Proper protein intake is the building block of a healthy lifestyle, and it's not just for athletes and bodybuilders. Learn about all the amazing things protein can do for the body and what Meiji Group is doing to make protein-enriched foods for all.
Visit the health food or supplement section of any grocery store, and there's bound to be a variety of products advertising high levels of protein. It's the star of many dietary regimens, and much of the branding focuses on bodybuilders, athletes, and exercise enthusiasts.
Athletes consume higher levels of protein to gain muscles, get toned, and improve physical performance. Intense exercise like resistance training causes micro-tears in the muscle fibers, triggering a repair process that builds stronger muscles. However, the body needs extra protein during this process because protein helps repair damaged muscle tissue. Without enough protein, the body could suffer injury and even muscle loss.
But with all the emphasis on protein's ability to aid in weight loss, muscle gains, and staying fit, it's easy to forget that protein should be an essential part of everyone's daily nutritional intake.
For decades, Meiji Group has been providing protein for athletes. Now, the company is focusing on raising awareness about the importance of protein intake for all people, which includes making everyday food items available in protein-enriched versions. To achieve this, Meiji Group shares insights gained from research about protein's function in the body, the risks associated with deficiency, and why protein is part of a healthy diet.
Why the body needs protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient found in every cell of the body- including muscles, bones, hair, skin, and organs- that aids in growth and development, especially for children, adolescents, and the elderly. In fact, one-sixth of our total body weight comes from protein.
There's a reason why protein is considered one of the main components of a healthy body. It's responsible for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs. For example, muscles and organs need the support of various hormones and enzymes, also made up of protein, to work correctly.
Since protein plays such a key role in sustaining the body's vital functions, ensuring adequate intake is necessary for everyone regardless of age, gender, or physical fitness levels and goals.
In short, the body needs protein to stay healthy and work the way it should. And deficiencies can lead to some severe health issues.
The consequences of protein deficiency
Considering all the amazing things protein does for your body, it's no surprise that monitoring protein levels is crucial. Consuming too much or too little protein can have negative consequences. Even people consuming the ideal amount should keep track of their intake habits to support a longer, healthier life.
Some groups in particular, such as people on calorie-restrictive diets and the elderly, should follow proper protein intake habits.
Diets undertaken to achieve fitness or weight loss goals can contribute to protein deficiencies because they often restrict calories, leading to lower nutritional intake. Poor nutrition means low protein levels, which can cause brittle hair and skin, anemia, and hormonal imbalances. A lack of protein can even cause weight gain as metabolism slows down when muscle mass declines.
Insufficient protein in the elderly can weaken muscle strength and reduce physical ability, increasing the risk of falling and severe injury. Once injured, physical movement decreases, exacerbating further muscle loss and a vicious cycle that slowly deteriorates motor function.
Adequate protein intake can prevent these negative health consequences in adults. So, in addition to these groups, Meiji Group looked at the current data on protein intake in Japan and found that it has been steadily declining in recent years, possibly due to the rise and popularization of excessively calorie-restrictive diets that result in poor nutrition.
This research is one of the reasons why Meiji Group released TANPACT in Japan- to help everyone maintain a healthier lifestyle with adequate protein intake. Making protein-enriched foods like TANPACT available can increase protein intake levels while spreading awareness about the positive impact proper protein consumption has on the body.
Meiji Group tackles the issue of proper protein intake
Meiji Group set out to increase protein consumption by incorporating milk protein into its product lineup and releasing protein-enriched foods like TANPACT. The protein sources found in milk, whey and casein, are beneficial because the body quickly absorbs whey, and casein contains large amounts of calcium. Combined with an exceptional balance of essential amino acids, milk protein works particularly well for anyone planning to introduce a healthy amount of protein into their diet.
The backbone of Meiji Group's milk protein products is research guided by efforts to improve the quality and availability of protein through nutritional design and processing technology related to infant formula. Recently, Meiji Group developed the Quick Absorption Manufacturing method, which helps the body absorb milk protein and build muscle faster. The accumulated data of over 70 years of research supports manufacturing technologies that enhance the efficacy of milk protein absorption.
While consuming milk protein is a great way to increase protein intake for everyone, it quickly became associated with athletes, bodybuilders, and people interested in exercise.
So Meiji Group launched protein-enriched foods that focus on making protein more accessible to increase the larger population's intake little by little. In Japan, the TANPACT line features beverages, yogurt, chocolate, soup, ice cream, and other foods packed with added protein and natural flavors, both healthy and delicious. These staples of the average diet make it easy for people of all ages to enjoy the foods they love, knowing they are getting proper nutritional support at the same time.
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet for everyone, not just for athletes. Meiji Group hopes to increase awareness about proper protein intake, its function in the body, and the potential side effects of protein deficiency by offering accessible protein-enriched foods that contribute to a healthier society.