Today’s fast pace of living, unfortunately, does not allow enough time for daily consumption of enough protein required to maintain your shape and muscle mass. In a hurry to get a meal, people often turn to junk food which is full of sugars and trans fats. This is when protein supplements can serve as ‘fast food’ and a meal replacement.
Protein meals can be prepared with ease (with protein bars even the preparation phase can be avoided) and most of these formulas available today taste great. However, there are different categories of supplements, each with its own set of rules for use. Because of this, we are going to elaborate the protein sources in these supplements.
There are many protein sources which can be used in the production of protein powders or bars. The protein quality is measured according to its biological value (BV – unit of measurement used for calculating the amount of protein that the body can absorb and utilize, based on the nitrogen retention. Protein supplements with higher BV allow your body to easily absorb and retain nitrogen.
Subsequently, the proteins with the highest BV are the most beneficial for muscles development. Whey protein has the highest biological value. The egg protein ranks second with BV of 100, followed by milk proteins with 91, beef proteins with 80, soy proteins with 74. The beans proteins have the lowest biological value of 49. We will address each protein source individually.
1. WHEY PROTEIN
A number of studies have shown that whey is an excellent source of protein. This is the reason why:
- Whey protein helps in improving sport results, by alleviating stress and reducing cortisol release. Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone” that breaks down muscle tissue. Constantly high cortisol is a precursor for many health problems).
- Whey protein strengthens the immune system by increasing the level of glutathione, a water soluble antioxidant.
- It serves for reduction of blood pressure
- Whey helps in treating HIV
- Helps in relieving the feeling of training fatigue (which is also related to low levels of glutathione or GSH).
Whey protein is easy to digest and has a better amino acid profile than egg whites. In other words, whey proteins have the highest biological value. Whey protein is not a steroid based substance as it is believed by some people. According to the latest studies, it is an important food supplement, which is evident from the listed reasons.
It is also important to know that not every whey protein is produced in the same way. The whey protein as described above, must be micro filtrated. Otherwise, it will be just a residual product of milk pasteurization. The microfiltration should be performed at low temperatures, in order to avoid production of high concentration of undenatured proteins, with minimum concentration of fats, lactose and cholesterol.
WHEY ISOLATES AND CONCENTRATES
There are whey isolates and concentrates.Whey protein is created with filtration of the liquid portion of of milk. The mass that’s left behind is whey concentrate. The percentage of protein in whey concentrate can vary in the range from 30 to 80 percent. Respectively, whey concentrate also contains varying percentages of fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose.
Whey isolate is a further purified and filtered whey concentrate. Large proteins that exist in the concentrate are broken down to sub fractions and individual amino acids. These sub-fractions of whey proteins, are easily absorbed by the body. They are a good choice as an addition to your post workout meal, because during this period, the body needs fast absorbing amino acids.
However, whey isolates are not a good supplement for the rest of the day, because the body does not require all the amino acids which are released in the bloodstream, and shall use them in production of energy, and not for muscle growth.
It is also important to stress out that the whey isolates do not provide most of the above mentioned health benefits, as the process necessary for production of whey isolate burns up many sub-fractions important for strengthening the immune system, such as lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, and immunoglobulin. Hence, you should use whey concentrate during the day, and after practice it is better to use whey isolate.
2. EGG PROTEINS
The egg protein is an outstanding widely available organic protein. Its only inferior to whey protein. This protein is released more slowly into the bllodstream than whey protein, making it ideal for use throughout the day. One of the things you can do is to mix the eggs with whey protein, thus creating the best organic shake in the whole world.
3. MILK PROTEINS (CALCIUM CASINATE AND MICELLAR CASEIN)
Milk proteins are similar to egg proteins – excellent widely available organic proteins. Their BV is somewhat lower compared to the egg protein, and they are released in the blood stream at a much slower rate. Calcium casinate is the dominant protein in milk and dairy products. Micellar casein is a natural undenatured form of casein found in milk. It is derived from the milk by employing ultrafiltration without application of chemicals. This increases the quantity of bioactive milk peptides, boosting the immune system and improving the muscles growth.
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One of the characteristics of micellar casein is that it provides balanced amino acid release in the bloodstream, making it a perfect choice as a prolonged release anti-catabolic protein (protein that helps muscle growth).