Is It Okay to Take Protein as Source Of Energy? Is It Okay to Take Protein as Source Of Energy? Skip to main content

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Is It Okay to Take Protein as Source Of Energy?

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Man on dinning table with spoon and fork in beard and yellow t-shirt, taking high protein low carb food plate as energy source (cartoon illustration by sneha)
Raised Question, "Is It Okay to Take Protein as Source Of Energy?"
Man thinking, "What's wrong in high protein, low carb food?"
Illustration: A man on dinning table, about to eat his food on plate!

We all know that the major source of energy is the carbohydrate, and we also get the fuel from lipid resources. But do you know what works as fuel when they both are low? In deficiency of carbohydrates and lipid sources, proteins are used as the energy sources or fuel.

Click to Know More: What is Protein? Top 6 Roles of Protein Nutrient in Daily Diet Click to Know More: How Much Protein I Need Per Day at 15 Different Ages, Conditions Click to Know More: 15 Important Protein Functions You Need to Know

Protein: How This Nutrient Becomes Energy Source for Body?

In case of excess of protein or carbohydrate deficiency, protein breaks down into a form of carbohydrate and is being used as fuel. The nitrogenous matter splits off from the molecules of protein and remaining carbon units are utilized to generate fuel for body activities. This mechanism results in some loss of energy, and strain on kidney, liver, and other involved organs. The strain eliminates the unused nitrogenous waste.

This is a natural process, but many people use this mechanism as a trick to lose weight. They take a protein rich food and consume a diet with less carbohydrate resources, which is not good to health or a right practice to follow. This may cause shedding pounds because of loss of net energy, but the process of protein breakdown burdens over an exhausted liver and give unnecessary strain to kidney to release the uric acid.

Break the Myth: Protein as Source of Fuel

Many people take protein as energy supplier, but in reality, proteins do not work as source of fuel for body. So for all those who are very much involved in exercise, workouts or muscular activities, don’t ignore carbohydrate or fats as they are the basic source of energy.

Our body can utilize the stored protein as fuel only by breaking it into the form of carbohydrate.

Important for Weight Watchers and Heavy Workout Doers

When you involve yourself in nay muscular work or heavy activities of body, the use of nitrogen that we get from protein is very slight. In such a scenario, the oxygen absorption and carbonic acid excretion increases. So your body needs non-nitrogenous foods too for balancing the expenditure of energy.

If you do not supply carbohydrate to body, the protein breaks up for getting carbon contents to produce energy from fuel, spitting off the nitrogenous content. Itnot only causes the energy loss but also gives unnecessary strain to your kidney, liver and other organs for removing nitrogenous wastes that is of no use.

People, who rely on low carbohydrate and high protein diets for weight loss, beware! This can be dangerous too.

The Bottom Line

When we eat protein rich diet as source of energy ignoring the basic energy source carbohydrate, the need of energy is compensated by breaking the protein into carbohydrate leaving nitrogenous content behind as wastage. We get energy but this process or conversion and in eliminating that uric acid and waste produced by protein breakdown, the strain is put on our liver, kidney and other organs. This overwork and exhaustion might be harmful and dangerous for the organs.

Click to Know More: Child Nutrition: Protein Nutrient Helps in Growth? How? Click to Know More: 10 Structural Protein Benefits in Growth

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