Jim Duffy 
Article Title
Teen Diets and Protein Requirements 
Posted Date

Teenagers sometimes have poor diets. They also have an increased need for good nutrition because they are still growing and their brains are continuing to grow and develop. Regrettably, this really is also the age group that's most probable to develop a critical eating disorder like anorexia nervosa or bulimia. “Eating disorders are among the ten most frequent causes of disability among young women…Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most devastating of these with some 10% of the afflicted with the condition literally starving themselves to death. It's estimated that between 1-4% belonging to the population of teens and college aged women have either anorexia or bulimia knowning that as numerous as ten percent of ladies of all ages have suffered with one or the other (occasionally both) at some point of their lives. For young men, the amount is about the same." (Source: Feldman, 2009). The need for protein is never as high as it is whenever a child is first born, with 2.2 grams of protein needed per kilogram of body weight. The amount tapers steadily, declining to eight tenths of a percent finally by the time the teenager has reached age 19, however, till that point protein consumption is very vital, not just for healthy and continued development but for some additional functions as well.

Protein Needs for Life Stages

This chart illustrates the beneficial quantities of day to day protein that a rising infant, youngster and teenager needs:

    - Age 0-6 months: 2.2 grams per pound of physique weight
    - 6-12 months: 2.0 grams
    - 1-3 years: 1.8 grams
    - 4-6 years: 1.5 grams
    - 7-10 years: 1.2 grams
    - 11-14 years: 1.0 grams
    - 15-18 years: .9 grams
    - 19 years plus: .8 grams (Source: US Guidelines on Protein and Diet, the US Dept. of Agriculture)

Protein’s Function in Health

Even most teenagers know that protein works towards building muscle, in spite of this, they might be shocked to learn how many other roles the nutrient performs in their body. Protein is important to each cell in our bodies and performs a responsibility within a number of further body functions as well. Half the dietary protein within our bodies is needed to make additional enzymes, which not only digest foods however make new cells and make other chemicals. Additionally, it is used in making neurotransmitters, which are the messenger compounds that send nerve-related messages around the body - for instance, the message that makes the teenager reach for her mobile phone when she hears a ring tone. Protein also performs a job within the creation of each RNA and DNA, that are the building blocks of who all of us are. Additional functions of protein inside your body:

    - Builds connective tissue
    - Builds contractive muscular tissue
    - Builds and repairs cell membranes
    - Performs a responsibility in constructing the bone matrix
    - Helps to maintain fluid balance (additionally a crucial concern of teenagers)
    - Regulates the acid/base (ph) balance of your blood
    - Formulation of hormones and enzymes which are important for some other functions
    - Plays a role in the immune system (antibodies are proteins)

The hormones and enzymes formed by proteins are crucial to control sleep and stimulate and regulate digestion in addition to playing a role in ovulation. All three of these are critical concerns of the teenager as well. (Source: Nelson, 2009)

Teenagers and Vegetarianism

While you will find so many teens who're making poor food decisions and eating unhealthy, fried, greasy and fat-laden fast foods, there are actually many more who're making the decision to be vegetarians of some stage and many who have opted to become vegan. The concern for lots of these parents is they aren't getting sufficient protein inside their diets, nevertheless, a top notch and balanced vegetarian or vegan eating regimen can provide more than enough amounts of protein for them. (If the parent is truly concerned, they might advise a protein supplement such as Profect, available from Protica, which has various rewards over other sources). The teenager vegetarian has got to be consuming a wide selection of plant based foods because most plant proteins are incomplete, which means they lack a number of of the required amino acids that are not made by the human body. Propose that the teenager add soy based foods, including tofu, to their vegetarian diet because it's the only complete plant based protein. A child who's a lacto-ovo vegetarian is one that doesn't eat meat however does drink milk, eat dairy foods and eggs. This degree of vegetarian is by far the most probable to get adequate protein from food sources. A vegan or one who does not consume any product that is animal created, will typically benefit most from a protein supplement of some type but even they are not that far off the mark for essential protein. The common person’s eating regimen has 14-18% of their calories coming from protein, and with the usual vegan food plan, that quantity is 10-12%. (Source: Mangels, the Vegetarian Resource Group)

Teenagers, Exercise and Additional Protein

It is a delusion that the teen who's additionally an elite athlete requires a lot more protein to remain healthy and on the top of their game. The amount of protein needed may increase, however only slightly. Within the the standard teen, aged 15-18, the protein need is simply .9 grams per kilogram of body weight, but the need might go as much as around 1-1.2 gram per kg of body weight in the teenage athlete. While it's important that the teenager get a sufficient amount of protein, it's furthermore vital that the amount they attain just isn't excessive. Excessive protein can result in a number of problems in the teenager, together with electrolyte imbalances that can in addition have an impact on the heart’s rhythm. It's important, especially for this age group, that all things be executed moderately, including eating and exercise. Habits which can be formed within the teen years can last a lifetime and might affect the wellness of the body in later years. Approaching a teenager with a protein supplement concept will only work if it appeals to them on a number of levels:

    - Convenience
    - Coolness
    - Flavors
    - Dietary worth

Profect is a convenient to carry, single serving liquid protein shot that the teen can consume in an individual gulp, on the way to high school or practice or between classes. It may be used as a snack or with meals to boost protein consumption to more healthy levels and make up for anything the teen may be lacking. It's going to appeal to the teenager’s sense of 'the cool' and also 'the unique', using a plastic vial that resembles a test tube, which can be attention-grabbing enough to hold their attention and funky enough to possibly start a trend. Profect comes in flavors that include Blue Raspberry, Grapefruit-Mango, Fresh Citrus Berry, Cool Melon Splash, Fuzzy Peach Nectar, Orange Pineapple, Passion Fruit, and Ruby Melon Twist. Nutritional worth is critical too, because teens are sometimes surprisingly savvy when it involves the topic of nutrition. Profect provides 10% of the daily needs of the B complex vitamins as well as all of their day to day requirements of Vitamin C. There are zero fat, zero carbohydrates and provides 25 grams of protein per one hundred calorie serving.


Robert S. Feldman Understanding Psychology Ninth Edition. McGraw-Hill Publishing. New York, New York 2009

Reed Mangels, PhD. RD. Protein in the Vegetarian Diet The Vegetarian Resource Group

Lisa Nelson Protein and Heart Health: How Much Do You Need? Health Central. November 30, 2009 US Guidelines on Protein and Diet, the United States Department of Agriculture

About Protica Research Founded in 2001, Protica Research (Protica, Inc.) is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect (, IsoMetric, Pediagro, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility. One area of specialty is the manufacturing of Medicare-approved, whey protein drinks for bariatric patients. You can learn more about Protica at - Copyright - Protica Research 
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