A Complete Guide To Protein
Posted on 09 January 2018
Basics of Protein
"What Benefits does protein have in the body?"
Protein is an essential nutrient and a key component of a healthy diet. It provides amino acids for numerous physiological functions including muscle building and maintenance and supporting the prevention of muscle loss. Adequate protein consumption can be beneficial for numerous types of athletes and active people. For bodybuilders, or physique athletes, adequate protein consumption is the cornerstone of their diet and one of the main tools in the quest for larger muscles and a lean physique.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PROTEIN
About 20% of the protein in milk is whey. Whey proteins are quickly and easily digested (hence the “fast-acting” description that they’re often given), and they have Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) – including the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and other microfractions. Because whey protein is quickly digested, amino acids are delivered quickly to muscles to help start the muscle building process.
About 80% of the protein in milk is casein. Often referred to as a “slower-acting” protein because it is digested and absorbed more slowly than other proteins like whey, casein proteins are especially useful when taken at bedtime or in between meals, so that amino acids can be delivered to muscles for a longer period of time. When casein is consumed it enters the stomach where it mixes with stomach acid to form a “clump,” which takes longer to digest and empty from the stomach compared to other proteins that don’t clump. Whey does not exhibit these properties, and therefore is absorbed faster than casein.
Egg is a complete protein meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids required by your body for protein synthesis. Additionally, eggs are dairy-free, highly bioavailable, and a great alternative to whey, casein, and whole milk proteins for those with milk allergies or lactosese sitivity.
Soy protein is the only naturally occurring non-animal based source of complete protein. This means that it provides all of your essential amino acids and is vegetarian/vegan friendly. Soy can be a great alternative for vegetarians looking to supplement their diet with protein.
Beef protein is a complete protein that provides all of your body’s essential amino acids. Beef protein supplementation provides an additional protein alternative to consuming dairy as part of your protein supplementation regimen.
Plant sources of protein can potentially include rice, pea, hemp, potato, alfalfa, chia, flax, and more. Plant protein provides an additional alternative source of nondairy protein supplementation and may include additional beneficial components that naturally occur in the plant.
Designed for Anybody Anytime
TERMS TO LOOK FOR IN PROTEIN
NUMBER OF SERVINGS PER CONTAINER.
AMOUNT OF PROTEIN PER SERVING.
Pay attention to this number. Some brands cut costs with cheap “filler” ingredients. So, while you may be getting 2, 5, or 10 lbs of something, you’re getting significantly fewer servings than you would with a more reputable product. Better yet, figure out how much total protein you’re getting by multiplying the grams of protein per serving by the number of servings per container. Example 24 grams of protein/serving x 80 servings/container = 1,920 grams of protein/container. Like the pure protein percentage equation, this formula works best for straight protein powders.
ORDER OF INGREDIENTS.
The number of grams of protein per serving is probably the most important aspect of protein powders. Seems obvious, but many people overlook this step assuming that either all proteins are about the same or that the most expensive powders contain more protein. Don’t make this mistake; check the Nutrition Facts panel to make sure you’re paying for protein, not just fancy marketing.
MANUFACTURED BY OR FOR?
By law, ingredients in a food or supplement product should be listed from most to least abundant, or in technical speak: descending order of predominance. The importance of this becomes clear once you start shopping around. If, for example, two products are similarly priced, but one contains a greater amount of a less-expensive protein (you know this since the cheaper protein is listed ahead of the more-expensive protein source in the ingredients) you know that product is a lesser value. Also, don’t get fooled by the hyped-up adjectives that some companies use to describe common ingredients. Sodium chloride is just salt; proteinaceous avian nucleus extract is egg yolks; all quality whey protein concentrates are ultrafiltered and contain microfractions like alpha lactalbumin, beta lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, and glycomacropeptides.
Contrary to what you might think, many companies don’t develop, manufacture, or even distribute any of their own products; they either put their labels on common formulas or have unique formulas created by an external factory. This typically adds considerable costs, which are ultimately passed along to their customers. Phrases like “manufactured for,” “distributed by,” or “packed for,” let you know that someone other than the company that you’re buying from made the product. True manufacturers have made the investment in the processing equipment and quality control procedures required to consistently offer the best products. So, choose “manufactured by” products whenever possible.