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Does Protein Repair Tissue?

Does Protein Repair Tissue?
Muscle soreness and injuries need protein to heal. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether it be a sore or damaged tissue, protein plays a major role in repairing the body. Every cell and tissue in the body consists of proteins strung together to form muscle, skin and bodily organs. Damaged tissue needs proteins to help repair the injury, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which states most people should consume at least two to three servings of protein-rich foods per day to help heal the damaged tissue. This is true for sore muscles incurred after a workout or a pulled/strained muscle resulting from physical activity.


You consume protein through the goods you eat, such as meats, dairy, whole grains, soy products, eggs and some vegetables. For example, a cup of milk contains about 8 grams of protein, a 3-ounce portion of meat has more than 20 grams of protein, and a cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein. In addition to food sources, protein supplements offer a convenient way for athletes to get the extra protein their body needs. However, it's important to check with your doctor before taking protein supplements.

Tissue Repair

In theory, it makes sense that increasing how much protein you consume would help repair muscle injuries, damaged tissue or sore muscles. However, this isn’t the case, according to Janice R. Hermann, Ph.D., RD/LD of Oklahoma State University, who maintains that consuming an excess amount of protein will not lead to increased muscle development, hair growth or disease protection. In fact, too much protein can lead to increases in body fat and excessive strain on your kidneys and liver. This suggests that sticking to your body’s daily need for protein is the best approach to healing tissue naturally.


The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein varies, depending on your age, gender and physical activity level. The general recommendation for sedentary adults is to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. However, the University of California Los Angeles reports that the human body can process up to 0.91 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, which may benefit serious strength-training athletes. By sticking to the RDA for protein -- and making sure to not exceed the maximum recommendation -- damaged tissue will heal itself efficiently.


It takes time to heal damaged tissue. For instance, muscle soreness experienced after a tough weightlifting session may last two to four days following the workout. You cannot speed up this process by eating an increased amount of protein. However, not consuming enough protein can prolong the healing process. It takes time for your body to heal itself, so be patient during the recovery process. If you become sedentary due to a muscle or tissue injury, check with your doctor to determine if you should adjust your daily protein intake.

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