Protein supplements are products addressed to people for whom physical activity is an inseparable part of everyday lifestyle. They can also be used by those who want to support weight loss and take care of their health. What kind of nutrients can we deal with? How should they be used?
Protein supplements and their types
Whey Protein – is classified as one of the main milk proteins and is found in the liquid that is formed when milk is curdled. Whey protein is extracted by ion exchange or microfiltration. Its benefits include rapid absorption and ease of digestion. This makes it extremely effective in supporting regeneration after training. About half of whey protein consists of essential amino acids. On average 23-25% of them are BCAA – branched chain amino acids which contribute to slowing down the rate of muscle protein breakdown both during and immediately after training. The role of whey protein amino acids is related to the production of the powerful antioxidant glutathione and support of the immune system. Whey protein supplements are available in several different forms. The cheapest of these is concentrate, the most expensive is hydrolysate. Apart from them, we can also choose isolate. These types of products may also differ from each other in protein content. Concentrate contains about 70-85%, isolate – even 95%. Protein from concentrate is absorbed slightly slower than that from hydrolysate and isolate.
Casein – is a protein that is found in the solid fraction after milk is curdled. Casein is made up of larger protein molecules, which makes it digested and absorbed much slower than the whey protein described above. This is why it is recommended as a supplement to the last meal eaten before bedtime.
Egg protein – this term refers to all types of proteins that can be found in the composition of an egg. It has the optimal composition and proportion of amino acids for our body. It is rich in BCAAs, among other things.
Beef protein – comes from connective tissue – tendons and cartilage. Its nutritional value is similar to that of plant proteins. Soy protein contains a small amount of fat.
Soy protein – it is extracted from the soybean seed and has the best amino acid composition of all plant sources. Soy protein is rich in arginine, which contributes to accelerating the process of post-workout muscle recovery.
Protein supplements – a handful of useful information
As already mentioned, protein supplements are products targeted at physically active people. This is because adequate amounts of protein are required to regenerate muscles damaged during training. The protein requirement for endurance athletes is 1.4 g/kg, and for power athletes – 2 g/kg.
Protein supplements can also be successfully taken by all those who have protein deficiencies in their diet and those who have problems with digesting eggs and meat. Vegetarians can use supplements made from soy protein, hemp protein, rice protein or pea protein.
How should I use protein supplements? It all depends on your activity level and training goals. People who train once a week can take 1 serving of protein per day in their post-workout meal. Those training 2-3 times a week are recommended to take 1 serving of protein after training. Ideally, it should contain a combination of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. However, when it comes to people who train more than 3 times a week, they should consume 2 servings of a mixture of different proteins every day.
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