• Chris Caton-Greasley

Fit Track: Actually Using It!: Protein

Christmas 2020 I invested in a FitTrack scale.

THIS IS NOT SPONSORED BY FITTRACK! But I bought it so lets make it work for me.


Most of the stats are as expected however these two bring cause for concern This post is a follow on in the series https://www.chrisatthepiano.com/post/here-we-go-again



Protein Rate

Protein rate is the amount of protein in your body. (FitTrack UK, n.d.)

"Protein is a vital nutrient it builds and maintains muscles, organs and tissue. Consuming adequate amount of protein, carbs and fats are recommended for optimal health." Adequate, I would say that is a massive fail, and this one is proving to be a huge struggle. The grams behind these stats are found on the new app under goals.




Goals

There is totally no way I can verify all these quickly it will take research and that takes time, so one step at a time.

Protein

8.4% of 146 grams


That's 12 grams of protein ! Like 1 eggs worth. I do not get this at all as I know I eat more than that so where is it all going. On average, at the moment, protein wise I eat a tin of Salmon, tin of Mackerel, and chicken or something for tea and a protein drink at 40g per shake. 20g roughly per tin of fish, 31g in a piece of chicken and 40g in shakes which is 111 grams. So whats happening ? Time to understand this more? The best place to start is the Fit Track group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/FitTrackWeightLossAndNutrition


According to Marsden "Protein Mass tracks the amount of protein in the body. A lack of protein can be linked to an increase in body fats. There is a link between protein mass and muscle mass. As you get older you need more protein due to anabolic resistance, which lowers the body’s ability to break down and synthesize protein. Ideally protein should make up about 12% to 20% of your total daily calories. Protein is essential for keeping your body healthy and working the way that it should. Your body needs protein to maintain your body, for growing and for energy." (Marsden, n.d.) There are two sorts of protein, animal proteins and plant proteins. The human body requires proteins to rebuild, repair and maintain. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, the body requires 8 essential ones to keep everything moving.


Essential amino acids

  • lysine (Lys): Lysine appears to help the body absorb calcium, and it plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance important for bones and connective tissues including skin, tendons, and cartilage.


  • Methionine (Met) - there are unsubstantiated theories about this amino acids jobs. (www.urmc.rochester.edu, n.d.)


  • Threonine (Thr) - L-threonine is obtained by the hydrolysis of protein by pancreatic enzymes during digestion. L-Threonine promotes normal growth by helping to maintain the proper protein balance in the body. L-Threonine also supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function. Threonine is needed to create glycine and serine, two amino acids that are necessary for the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. Threonine helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic, including the heart, where it is found in significant amounts. It also helps build strong bones and tooth enamel, and may speed wound healing or recovery from injury. Threonine combines with the amino acids aspartic acid and methionine to help the liver with lipotropic function, or the digestion of fats and fatty acids. Without enough threonine in the body, fats could build up in the liver and ultimately cause liver failure. Threonine supports the immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies. (Equistro, 2016)


  • Leucine (Leu) - Leucine slows muscle degradation by helping in the creation of muscle proteins. Leucine is used by the liver, body fat, and muscle to increase energy and endurance. Leucine also plays an important role in the synthesis of haemoglobin. Leucine helps maintain proper blood sugar and plays a role in human growth hormone synthesis. (Christiandamico, 2013)


  • Isoleucine (IIe) - Isoleucine, as one of the branched chain amino acids, is also critical in physiological functions of the whole body, such as growth, immunity, protein metabolism, fatty acid metabolism and glucose transportation. Isoleucine can improve the immune system, including immune organs, cells and reactive substances. (Gu et al., 2019)

  • Valine (Val) - A glycogenic amino acid, valine maintains mental vigor, muscle coordination, and emotional calm. (PubChem, n.d.)


  • Phenylalanine (Phe) - Your body needs phenylalanine and other amino acids to make proteins, which are found in your brain, blood, muscles, internal organs, and virtually everywhere else in your body. Phenylalanine is also crucial for the production of other molecules, including:

  • Tyrosine. This amino acid is produced directly from phenylalanine. Your body uses it to make new proteins or converts it into other molecules like epinephrine.

  • Epinephrine and norepinephrine. When you experience stressful situations, these molecules are vital to your body’s fight or flight response.

  • Dopamine. This neurotransmitter is an important part of your brain’s reward center and involved in motor control, memory, and learning.

The dysfunction of these molecules can cause negative health effects, such as depression (Healthline, 2021)


  • Tryptophan (Try) - The body uses tryptophan to help make melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin is thought to help regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. The liver can also use tryptophan to produce niacin (vitamin B3), which is needed for energy metabolism and DNA production. In order for tryptophan in the diet to be changed into niacin, the body needs to have enough: Iron, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6

(OpenLearn, n.d.)


The protein RNIs for all adults aged 19 years and over are 0.75 g per kg per day. The Dietary Reference Values state these are under the amounts for 1979, the data can be located on page 15. I do recommend reading the text in the section, although I have more questions than answers after reading it. (Department of Health, 1991)

In 1979 the recommended adult requirement was split by gender and age alongside lifestyle options.


Here is a screen capture of the 1979 version, just for reference. (Report by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy, n.d.)



Moving on to 2011 the charts have been separated into a second document and from it shows a back reference to the 1991 document. (Public Health England, 2016) So lets take 174 pounds into kilos = 124 kg multiply that by 0.75 and you get 93 grams of protein.

According to the Open Learn program, "The science of nutrition and healthy eating", the excess amino acids in our diet cannot be stored for long in the body, if they are not needed for building new proteins. They are taken in the bloodstream to the liver, where they are broken down. The part of the amino acid containing the nitrogen is converted into urea. This circulates in the blood to the kidneys, which provide an amazing biological filtering system. They filter out the urea and send it down tubes to the bladder, along with other substances the body does not need, and excess water, forming urine. So, when you urinate, you are getting rid of surplus amino acids.


But how to get to Protein Mass from the raw protein data. Now we know what it does it is quite important. Time to wait and see what FitTrack come back with next week.



How to Calculate how much protein you need



This cool calculator will give you an idea of how much protein you require, without a fancy set of scales but you will still need to do some maths. (Dolson, 2016)


First how many calories do you use. For me that will be 2276 calories as a, currently, sedentary life.


Multiply that number by 10% and 35% so 227 to 796 calories from protein.


Each gram of protein is 4 calories so 56g to 199g of protein.


How will those numbers change?



Calories used per day

Minimum calories from protein

Maximum calories from protein

Minimum grams of protein

Maximum grams of protein

Sedentary

2276

227

796

56

199

Lightly Active

2607

260

912

65

228

Moderate Active

2939

293

1028

73

257

Very Active

​3271

327

1144

81

286

Back to the original problem. My recommended protein, according to FitTrack is 146 grams. Following some research I would say that is correct (I told Fit Track I was Lightly Active - positive thinking and all that) this week I have been super sedentary as I have been unwell and therefore had time to think.


At school in science we had objective, method and conclusion. Now we come to the conclusion which is how to make this a reality.


So if the Protein Rate on Fit Track is a percentage of my daily intake that would mean, assuming 2000 cal per day


2000 calories: 18.5% is 370 calories: 4 calories per g of protein means 92.5g protein


8.4% is 168 calories: divided by 4 is 42 grams of protein


As a percentage it takes into account all the other requirements. So to increase the protein rate do the others need to decrease? Time to test the water and see what the universal standard 10 parameters:- Leukocytes, Nitrite, Urobilinogen, Protein, pH, Blood, Specific Gravity, Ketone, Bilirubin and Glucose. Gotta love Amazon prime, arriving tomorrow. (www.amazon.co.uk, n.d.)




Now why is the protein low yet I am consuming approximately the correct amount? Time will tell I think the answer will be in excess in another area.


Summary




 

Reference list



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