Growing kids need protein to help them build and repair cells, enzymes, and hormones, and, as a last resort, to provide energy. In addition to protein, foods in the protein foods group supply varying amounts of zinc, magnesium, B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, vitamins B-6 and B-12), and vitamin E. Many also provide iron.
Why do children and teenagers need a lot of protein in their diet?
Why is protein important for teens? Protein is a hard working nutrient. It’s needed for the growth and repair of muscles and tissues, and the production of enzymes and hormones. These are especially important for teens as they experience rapid changes in development.
How does protein help with growth?
Protein is the building block of your muscles. Therefore, eating adequate amounts of protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training. Numerous studies show that eating plenty of protein can help increase muscle mass and strength ( 8 , 9 ).
What happens if kids don’t get enough protein?
Serious protein deficiency can cause swelling, fatty liver, skin degeneration, increase the severity of infections and stunt growth in children. While true deficiency is rare in developed countries, low intake may cause muscle wasting and increase the risk of bone fractures.
What happens if a child has too much protein?
If a child can’t burn the calories off, the body stores them as fat. Organ damage. High protein levels can cause kidney stones and make the kidneys work harder to filter out waste products. A high-protein diet wears the kidneys out over time, and contributes to dehydration.
What are effects of too much protein?
Extra protein is not used efficiently by the body and may impose a metabolic burden on the bones, kidneys, and liver. Moreover, high-protein/high-meat diets may also be associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease due to intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol or even cancer .
In what situations would your body use protein for energy?
The body needs protein to maintain and replace tissues and to function and grow. Protein is not usually used for energy. However, if the body is not getting enough calories from other nutrients or from the fat stored in the body, protein is used for energy.
What are the disadvantages of protein?
Too much protein – starting at about 35% of daily calories – can lead to health issues such as nausea, cramps, fatigue, headaches and bloating.
Who needs more protein in their diet?
You need more calories for activities like biking, lifting weights, or running, but the percentage of protein remains in the same range. After age 40, you can start to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia, and you may need more protein. If you’re overweight, you’ll need to lower your calorie intake.