What is protein?
We know that we need protein but what is it? What are the best sources and how much do you need? Our bodies are made up of 75% protein so it is necessary to eat adequate amounts and especially important if you are building muscle.
Protein is made up of amino acids which are known as the building blocks of protein. There are about 20 different amino acids but there are 8 essential amino acids.
What is protein for and what does it do?
Simply put, protein aids the recovery and growth of the muscles after a workout at the gym.
Protein helps repair the "ripped" or "damaged" muscles allowing them to grow bigger and stronger in an attempt to cope with the next gym work out - once you increase the intensity or weight used in your workout you will be able to "rip" or "damage" your muscles again so the cycle restarts..but that's a whole new article!
What is protein powder
Protein powder is a supplement used by bodybuilders to help "supplement" their protein intake.
What is whey protein
Research has found that whey protein is the highest quality protein you can consume, proving it essential for helping your body maintain and build lean muscle and recover from intense training.
Whey protein is a mixture of globular proteins that have been isolated from whey. Whey is made from the liquid material which is created as a by-product of cheese production.
What is the difference between protein isolate and concentrate
There are two types of whey protein, these are "isolate" and "concentrate". The only difference is the way that they are extracted.
Overall, the better choice is whey protein isolate, this is because isolates have a higher absorption rate, a higher percentage of protein per scoop as well as an overall better amino acid profile.
What is complete protein
A complete protein (also known as whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an almost equal proportion of all the essential amino acids.
By "almost equal proportion" we mean that all essential amino acids are near to an equal amount - if a food contains all essential amino acids but one is of much lower value it is not a complete protein.
Best sources of protein
The best sources of protein is found in sufficient quantities of meat and fish. High sources of protein can also be found in seeds and nuts. (they may be small but they are power packed!) Vegetable protein also contains some or all of the amino acids but with a lower nutritional value.
How much protein do you need a day?
Have a look at our daily protein intake to find out how much protein you need per day as this depends on your lifestyle, whether you are exercising, building muscle or trying to lose weight etc.