Proteins are large complex molecules that play many critical functions within our bodies. Proteins are required for the structure, function and regulation within all of cells and organs.
Proteins are made up of amino acids which are attached to one another to form a protein structure. There are 20 different types of amino acids and the unique combinations of these leads to different types of proteins for different function.
Most of us eat enough protein for normal purposes. However, anyone not getting enough calories, including extreme dieters and some strict vegetarians, may not be getting enough amino acids either. When this happens, the body breaks down the protein in muscle tissue to utilise those amino acids for the needs of other organs. It will also stop building more muscle until the problem is remedied.
Whey protein powders are widely available as protein shakes and are commonly used by body builders. Many women choose to use whey protein powders and shakes as part of a calorie restriction diet because whey protein contains the complete amino acid profile.