein matches your goals, lifestyle and any special diet needs you may have. GNC has one of the widest selections available. Bars, shakes and powders. Meat, dairy or plant-based. Plus, advanced formulas with targeted ingredients for specific goals like managing weight, building lean muscle or optimizing your athletic performance.