Nutrition Essay Example: Protein Intake and Nitrogen Balance

Published: 2019-01-30
Nutrition Essay Example: Protein Intake and Nitrogen Balance
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Diet Nutrition
Pages: 10
Wordcount: 2724 words
23 min read

Proteins are biomolecules

Proteins are biomolecules that are made up of several chains of amino acids. There are responsible for several functions in the bodies of human beings. Proteins are made up of a long polypeptide which is a linear residue of amino acids. The amino acids making up proteins are connected by peptide bonds. A gene that is encoded in the genetic code determines how the protein will appear. The genes are transcribed then translated, and then the post-transcription repair takes place which fixes the problems in the protein already made. Proteins can work as individual proteins or as protein complexes. In a cell, proteins can only take a particular period after which they are degraded and new proteins formed to replace them. Proteins participate in all the activities in the body starting from the cell level (Black, 2016).

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Many proteins are enzymes and are known to catalyze various chemical reactions. The reactions that are catalyzed by the enzymes are critical for body metabolism. Proteins also have different structural functions. Protein intake involves the process by which the protein is absorbed into the body from digestion. Ion the other hand, nitrogen balance includes measuring the amount of Nitrogen that gets into the body minus the nitrogen which comes out of the body. The nitrogen balance plays a very fundamental role in the formation of proteins in the bodies of living organisms. Nitrogen has to be used for protein to be synthesized since nitrogen is one of the elements that make up proteins. Nitrogen is absorbed into the bodies of living organisms. Nitrogen is very important for the growth of the muscles (Black, 2016).

What protein intake entails and its importance

Proteins are taken into the body in the form of amino acids. The protein rich meal is first digested into soluble amino acids then taken into the body through the process of active transport. The amino acids are then assimilated into various cells for formation of proteins to help in the body metabolism. Protein intake involves consumption of foods rich in protein for the body to absorb. Foods rich in protein include meat from cattle, bush meat, liver, beans, and many other foods. The protein undergoes the process of mastication in the mouth where it is broken down into pieces by the teeth. It is then pushed down the esophagus through peristalsis. It reaches the stomach where it is then digested into amino acids then absorbed in the small intestines. The undigested and indigestible proteins are taken out of the body through the large intestines in a process known as egestion (Black, 2016).

In the small intestine, the amino acids are absorbed through the process of active transport. Brenner et. al., 2017 asserts that protein intake should be restricted to certain groups of people especially those suffering from Chronic Renal Insufficiency. Some people are also allergic to several types of proteins. The people who are allergic to proteins are encouraged to visit their doctors for more advice. The proteins that are got from the diet are referred to as essential proteins. The body is not able to synthesize them on its own hence must be sourced from the diet. Most of the organisms' protein intake is meant to take care of the satisfaction of the deficiency of essential proteins. Animal proteins are the source for almost all of the important protein the body of a human being needs because the bodies are similar. Whoever takes an animal protein diet is doing well as far as protein consumption is concerned(Walker et. al., 2013).

Getting all the essential proteins for the people who don't feed on animal proteins becomes a bit of a challenge since most animal proteins are essential proteins in the bodies of the human beings. Most people do not require protein supplements since the diet caters for their needs adequately. However, sports people and body builders need the protein supplements since their bodies require a lot of essential proteins that the diet cannot manage to provide. The rate at which a person consumes proteins determines whether thy increase weight or reduce weight. It is recommended that the individuals who need to lose weight should cut down on their protein intake. On the other hand, people who wish to gain weight are required to take meals that are rich in proteins (Walker et. al., 2013).

Nitrogen balance and its role in the body of Human beings and other animals

People have to take fewer calories than they burn to realize their goal of losing weight. Consumption of more calories than we burn leads to increase in weight since most of it will not be used up. This is the reason why we advise people who are keen on losing weight to observe a particular diet as opposed to eating at random. It is important for people to be concerned about their protein intake since it is a recipe for a healthy life. Protein intake boosts the metabolic rate and reduces the appetite making sure that the body is completely in control of the calories it takes in and the calories it burns. Protein intake that was around 20%-30% was seen to boost the body metabolism by 80%-100% (Walker et. al., 2013)

Nitrogen balance is a measure of the nitrogen consumed less nitrogen released. The remainder is what is referred to as nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is one of the most fundamental elements in the formation of proteins and Amino acids. Nitrogen intake in the body comes from foods such as dairy, meat, dairy, legumes, eggs, grains, cereals, and legumes. Ways in which the body loses nitrogen is through excretion- urination and perspiration, skin, hair, and feces. The estimation of the body nitrogen balance is done using the blood urea nitrogen or measuring the concentration of nitrogen in the urine.

Nitrogen is essential in the formation of amino acids which are the molecules that build up proteins. This means that measuring the nitrogen balance can be used to determine the metabolism of proteins in the bodies of living organisms. Positivity in the nitrogen balance may be associated with pregnancy, hypothyroidism, growth and repair of body tissues. This will mean an increase in the body's protein pool since the nitrogen intake is higher that the loss of nitrogen.Fevers, burns, wasting diseases, serious tissue injuries, hyperthyroidism, and fasting are associated with negative nitrogen balance. This means that the amount of nitrogen taken in is much lower than the rate of nitrogen taken out of the body. Such a case is usually an indicator of malnutrition and leads to symptoms such as emaciation and general body weakness. Clinical evaluation and diagnosis of malnutrition are done using the nitrogen balance. It is a way to identify the requirements of the body as far as dietary requirements are concerned. Dietary protein requirements are assessed through the identification of all the sources of nitrogen that the body has at its disposal and the various ways that the body may lose the nitrogen already consumed.

Protein intake and nitrogen balance are seriously related. This is because nitrogen is very important in the formation of proteins. One cannot speak about human life without referring to the proteins. This is because proteins are part of the factors that drive human life. Proteins are required for growth to take place proteins are required for healing to take place; proteins are required for metabolism to take place since the same proteins make enzymes that catalyze biological, chemical reactions in the body.

The body builders

Andres R. Suarez and Ernestine Shepherd are the body builders that are selected for this study. They are two among many accomplished bodybuilders in history. They take body building as an art, a sport and as their lifestyle. Andres R. Suarez has always been active and very athletic. He played baseball and also enjoyed swimming and basketball. He enjoyed various outdoor games that include Kayaking, water skiing, water rafting, and biking. His stepson helped him in becoming a bodybuilder by making for him a regimented routine aimed at helping him to become an accomplished body builder (Walker et. al., 2013).

Suarez's consists mostly of low fat. The diet helps him to prevent obesity and heart diseases. A high-fat diet would make him not to achieve the much-required muscle tone due to the fat deposits in the various parts of the body. The diet has helped him to avoid adding up much weight that could hinder his sport. The only weight gain he experiences is the muscle build up which is much healthier than weight gain resulting from the increase in the fat contents in the body. The low-fat diet is also important in the reduction of cholesterol levels so as to prevent heart-related diseases (Walker et. al., 2013). He also maintains a low Cal balanced formula which consists of 800 calories or less. This is a diet designed to prevent obesity among the body builders. Bodybuilders are more concerned about keeping their muscle tone and appearance in a nice looking way. Having a high-calorie diet could hurt this, and that is why Suarez's diet has worked for him.

Suarez balances his protein intake to ensure that it corresponds with his body needs. His intake of carbohydrates is checked with an aim to maintain a low-calorie diet to accomplish his body building goals. This diet took him to a level of physical fitness that made him successful in his work as a body builder. He also used a supplement that is dubbed tUniversal animal cuts' which was his fat loss supplement which is very effective as far as cutting fat is concerned. The supplement supports a healthy appetite required by the body builder. It also contains thermogenic substances, stimulants, optic and diuretic compounds. Comparing his diet with another accomplished body builder, we put into consideration the diet followed by Jay Cutler. Jay always delights in hard work that involves physical exercise. He worked at a concrete construction site when he was 11 years old. His hard work has propelled him to win many accolades as a body builder. He works out vigorously for as long as 4 hours a day when in the season for the contest. He loves his life and likes to live his life to the fullest. He uses a Muscle tech supplement which is different from the Animal Cuts supplement used by Suarez. It is expected that he will attend so many contests in the future and probably win. Jay's diet involves eating significant amounts and growing fat (Veltchev, 2010).

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler trains so much in a day and eats a lot too. Jay says that cooking and eating takes him six hours a day. This means that most of his time he spent eating meals more than anything else. Suarez consumes relatively little than what Jay does. This describes why he is one of the biggest bodybuilders in the world. Jay asserts that the hardest thing about being a body builder is the many calories he needs to eat in a day. Jay eats food that most people will avoid because of the calories he consumes. Jay argues that nutrition is always a winner for each and every body builder. He is against some people wanting to kill themselves at the gym while shunning food yet they are body builders (Veltchev, 2010). He encourages people to put in more effort in their diet as they put in their muscle building training. Just like Suarez, Jay uses supplements to work on his body. He uses fat burners, protein supplements, and multivitamins to realize his goals. Jay eats a lot of carbohydrates and argues that they are not evil as many body builders may think. He believes that bodybuilders need more energy to workout. Hence they need enough carbohydrates in their diet. Jay believes for someone to get big, he/she has to eat a lot of carbohydrates. He also asserts that building muscles requires many micronutrients and not just protein only. The muscles need the energy to grow and expand. However, he cautions that the right ratio is needed for the realization of results. Jay's diet also consists of less fat. He only eats quality calories to help his body to achieve the desired results (Veltchev, 2010).

As opposed to bodybuilders who are concerned about the volume of their bodies, the aerobic athletes work out to have small body sizes for them to run and compete without body heaviness. They undergo endurance training which is aimed to increase the rate at which their bodies endure pain, episodes of tiredness and weakness. The aerobic athletes include track and field athletes, football players, soccer players, volleyball players, etc. Our examples are Mohammed Farah and Husain Bolt. Mo Farah's day starts with a carbohydrate-rich breakfast which consists of coffee and cereal to give him the energy needed to kick start his morning. He eats light lunch composed of pasta and grilled chicken as well as steamed vegetables. He drinks lots of water and eats fewer fats for efficiency (Shinabargar et. al., 2010). On the other hand, Usain Bolt keeps the same type of diet. He moderately eats carbohydrates while watching the calories with the guidance of his doctor. He also eats proteins just like Mo Farah to keep the body organs repaired and well maintained. They also need to build up the muscles. Their food is not composed of so many calories as the body builders (Black, 2016).

Fat loss programs

Program one

Find the motive behind the willingness to lose weight. Some people may want to drop some kilos due to a disease. Some are just not happy with their bodies hence a motivation factor to lose weight. Some people just want some extra energy and extra feeling after losing weight. It is important to put the motivation factor at the back of the mind every time one sets out to lose weight. Then a nutritional achieving the goal of losing weight. The next step is to select a supplement protocol aimed at meeting your nutritional goals. The other step is coming up with a workout program designed for burning excess fat. Finally, you should take into consideration the cardio component which is checking the state of the heart to avoid casualties. This fat loss program is very effective since it takes into account all the aspects of an individual (Veltchev, 2010).

Program two

This program involves making a workout plan without an eating plan. It assumes that all fat will be lost by exercise alone. It is not useful since the fat that is lost is replaced hence the goal of losing weight is not fulfilled. This shows that this program is more of wasting time because it has no returns (Veltchev, 2010).

Program three

This program involves lowering the food intake with no workout and proper nutritional plan. It is more of starving oneself to reduce weight. It is not effective since it leads to malnutrition and anorexia that is more of harm than good (Veltchev, 2010).


Obesity is the state of having so much fat in the body. The fats accumulate hence causing harmful effects on the body. Their body mass index ranges from 25-30kg/m2. Obesity is caused by eating excess food with no exercise (Veltchev, 2010). The food is then stored in the body in the form of fat causing one to be overweight. This can be corrected by exercising a lot and eating food proportional to what the body requires. Some people genetically inherit the trait from their parents. In this case, there is little we can do to correct the situation. Insufficient sleep and endocrine disruptors may also cause obesity (Walker et. al., 2013).


Black, J. (2016). 'As British as fish and chips: British newspaper representations of Mo Farah during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Media, Culture & Society, 38(7), 979-996. doi:10.1177/0163443716635863

Burrowes, J. D. (2007). Nutrition for a Lifetime.Nutrition Today, 42(4), 160-167. doi:10.1097/01.nt.0000286154.47720.f5

Shinabargar, A. J., Hellrich, M., & Baker, B. (2010). What Makes Usain Bolt Unique as a Sprinter? The Physics Teacher, 48(6), 365-365. doi:10.1119/1.3479707

Veltchev, L. (2010). OBESITY SURGERY: INDICATIONS, TECHNIQUES, WEIGHTLOSS AND POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS -/Review article/. Journal of IMAB - Annual Proceeding (Scientific Papers), 15, book 1(2009), 74-77. doi:10.5272/jimab.1512009_74

Walker, C. G., Holzapfel, C., Loos, R. J., Mander, A. P., Klopp, N., Illig, T., tIJebb, S. A. (2013). Genetic predisposition to an adverse lipid profile limits the improvement in total cholesterol in response to weight loss. Obesity, 21(12), 2589-2595. doi:10.1002/oby.20328

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