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Protein Supplements

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Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Food products, nutrition and protein sources can be referred to as protein supplements. Bodybuilders and athletes all use these supplements to reach their recommended daily protein requirement levels. Proteins are required by athletes to promote faster muscle recovery and build lean muscles.

Apart from athletes and bodybuilders, hard-gainers and dieters also require protein supplements to achieve sport nutrition fitness goals. Proteins leave you more satiated after meals and they speed up the fat burning processes in the body. Weight loss proteins are beneficial for dieters for weight lose. Hard-gainers can make use of weight gainers to add more calories to their total calorie intake.

Meal replacements, protein powders, protein bars and weight gainers are some types of protein supplements  available in the market. The supplements generally contain over 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving. Additionally, they are fortified with minerals and vitamins. Multiple flavors are available for these supplements including peanut butter, cookie, cream and fruit flavored protein bars.

Common Terms for Protein Supplements

Isolate. This term is used when a source of protein has been purified chemically to eliminate nearly everything else apart from the the protein source itself. Isolates can generally be over 90 percent pure in protein.

Concentrate. A concentrated protein source is less pure compared to an isolate. Such sources usually contain between 70 and 85 percent of the original protein source. More carbohydrates and fats make up the remaining percentage of concentrates. Lactose makes up a big percentage of whey protein.

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Blends. A protein blend is made from multiple protein sources consisting of different levels of purity. A protein blend can have both advantages of fast digesting  and slow digesting sources of proteins. Blends thus have a potential to be more cost effective compared to pure isolates.

Amino Acids. Protein building blocks are known as amino acids. Although there are over 100 known amino acids, only about 20 of these are considered to be standard. The standard amino acids fall into two groups, the essential and non-essential amino acids. Non essential amino acids can be manufactured or synthesized by the human body. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the human body. These have to be derived from food sources.

Branched Chain Amino Acids: BCAA is the term used to refer to a chain consisting of three essential amino acids. These are the leucine, isoleucine and valine.  These amino acid combinations form over one third of the skeletal muscle within the body. Amino acids play a critical role in the synthesis of protein.

Meal replacements. These are protein products that are considered to be a complete meal serving. These protein supplements contain a formulated nutritional and macro-nutrient blend. Such products offer an appropriate amount of healthy fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals.

Weight Gainers. These are high calorie protein powders that come in handy when bodybuilders and athletes require rapid weight gain. These  protein supplements  are convenient in between meals or as meals on the go for extra calories everyday.

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Recovery Blends. These are protein supplements containing additional products that are not necessarily protein. These products aid in recovery after a workout.  Such supplements range from minerals, multivitamins, powders creatine supplements and higher doses of  taurine and glutamine.

Slow Digesting. Slow digesting protein supplements offer a long-term flow of amino acids and protein. This flow of nutrients aids in stabilizing a positive nitrogen balance for longer durations of time. Slow digesting proteins are an excellent option to take between meals.

Fast Digesting. Fast digesting protein supplements sources like whey protein are fast acting. This aids the body to regulate its own levels of nitrogen particularly after prolonged fasting spans. A fast digesting protein source is an excellent option for post workout protein supply.

Energy Bars: These protein supplements offer an immediate, healthy and prolonged source of energy. This is beneficial especially when your need for a pick-me-up arises in between meals. Though energy bars contain protein, their protein content is generally lower compared to a protein bar.

Advantages of Protein Supplements

  • Protein supplements offer you a cost effective option to reach your recommended dietary requirements. When you consider the cost of some protein sources such as fish and beef, these products offer savings that can be used for other nutritional requirements.

    Protein Supplements

    Protein Supplements

  • These supplements offer a variety of protein sources that are more complete and balanced.
  • Protein supplements can also be a multi-dimensional nutrient source. They are usually fortified with minerals and vitamins.
  • Weight gainers provide high calorie food options that are easy for the body to break down. Because they are less filling, you can have additional servings more frequently to gain weight quickly.
  • Whey proteins have a significantly high BV or biological value. Like other fast digesting proteins, they are excellent when taken first thing in the morning and for post workout.
  • These supplements are very convenient. They require little preparation time or clean up. Wherever you go, you can bring them along.
  • These products are also available in a variety of flavors. This means you don’t experience the blandness associated with many high protein diets.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, these proteins can serve as a low calorie option to satisfy your cravings.
  • These supplements are not temperature sensitive. Usually, they require no heating or refrigeration.
  • Some particular protein supplements possess a higher biological value BV compared to real food.
  • Some products may be much easier on the tummy before bedtime like protein powder shakes.
Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

However, this does not mean that protein supplements are superior to real food. Real food also comes with a lot of advantages that include:

  • Versatility: Real food can be utilized in combination with other foods to suit particular cravings and occasions.
  • One basic advantage of real food is that you know whatever you are eating and where you got it from.
  • Protein sources like milk, tuna, eggs and string cheese offer more cost effective options than some protein supplements.
  • Certain  protein supplements  can possess a greater variety of ingredients than is actually listed on the product labels.
  • Some individuals may experience digestive and stomach bloating after taking protein shakes.
  • The nutritional depth provided by certain foods is difficult to replicate using supplements.
  • Nutritionally speaking milk and eggs are like the Ferrari and Benz of the protein world.
  • Studies reveal that beef has a higher potential to pack more muscle mass compared to other protein forms.

Sources of Protein Used in Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Whey Protein: 20 percent of all the protein from milk is whey protein. In the production of cheese, the bye product is whey protein. Initially regarded as a mere waste product, whey protein is currently the most popular protein source for creating  protein supplements. It contains leucine, isoleucine and valine which are major muscle building amino acids. Whey protein contains low levels of arginine and glutamine. It is also categorized as a fast digesting protein that is less filling.

Whey Isolate: This is a more costly and purer form of whey protein. It possesses a higher biological value BV and is of a higher quality source of protein.  Compared to whey concentrate, it has less lactose and fat per serving. Whey protein isolate contains between 90 and 98 percent protein.

Whey concentrate. As prices go, this whey protein option is a cheap protein supplementsoption. It processing time is shorter, though the end result contains more lactose and fat. whey concentrate that has between 70 and 85 percent of protein.

Whey Protein Blends: These are special protein formulas that have a combination of whey concentrates and whey isolates. One advantage of these blends is that they contain more proteins compared to whey concentrates. They are also more pocket friendly whey protein sports supplements than whey isolates.

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Casein Protein: This form of protein makes up 80 percent of the proteins available in milk. These protein supplements are slow digesting and have to be isolated from milk. Casein  protein content is about 92 percent and its taste is very thick. This type of protein is a popular option for weight gainers.

In spite of its lower BV, it can be put into efficient use to develop muscle. This type of protein encourages the body to source its energy requirement from carbs and stored fat. This is because most casein protein is used to build muscle and less is consumed as a source of energy. Glutamine is a leading bodybuilding supplement that contains high levels of casein protein.

Egg Albumin: This is also referred to as egg white. Because of its higher ratio of essential amino acids compared to the non-essential ones, it natural bodybuilding protein that is popular with bodybuilders. Egg whites generally contain less cholesterol compared to egg yolks.  Because of their optimum level of essential amino acids, eggs have earned the title of king among all natural food proteins. Anyone that is lactose intolerant considers eggs as the

Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

best protein alternative.

Soy Protein: Although soy protein is considered high quality protein it does not match casein protein or milk. Soy is a protein source with an average profile when it comes to amino acids. It is also a fast digesting protein which makes it less a desirable source of protein if your target is muscle building.

Soy Protein Isolate: Compared to soy protein, soy protein isolate possesses a higher Biological Value BV. This means the body uses up a larger percentage of this protein. However, compared to soy protein, soy protein isolate is considered an inferior quality protein.

Goat Milk Protein: Compared to all other protein sources, goat milk protein has the highest bio-availability. Additionally, goat milk protein possesses incredibly high levels of Branch Chain Amino Acids BCAA. Eggs have a Biological Value of 100 compared to goat milk protein, which has the highest value at 104. To cap it all, goat milk protein supplements contains no lactose.

Wheat protein: This is a naturally healthy alternative to egg and dairy based proteins. It contains neither lactose nor cholesterol and it has high levels of glutamic acid. Wheat protein is an excellent vegetarian  protein supplement  for vegetarian athletes and bodybuilders.

Pea Protein: This is another excellent protein choice for vegetarians which does not contain glutamic. Pea protein is a similar protein supplement as wheat protein. Pea protein contains no lactose or cholesterol. It is easily digested and is a rich source of amino acids.

Complete Milk Protein. This refers to dried protein sourced from milk after the removal of fat and carbs. Protein from milk is nutritious, packed with calcium, vitamins and other minerals. Complete milk protein is a effective  protein supplements  that has both casein and whey proteins.

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